Bulgaria Abandons Plans for Belene Nuclear Reactor

Bulgaria has abandoned plans to build its 2,000 megawatt Belene plant on the Danube River and will construct a new gas power plant at the location instead, deputy finance minister Vladislav Goranov told reporters Wednesday.

Goranov said that one of the two 1,000 MW already assembled by Atomstroyexport will now be placed in Bulgaria's operational Kozloduy nuclear plant, boosting its capacity to 3,000 MW. Belene would have been the country's second plant, next to Kozloduy.

Over the last three years, the Belene project failed to attract investors after Germany's RWE pulled out in 2009 due to funding concerns. Work on the plant also has been delayed by contract changes since the original deal was signed in 2006.

Economy Minister Delyan Dobrev will now travel to Moscow to announce Bulgaria’s decision to Russian contractor Atomstroyexport, Goranov was reported to have said.

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