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Bulgaria Closer to Getting EU Nuclear Decommissioning Aid

Date: 30.04.2010

Bulgaria has come closer to receiving EUR 300 M in additional EU nuclear decommissioning aid as the EP Committee on Industry, Research, and Energy backed the EC proposal.

On Wednesday, the EP Committee approved all amendments to the EC proposal for additional compensations to Bulgaria over the closure of reactors 1-4 of the Kozloduy Nuclear Power Plant proposed by the Bulgarian MEP Vladimir Urutchev.

“The amendments are aimed at preventing all attempts to set new conditions on the Bulgarian government over the absorption of the decommissioning aid such as the construction of a nuclear storage facility for which neither Bulgaria, nor the EU are ready,” Urutchev said as cited by the press service of the European People’ Party.

“Today’s vote showed that when the Bulgarian national interests triumphs over party bickering, we can achieve spectacular results,” he continued praising the fact that all Bulgarian MEPs on the committee backed his amendments.

The Committee decision has brought Bulgaria one more step closer to getting this additional compensation for the shutting down of its four 440 MW nuclear reactors at the Kozloduy NPP, which was initially negotiated in September 2009. The EUR 300 M in question come on top of the some EUR 550 M that Bulgaria has already received as compensation since 2000.

At the beginning of April 2010, the EP Environment Committee defeated the report of the German MEP Rebecca Harms demanding that the allocating of the EUR 300 M to Bulgaria be made conditional on its starting to build a nuclear waste storage site, and that the funds be used solely for projects related with the Kozloduy NPP.

Thus, the Bulgarian government will be able to realize its intentions to use about EUR 180 M from the decommissioning package for projects related to the technical putting out of operation of the four reactors and for social projects in the town Kozloduy, and to channel the remaining EUR 120 M into projects for renewable energy and energy efficiency.

The proposal for Bulgaria’s additional nuclear decommissioning aid of EUR 300 M still has to be passed by the entire European Parliament. The vote is scheduled for the next plenary session of the EP on May 17-20. Bulgaria is expected to get the first EUR 75 M from the package in June 2010.

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