European Court of Audit Calls for More Efficient EU Spending on Nuclear Decommissioning in Bulgaria

European Court of Audit Calls for More Efficient EU Spending on Nuclear Decommissioning in Bulgaria

The European Court of Audit recommended to the European Commission to use more effectively funds allocated to the decommissioning of nuclear facilities in Bulgaria.

The Commission should "put in place the conditions for an effective, efficient and economical use of EU funds", the court suggested in a report released on Wednesday of its investigation into the EU financial assistance for the decommissioning of nuclear plants in Bulgaria, Lithuania and Slovakia.

The report found that "as a result of a relatively loose policy framework, the [nuclear reactor decommissioning] programmes do not benefit from a comprehensive needs assessment, prioritisation, the setting of specific objectives and results to be achieved. Responsibilities are diffused, in particular with regard to monitoring and the achievement of programme objectives as a whole."

The funds available for decommissioning, which included 2.85 billion euro combined for the three countries, would prove insufficient to complete decommissioning, it added.

Bulgaria's sole nuclear power plant Kozloduy remained with just two operational reactors of 1,000 MW each after the government closed down four units of 440 MW each to address nuclear safety concerns of the European Union prior to the country's accession to the bloc. Bulgaria joined the EU in 2007.

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