European Parliament backs 300 million euro for Bulgaria's Kozloduy

European Parliament backs 300 million euro for Bulgaria's Kozloduy

In a May 20 2010 vote, the European Parliament supported a European Commission proposal to prolong its financial support for the decommissioning of Bulgaria's Kozloduy nuclear power station until the end of 2013, but MEPs also called for stricter financial controls and more investment in energy efficiency.The 300 million euro in EU funds will be for site cleaning and safe treatment of radioactive waste.During its negotiations to join the European Union, Bulgaria agreed to the early closure of Units 1-4 of the Kozloduy nuclear power plant and the EU agreed to provide financial assistance up to 2009 for the decommissioning.Since the process is not yet complete, the European Commission drafted a regulation enabling the programme to continue at least until the current multi-annual EU budget ends in 2013.  The European Parliament is being consulted on this regulation.Funding the alternatives to reduce carbon footprintAccording to a European Parliament media statement, MEPs would like a clear commitment that, of the proposed total sum of 300 million euro for the Kozloduy programme in the next three years, 180 million euro should be spent on decommissioning and 120 million euro on energy saving measures.MEPs want the regulation to include a detailed breakdown of the programme's individual projects, such as technical assistance, salaries for employed experts, construction of the radioactive waste disposal facility, and treatment of dismantled waste.The early closure of Kozloduy has already led to significant additional greenhouse gas emissions, so even though the programme's primary goal remains decommissioning, it must also contribute to modernisation of energy production, including renewable energy, new sustainable jobs and industries, MEP said.Stricter auditing, detailed reportingThe programme will be monitored by the European Commission and may be audited, either by the Commission or outside qualified auditors, at any time during the programme.However, MEPs also want the European Parliament and the Court of Auditors to have the same rights of access to the beneficiary's offices and want EU anti-fraud office Olaf to be able to carry out on-the-spot checks, the media statement said.The European Parliament believes that the ex-post evaluation of the project must contain a "complete and precise" budget of the costs for decommissioning a nuclear power plant, including an analysis of the economic, social and environmental costs, the statement said.

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