Parliamentary Debate on Future of Nuclear Energy in Bulgaria Fails

Parliamentary Debate on Future of Nuclear Energy in Bulgaria Fails

A scheduled debate on the future of Bulgaria's nuclear energy sector failed to take place after the MPs decided that the cancellation of a no-confidence vote against the government over its energy policy renders the discussion pointless.

On April 6, the Left-wing opposition Coalition for Bulgaria and nationalist Ataka filed a no-confidence motion, which was scheduled to be debated and voted at two extraordinary sittings set for April 23 and 24. The motion was signed by 39 MPs of the Left, eight of Ataka and independent MP Georgi Terziiski. A week later the eight MPs of Ataka withdrew their signatures from the motion and the vote was cancelled.

The decision not to hold a debate was adopted with 130 MPs voting in favour and 35 against, as one MP abstained, Parliament said in a statement published on its website on Monday.

After the MPs voted against the debate, prime minister Boiko Borissov urged the MPs to state their opinions "in substance" about the Belene N-plant project, the state-run Bulgarian News Agency (BTA) reported.  However, only MPs of the ruling party GERB and one MP of the Movement for Rights and Freedoms remained in the plenary chamber.

According to the feasibility study carried out by HSBC, in the best case scenario the Belene plant would have cost 10.35 billion euro, or over 22 billion levs, Borissov told parliamentary reporters, as quoted by BTA. He added that under the most favourable terms, the electricity generated by the plant would have cost some 75 euro per megawatt hour.

In late March Bulgaria decided to halt the construction of the 2,000-megawatt (MW) Belene nuclear plant, choosing instead to add a new 1,000 MW reactor to its existing nuclear power station in Kozloduy.

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