Monday

25th Jun 2018

Bulgaria's nuclear plea set to be rejected

Bulgaria's plea to restart two reactors at the Kozloduy nuclear power plant has suffered a blow, with the European Commission appearing to reject the idea despite growing pressure from the Balkans in support of Sofia.

On Monday (13 March), four Balkan countries - Serbia, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Albania and Croatia - adopted a declaration, asking the EU to allow Bulgaria to resume electricity production and warning of grim consequences if the two reactors were not reopened.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... our join as a group

"We are concerned about the current electricity supply problems of the region, which could result in higher economic and political instability," the common statement, cited by the BBC, said. The statement also claimed that electricity prices had jumped 80-100% when compared with last year.

Prior to the shut-down in 2006, Bulgaria exported 7.8 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity, the amount that roughly equals to what the two nuclear reactors in Kozloduy produced.

Brussels has not yet considered the Balkan proposal, but European Commission spokesperson Ferran Tarradellas told the BBC that conditions had not changed.

"Bulgaria has undertaken a commitment to close units three and four in Kozloduy as part of the accession treaty," Mr Tarradellas said, adding the EU had already poured hundreds of millions of euros in assistance to Bulgaria to soften the blow of the closure.

The 'no' sign was further reinforced by the chief European Commission representative in Bulgaria, Michael Humphreys, who told the BBC that "any request to change that decision would be unacceptable, because it would entail a renegotiation of the accession treaty, a unanimous consent of the 27 member state governments and ratification by 27 parliaments".

The two reactors at the Kozloduy nuclear site - considered unsafe by the EU - were closed by Sofia on 1 January, leaving just two out of the six units there still in action. Another two Soviet-era reactors were closed in 2003.

A similar battle has been under way between the Brussels executive body, Slovakia and Lithuania – both forced to shut down Soviet-era nuclear reactors as part of their accession commitments.

Last month, Lithuanian prime minister Gediminas Kirkilas confirmed Vilnius has started technical-level talks with the EU on extending the 2009 shut-down deadline for a "Chernobyl-type" nuclear reactor at its Ignalina power plant in the east of the country.

The move comes despite the fact that Vilnius has already received €900 million in EU aid for the process of decommissioning the facility, which was built in the 1980s and which continues to supply electricity to all three Baltic states.

Slovakia closed part of its nuclear power plant at Jaslovske Bohunice at the end of 2006, with another reactor due to be shut down by December 2008. Bratislava's previous efforts to avoid the deadlines were firmly rejected by Brussels, which argued that it was not possible to open the accession treaty.

Opinion

Progressive CAP alternative only hope for sustainability

We see the new CAP as spelling the death of rural communities, the acceleration of the rural exodus, the consolidation of big agribusinesses, jeopardising public health standards and turning binding climate change targets into optional goals for member states.

EU leaders still in search of migration plan

Select EU leaders met amid rising tension over migration, with Italy's PM, who had threatened to boycott the summit, putting forward a new plans to stop boats from leaving Libya.

Opinion

Europe's tech race - trying to keep pace with US and China

There is not a single European company among the world's top 10 computer hardware companies. Within the EU, Germany and Sweden rank among world leaders, but Bulgaria and Slovakia among the worst-performing developed nations.

Greece and creditors proclaim 'end of crisis'

After late-night talks, the Eurogroup agreed on a €15bn disbursement and debt relief measures for Greece, while setting out a tight monitoring when the bailout ends in August.

News in Brief

  1. Venice Commission: Hungary should repeal NGO law
  2. Trump threatens to slap 20 percent tariff on EU cars
  3. EU closes deficit procedure against France
  4. Romania's ruling party leader gets jail sentence
  5. EU states defer individual decisions on asylum reforms
  6. Commission opens case on Qatar gas flow
  7. EU adopts posted workers directive
  8. EU leaders to call for 'coordinated plan' on AI

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. UNESDAThe European Soft Drinks Industry Supports over 1.7 Million Jobs
  2. Mission of China to the EUJointly Building Belt and Road Initiative Leads to a Better Future for All
  3. Macedonian Human Rights MovementMHRMI Launches Lawsuits Against Individuals and Countries Involved in Changing Macedonia's Name
  4. IPHRCivil society asks PACE to appoint Rapporteur to probe issue of political prisoners in Azerbaijan
  5. ACCASocial Mobility – How Can We Increase Opportunities Through Training and Education?
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersEnergy Solutions for a Greener Tomorrow
  7. UNICEFWhat Kind of Europe Do Children Want? Unicef & Eurochild Launch Survey on the Europe Kids Want
  8. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Countries Take a Stand for Climate-Smart Energy Solutions
  9. Mission of China to the EUChina: Work Together for a Better Globalisation
  10. Nordic Council of MinistersNordics Could Be First Carbon-Negative Region in World
  11. European Federation of Allergy and AirwaysLife Is Possible for Patients with Severe Asthma
  12. PKEE - Polish Energy AssociationCommon-Sense Approach Needed for EU Energy Reform

Latest News

  1. Progressive CAP alternative only hope for sustainability
  2. Ponytailed green MEP joins 'the other side of the table'
  3. EU leaders still in search of migration plan
  4. Migration row at centre of EU summit This Week
  5. Merkel's woes cast shadow on EU's future
  6. Europe's tech race - trying to keep pace with US and China
  7. Merkel and Juncker's mini-summit risks fiasco
  8. Greece and creditors proclaim 'end of crisis'

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us