Canada to finish Belene?

3 June 2002

Solomon Pasi, Bulgaria's foreign minister, said that AECL and SNC-Lavalin, both of Canada, have expressed interest in plans for the construction of a nuclear power station at Belene. No decision has yet been taken, but the governments of Bulgaria and Canada are shortly to begin discussing an agreement on cooperation in the nuclear power industry.

Construction on Belene began in 1981, but came to a halt in 1990. Some $1.2 billion had been spent between 1981 and 1990.

The EU has been pressing Sofia to decommission the oldest four reactors at Kozloduy, and the Bulgarian government finally agreed to this in late 1999 as a precondition for beginning EU accession talks. However, officials said this does not mean that Bulgaria is abandoning nuclear power.

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