Belene begins

24 September 2008

Bulgarian prime minister Sergei Stanishev has dug the first sod on 3 September to launch the construction of the country’s second nuclear power plant at Belene. The aim is to see the €4 billion 2000MWe plant operational by 2014.

The main contractor is Russia’s Atomstroyexport, working with France’s Areva and Germany’s Siemens as subcontractors. Bulgaria wants the plant to export power to neighbouring countries, after replacing supplies lost by the enforced shutdown of reactors at Kozloduy.

The go-ahead for the Belene nuclear plant was originally given in 1981 and construction of the first two units commenced in 1987. In 1990, the Bulgarian government decided to suspend the project execution due to financial difficulties.

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