New Projects, Reactors

Bulgarians back nuclear build, but low turnout sends issue to parliament

In the country’s first referendum since the fall of communism, 60 percent of Bulgarians voted in favor building a nuclear plant Jan. 27, but turnout of just over 20 percent means the question will be sent to parliament for further consideration, Reuters reports.

The vote tally is seen as a rebuke of Prime Minister Boiko Borisov, who had abandoned the multimillion dollar project to build a 2,000 MW nuclear plant at Belene on the Danube River. Borisov’s GERB party holds a working majority in parliament, where the PM has said the nuclear project will be rejected once again.

The E.U. and U.S. oppose the project, fearing it would lead to deepened ties between Sofia and Moscow – Russia’s Atomstroyexport had been set to build the nuclear plant and, after Borisov balked at the price of construction, Moscow offered to finance the project.

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