SOFIA – The Bulgarian parliament voted on Thursday in favor of reactivating plans to build a second nuclear power plant.
A total of 172 lawmakers voted in favor, with 14 parliamentarians against, in the chamber which is controlled by the governing populist-conservative GERB party.
The government intends to build the Russian-designed nuclear reactor, in the town of Belene (North Bulgaria) on the banks of the River Danube, near its fluvial border with Romania.
In the event the project is completed, it would become the country’s second nuclear power plant, after Kozloduy, in operation since 1970, which currently has two remaining, more recent, pressurized water reactors built between 1987-1991.
In March 2012 the Belene nuclear project was mothballed in another parliamentary decision taken under GERB Prime Minister, Boyko Borisov.
According to the vote, the Bulgarian Ministry of Energy now has until October to seek a strategic partner to build the plant.
The Socialist opposition, with closer ties to Russia, has always been in favor of the Belene project, originally launched in 2001 by then PM Simeon of Bulgaria.