Cause and Effect in European Politics and Law

"For" or "Against" nuclear energy

Adelina Marini, May 28, 2009

The possibilities of nuclear energy will discuss the participants in the 4th meeting of the European forum for nuclear energy which starts today in Prague. The Forum has been charged with the task to develop a road map for the development of nuclear energy in the EU and for organising transparent and professional debates on the issue. Beside this in Prague other issues will be discussed like the possibilities for financing, technologies and new nuclear power stations as well as the risks which nuclear energy poses. It is expected that the meeting will attend prime ministers of member states, officials and representatives of the Commission.

For Bulgaria this forum is important because our country for some times insists the EU to change its attitude toward nuclear energy, especially some conservative countries like Austria. After the closure of 3rd and 4th blocks of "Kozlodui" nuclear power station because of Bulgaria's EU membership, Bulgaria lost its position as a leading exporter of electricity on the Balkans. There's still no unequivocal answer about whether it was necessary Bulgaria to close those blocks or not, neither whether they are safe or not. The point is that their closure lead to the decision Bulgaria to continue the construction of the second nuclear power station "Belene", which has been taken by the government of the prime minister Simeon Saxecobourggotta in 2002. This project is also covered by thick fog because no one is willing to say whether and at what price Russia will give Bulgaria a loan of 3.8 bn euro for the construction of the station.

It is also unknown what the profitableness of this project would be taking into account its price and the price of the electricity it is going to produce after begins to function. Still unclear is the question about nuclear fuel deliveries as well as the transportation of the worked out fuel.

All these questions should be given an answer by the government. At today's forum it is only expected further directions to be outlined toward moire transparency and more reasonable arguments "for" or "against" nuclear power in the EU against the background of growing energy uncertainty and expensive oil derivatives.