4 Apr (NucNet): A five-member panel of Bulgaria’s supreme administrative court has rejected appeals against the environmental impact assessment for the construction of a new nuclear power plant at the Kozloduy site in the north of the country.
The decision reverses a ruling of 18 May 2018 by a three-member panel which revoked the assessment because of procedural discrepancies. The case was brought in 2015 by an anti-nuclear coalition and a number of private citizens.
According to the latest ruling, which is final under Bulgarian law, the approval of the environmental impact assessment was made in line with the law, and was preceded by consultations with 38 institutions and non-governmental organisations, including cross-border consultations.
An energy plan released by the government earlier this year said Bulgaria would maintain the role of nuclear power in its energy mix by 2030 with the eventual construction of new units at the Belene site, also in the north of the country about 160 km east of Kozloduy.
The plan made no mention of new reactors for Kozloduy, but reports in the Bulgarian media have said a new unit there has not been ruled out and basic procedural preparations are continuing.
Bulgarian state energy company NEK announced last month the start of an investor selection procedure for a project to build two new units at Belene.
Bulgaria has two commercial reactors in operation, both at Kozloduy. According to the International Atomic Energy Agency they provided about 34.6% of the country’s electricity in 2018.