Comment & People

Bulgaria / Security Of Supply A Major Concern In Support For Nuclear

By Kamen Kraev
28 February 2023

Poll shows only 10% opposed to reactors
Security Of Supply A Major Concern In Support For Nuclear
The Kozloduy nuclear power station in Buklgaria. Courtesy Kozloduy NPP.
Most Bulgarians supports the development of nuclear energy in the country, with a leading concern being the security of energy supply, a poll has shown.

The poll, conducted for local energy media 3e-news, found that 28% of respondents strongly support nuclear power, while another 38% indicated they are inclined to “rather support” nuclear.

About 10% said they are opposed to nuclear power, while 24% said they do not hold a firm opinion on the matter.

According to the survey, 61% of respondents see nuclear power as a guarantee for Bulgaria’s energy security and 34% said nuclear secures competitive and affordable energy price levels.

The survey also found that 41% think nuclear power allows Bulgaria to maintain its role as a leading electricity exporter in its region.

The role of nuclear as a low-carbon and a baseload energy source was recognised by 19% of those who took part in the poll.

A majority (55%) chose safety as a main “technical” aspect of nuclear power, followed by its reliability (15%) and cost (15%).

The handling of radioactive waste (33%) and long build times (25%) are the leading issues related to nuclear power which have not been resolved, poll participants said.

In terms of new-build, 29% said they support the expansion of Bulgaria’s nuclear power capacities, 23% said they support the long-term operation and subsequent replacement of existing capacities, while 8% want the operation of existing plants until they reach retirement age, but are opposed to replacement.

Only 3% have declared opposition in principle to nuclear power, 20% said they would trust experts’ opinions on the matter, while another 17% had no opinion.

Bulgaria has two Russia-designed VVER-1000 PWR units in commercial operation at Kozloduy on the Danube River in the north of the country. Nuclear power generates about a third of the country’s electricity.

Sofia has unveiled plans to build two new reactor units at Kozloduy and possibly even a second two-unit nuclear power station at the Belene site, 150km further east.

No ownership or investment structure for these new-build plans has been detailed to date, but the recent poll showed most Bulgarians want the state to either be the sole investor or take a controlling share.

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