A Chinese expert delegation visited the nuclear power plant site near Belene to acquaint with the measures of storing the equipment and newly built infrastructure supplied by the “Atomstroyexport” (ASE).

In July Beijing expressed a desire to participate in the project as long as it was implemented on a market basis. The visit is a part of the signed “Memorandum of Understanding on the peaceful use of nuclear power”. The document aims at strengthening the partnership and promoting the exchange of information between Bulgaria and China. “Belene” NPP is only one of the possible projects in this area. By signing this agreement, both sides expressed positive attitudes on co-operation in this area.

There are also representatives of state-owned nuclear corporations in the Chinese delegation.

At present, the site of the plant covers 2500 decares and the necessary working premises for the operation of “Belene” are built. It also has the necessary infrastructure – roads, train line, port and concrete node. The reactor compartment and turbine hall remains to be built.

The nuclear installation was conceived as early as the 1980s, but its implementation was frozen in 1990. The attempts to continue the project failed and in 2012 the project was suspended by a decision of the Parliament.

However, the restarting of “Belene” NPP project has many questions on the regulatory procedures, as well as Beijing’s desire for some kind of State guarantee for its resumption, although the government continues to claim that such guarantee will not be given.

The renaissance of nuclear energy in Bulgaria can happen at a time when the fastest growing economies in the world – China and India, are rapidly building nuclear power stations.

Finland also is building a new generation nuclear plant and plans a further 2 NPPs over the next 10 years. Most countries with nuclear capacity rethink their attitude towards nuclear energy due to the new tendency of global energy markets, notably by modernising the old ones and raising their capacity.