Belene, Pleven, Bulgaria
Number & type of Reactors
2 X VVER-320, 1000 MgW
Net Electric Power as % in 92 of national total
Major population Centers in a 150 km radius and
total estimated population of 150 km r. region
8 million, including Bucharest and Varna
Date of commercial operation start up
or (if unfinished) date of construction start.
Under construction; construction was stopped in 1990 and 1995 due to mass public protest
NEK - builder
The Bulgarian Parliament is trying to push through the restart of construction of Belene as this Fingerbook goes to press (Feb 96)! The construction of Belene was stopped after a popular protest led by the independent environmental movement in 1986. The Bulgarian Academy of Sciences produced a five part independent analysis of Belene examining 1) national energy balance 2) technical considerations 3) seismic issues 4) environmental effect and 5) the socio-economic impact. All five sections independently concluded that the plant was not needed or was the wrong choice. The government attempted to stop the distribution of this study, which was then published in book form. Only 50% of the first unit is complete after spending US$1.2 billion. Belene is oversized for the national grid producing 25% of the summer demand. Bulgaria has the lowest electricity prices in Eastern Europe, but it is still impossible for many people to pay for electricty and heat.