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Since the March nuclear tragedy in Japan, many countries have been reassessing their commitments to nuclear energy, a prospect that fills U.S. and Russian companies with concerns, as they are the world’s two leading producers of nuclear power plants for export.
Bulgaria, a former Soviet client state now both a member of the European Community and NATO, is apparently having second thoughts about Russia’s Atomstroyexport, a subsidiary of Rosatom, continuing proceeding with the construction of two 1,000 megawatt nuclear reactors at Belene.
Novinite news agency reported that Rosatom CEO Sergei Kirienko stated, "Rosatom has not received Bulgaria's proposal for freezing talks on Belene,", a charge strongly refuted by Bulgarian Economy and Energy Minister Traicho Traikov, who said that Bulgaria more than a week ago had informed Rosatom of its decision to freeze proceeding with the Belene nuclear project for another three months, in order to further evaluate the project.
Traikov told reporters, "They (the Russians) did not answer the question whether it is true that they have started to produce equipment that has not passed a quality check, nor did they respond to our request for breaking the price or to our request to freeze the project.
We need additional information about the cost of the project, because what we have received so far from the Russian side has not been satisfactory."
By. Charles Kennedy, Deputy Editor OilPrice.com
Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com