Bulgaria begins construction of new nuclear plant

SOFIA, BULGARIA - Bulgarian Prime Minister Sergey Stanishev has attended a ceremony to launch construction of the country's second nuclear power station.

The Belene plant on the Danube River will compensate for the closure of two units at the existing Kozlodui plant. State-owned NEK power utility says Belene's two 1000-megawatt reactors will be operational by 2014.

Russia's Atomstroyexport will be the main contractor, using France's Areva and Germany's Siemens as primary subcontractors.

NEK will retain control of Belene's operations with at least a 51 percent stake, while Bulgaria has already shortlisted Germany's RWE Power and Electrabel SA of Belgium as strategic investors.



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