Protocol form informative meeting between representatives of the Bulgarian Atomic Forum Association (BULATOM) and Members of the European Parliament 19/09/2023 – European Parliament, Brussels
A meeting between representatives of the Bulgarian Atomic Forum Association (BULATOM) and Members of the European Parliament took place on the 19th of September 2023 at the premises of the Europa Parliament.
BULATOM was represented by Mr. Bogomil Manchev (Chairman of the Management Board), Mr. Petar Manchev (Chief Financial Officer) and Mr. Stanisalv Georgiev (Executive Secretary). The meeting was attended jointly by Bulgarian Members of the Europa Parliament and the executive board of the Informal Group for Support of Nuclear Energy in the European Parliament. Several diplomats from the National Permanent Representations of the pro-nuclear EU Member States were also present during the meeting. Members of NuclearEurope, the Brussels-based trade association for the nuclear energy industry in Europe also took part and gave a brief overview of the state of play of the technology across the EU as well as presented their work.
Mr. Petar Manchev presented the position of BULATOM on the necessity of providing favourable conditions for the long-term sustainable development of the Bulgarian nuclear energy sector. He expressed the position that for the past 40 years, the Kozloduy Nuclear Power Plant has been providing more than a third of the country’s total electricity generation in a reliable and highly efficient way, without affecting the climate and the environment. BULATOM believes that the key role of the nuclear energy in Bulgaria has to be preserved in order to ensure the energy security and sovereignty of energy supply of the country. BULATOM welcomes the current plans for the development of the Bulgarian electricity generation sector that foresee a doubling of the share of the electricity produced by nuclear power plants in the period up to 2040. This is why Bulgaria needs to speed up the construction of new reactors on the two certified sites in Kozloduy and Belene.
BULATOM expressed the need for more targeted national policy measures in order to secure the long-term supply of reliable, low-carbon, baseload electricity at predictable cost. Mr. Manchev identified the main areas that have to be improved as the following:
- Synchronising all relevant national energy policies and long-term strategies in order to include the management of the nuclear fuel cycle and radioactive waste.
- Development of the national infrastructure (including administrative, regulatory, and engineering capacity) toward implementation of the incoming fourth generation nuclear technologies, including creating favourable conditions for the deployment of small modular reactors.
- Forming a strong national position that should be presented by the national institutions participating in the forthcoming discussions at the EU bodies on the future conditions for the development of nuclear energy in the European Union.
- Rapid work on the development of 2 units new at Kozloduy Site 2 and 2 new units at Belene Site.
Several Members of the European Parliament also took the floor to express their views on the development of nuclear energy.
- Mr. Alexander Yordanov (EPP – BG) stressed on the fact that we have to develop this technology in Bulgaria but we should stick to reliable suppliers and avoid potential connections with countries that do not share our values.
- Mr. Angel Dzhambazki (ECR – BG) expressed his opinion that Bulgaria should stay away from geopolitics when it comes to projects like these because this is precisely the reason why we are still not able to proceed with the construction of a new Nuclear Power Plant.
- Mr. Andrey Kovatchev (EPP – BG) shared his opposition to the idea of excluding geopolitics from the final decision but stressed that we will have to build new power generation capacities in the coming years if we want to remain competitive in the region.
- Mr. Franc Bogovic (EPP- SLO) presented his work as a rapporteur on the upcoming own initiative report of the European Parliament on Small Modular Reactors and expressed the idea that they are the way forward for the industry.
All of the parties present at the meeting agreed that nuclear energy will be crucial for the success of the green transition in Europe and that Bulgaria should create a sound legal and political support framework for the exertion of its existing nuclear facilities as well as the construction of additional reactors in the future.
List of participants
Members of the European Parliament
- Andrey Kovatchev
- Alexander Yordanov
- Angel Dzhambazki
- Petar Vitanov
- Franc Bogovič (SLO – Vice-chair of the nuclear support group)
- Marian-Jean MARINESCU (ROM – Chair of the sky and space intergroup)
- Slavi Georgiev (assistant – Andrey Slabakov)
- Angel Filipov (assistant – Asim Ademov)
- Kalin Zahariev (assistant – Andrey Novakov)
- Antoaneta Krastanova (assistant – Alexander Yordanov)
- Nora Kartelova (assistant – Ilhan Kyuchyuk)
- Ventzislava Trencheva (assistant – Iskra Mihaylova)
- Anna Asenova (assistant to Emil Radev)
- Saara Anttinen (assistant – Eero Heinäluoma – FIN S&D)
- Antoine Scheider (assistant – Christophe Grudler – Chair of the nuclear support group – FRA)
Nuclear attachés from national Permanent Representations to the EU
- Mrs Katalin Molnár (HUN – Nuclear Attaché)
- Félix Moldován (HUN – Energy and nuclear Attaché)
- Philippe MONTARNAL (FRA – Advisor to the nuclear division)
- Lavinia Sandra RIZEA (ROM – Atomic Energy attaché)
- Andrei Goicea – Policy Director
- Quentin Heilmann – Legal Advisor
- Pascale Verheust – Director General, European Energy Forum
- Jeanne Herve – EU Affairs at EDF
- Battiste Murgia – EU Affairs Officer at Orano