Bulgarians gather to protest for nuclear power

Publish date: January 18, 2009

In a new twist on nuclear protests, a 10,000 strong procession gathered yesterday in Bulgaria’s capital of Sofia to protest for the reopening of the country’s Kozloduy Nuclear Power Plant’s reactor units No. 3 and 4, Bulgarian new agencies reported.

The event was organized by the Napred (“Forward”) Movement and supported by Bulgaria’s largest trade unions, the Confederation of Independent Trade Unions in Bulgaria (CITUB) and Podkrepa Labour Confederation, said Radio Bulgaria’s web site.

At the same time the pro-nuclear group gathered in front of the National Palace of Culture in Sofia, Sofia Echo’s web site reported, a protest against re-starting the reactors, led primarily by students, was held outside Bulgaria’s parliament building.

Yet, while activists from student and anti-nuclear groups went largely ignored by officials and media, the pro-nuclear protestors received a warm welcome from Bulgarian Prime Minister Sergei Stanishev.

Bulgarian television stations showed Stanishev receiving a delegation of the Napred protesters in his office, where he told them what the Government was doing to cope with the energy crisis, Sofia Echo reported.

Representatives of the Napred Movement told pro-nuclear demonstrators that the reactor units had to be reopened not only because of the economic crisis and the current gas supply shortage, but also because Bulgaria had been treated “unjustly badly.”