Skip to main content

Taking the Nuclear Marbles and Going Home

VoteNoSo how did that vote in Bulgaria go? We mentioned a couple of weeks ago that Bulgaria had a referendum coming up on whether to continue to build more nuclear facilities.
So how did the vote go? Well, you can’t win ‘em all even when you, um, win ‘em all.
60.5 percent of Bulgarians who took part in yesterday’s national referendum voted in support of the development of nuclear energy. Some 6.9 million people had had the right to vote, out of which a mere 1.5 million voters went to the booths. According to the estimates of the Central Election Commission the activity was almost 22%.
Which to my mind means, nuclear energy won – by a lot. Even if 1.5 million qualifies as paltry, it’s still 1.5 million who cared enough about the issue to cast a vote. Everyone else could have voted and abdicated sharing their view by not doing so – insofar as the non-voters had any view at all. That’s how it should work, right? Well, no.
The rules of the election foiled it.
Constitutional rules mean that the referendum would only have been valid had turnout reached the same level as the last general election – around 60 per cent.
But even if it had attained that level, it’s uncertain how the government might have preceded. I’m going to guess that the referendum itself might have been rejected by people largely because it seemed a political play rather than a democratic exercise.
The referendum was forced by the opposition Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP) after the right-wing government of Prime Minister Boyko Borisov scrapped the construction of the 2000MWBelene NPP on the Danube last year.
This isn’t how this subject is arrayed politically in other EU countries. but there you go. Bottom line:
“In a nutshell: there was a lot of fuss but right now we are back at square one. The direction of further development of the Bulgarian nuclear program is still not clear.”
That comes from Tomasz Daborowski, an energy analyst at Warsaw’s Centre for Eastern Studies. I guess we’ll leave it there. You win some – and sometimes it doesn’t mean a thing.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Making Clouds for a Living

Donell Banks works at Southern Nuclear’s Plant Vogtle units 3 and 4 as a shift supervisor in Operations, but is in the process of transitioning to his newly appointed role as the daily work controls manager. He has been in the nuclear energy industry for about 11 years.

I love what I do because I have the unique opportunity to help shape the direction and influence the culture for the future of nuclear power in the United States. Every single day presents a new challenge, but I wouldn't have it any other way. As a shift supervisor, I was primarily responsible for managing the development of procedures and programs to support operation of the first new nuclear units in the United States in more than 30 years. As the daily work controls manager, I will be responsible for oversight of the execution and scheduling of daily work to ensure organizational readiness to operate the new units.

I envision a nuclear energy industry that leverages the technology of today to improve efficiency…

Nuclear: Energy for All Political Seasons

The electoral college will soon confirm a surprise election result, Donald Trump. However, in the electricity world, there are fewer surprises – physics and economics will continue to apply, and Republicans and Democrats are going to find a lot to like about nuclear energy over the next four years.

In a Trump administration, the carbon conversation is going to be less prominent. But the nuclear value proposition is still there. We bring steady jobs to rural areas, including in the Rust Belt, which put Donald Trump in office. Nuclear plants keep the surrounding communities vibrant.

We hold down electricity costs for the whole economy. We provide energy diversity, reducing the risk of disruption. We are a critical part of America’s industrial infrastructure, and the importance of infrastructure is something that President-Elect Trump has stressed.

One of our infrastructure challenges is natural gas pipelines, which have gotten more congested as extremely low gas prices have pulled m…

Innovation Fuels the Nuclear Legacy: Southern Nuclear Employees Share Their Stories

Blake Bolt and Sharimar Colon are excited about nuclear energy. Each works at Southern Nuclear Co. and sees firsthand how their ingenuity powers the nation’s largest supply of clean energy. For Powered by Our People, they shared their stories of advocacy, innovation in the workplace and efforts to promote efficiency. Their passion for nuclear energy casts a bright future for the industry.

Blake Bolt has worked in the nuclear industry for six years and is currently the work week manager at Hatch Nuclear Plant in Georgia. He takes pride in an industry he might one day pass on to his children.

What is your job and why do you enjoy doing it?
As a Work Week Manager at Plant Hatch, my primary responsibility is to ensure nuclear safety and manage the risk associated with work by planning, scheduling, preparing and executing work to maximize the availability and reliability of station equipment and systems. I love my job because it enables me to work directly with every department on the plant…