Dr. Petar Kardjilov, a qualified expert at NTW
The lack of transparency in Bulgarian nuclear power industry has remained constant since the Chernobyl disaster. In Bulgaria there was no official announcement until the third day of the catastrophe of Lenin NPP reactor 4 and the state media were silent. When the government finally communicated news of the accident is was presented as limited and not particularly dangerous. Emphasis was placed on the fact that there was absolutely no danger to Bulgaria, although the radioactive cloud reached the country within a few days. The situation has not changed much since the totalitarian era.
The 2019 media freedom ranking of Reporters without Borders Bulgaria for the second consecutive year remains at a terrifying 111th place – last place in the European Union and the Balkans. Key obstacles for journalists are an inefficient justice system and corruption. One of the most prominent indications of this situation is the manner of informing the public and considering issues in the field of nuclear energy. Government and opposition politicians compete with one another each week in in the televised promotion of Bulgarian nuclear power plant construction needs (with old Russian reactors and in the seismic area of the Vrancha fault) in the Belene district on the Danube. Yet information about the problems, risks and incidents that have occurred at the existing Kozloduy NPP barely break through in the most influential media and are factually complete and correct in only a few independent Internet news media. The last incident in Unit 6 of Kozloduy NPP on Wednesday 3rd July was yet another case of concealing information in this area.