As the gas supply from Russia to the country was shut off completely during the night of 5-6 January (EurActiv 06/01/09), Bulgarian President Georgi Parvanov yesterday (6 January) declared that according to Article 36 of the country's accession treaty, the decommissioned reactors could be reactivated in crisis situations such as the present one.
Without specifically mentioning Kozloduy NPP, the article reads that for a period of three years after accession (Bulgaria joined in January 2007), if "difficulties arise which are serious and liable to persist in any sector of the economy or which could bring about serious deterioration in the economic situation of a given area, Bulgaria […] may apply for authorisation to take protective measures in order to rectify the situation and adjust the sector concerned to the economy of the internal market".
A team of experts is already working at Kozloduy NPP amid preparations to restart the reactors, according to Bulgarian press reports. Ivan Genov, director of Kozloduy NPP, said it would take a month to restart unit four, which was shut down on the eve of Bulgaria's accession on 31 December 2006.
According to the country's constitution, the Bulgarian president alone cannot decide on issues such as restarting Kozloduy's closed units. Prime Minister Sergey Stanishev has so far maintained his silence over the issue.
European Commission spokesperson Ferran Tarradellas said yesterday that he would not comment on the reopening of Kozloduy's units as long as the EU executive had not received an official request to do so from Bulgaria. He agreed that the situation in the country was "a crisis", but said the EU's gas coordination group was to meet on Friday to assess the impact of the crisis. Only after this meeting would decisions to address the country's problems be adopted, he explained.