Belene Nuclear Power Plant In Bulgaria – Finally The End?

After 23 years of construction the plan to build a nuclear power plant in the sleepy Bulgarian town of Belene finally seems to have been abandoned after government officials last week announced that work will not continue.

Stop sign at Belene near the construction site of the nuclear power plant
Stop sign at Belene near the construction site of the nuclear power plant (

(Image Copyright Johann Brandstätter/JB Photography)

After a statement to the exact opposite by very much the same Bulgarian government officials last summer, my wife and I travelled the 230 kilometers from the capital Sofia to the shores of the Danube to see ourselves how far the construction had progressed.

Last June most of the construction site was overgrown with weed, the security fence and the signs were corroded and construction work only seemed to go on around the then half-finished reactor containment building. But the most symbolic shot during our visit I took right before we entered the town: the stop sign with “Belene” in the background.

By the way, knowing Bulgarian politics and politicians it would not surprise me when after some time the project of building a nuclear power plant at Belene would be revived. After all, wasn’t it some deputy minister who announced that Belene will not be finished? So what’s easier for the PM than to say later “I didn’t approve anything of that!!!”

Unlikely? Happens every day in this country, believe me!

More images from the construction site of the Belene nuclear power plant can be found on my website (

Canon EOS 50D & Canon EF 4/70-200mm L USM; f/4.0; 1/3200; ISO 250