The Bulgarian government announced on Friday that it will launch the technical preparations required to reopen one of the two reactors at the Kozlodui nuclear plant, but still expects an answer from Brussels officials. The reactor was shut in 2006, as part of the EU accession negotiations, but the terms of the agreement allow Bulgaria to reopen in case of energy crisis.

Bulgarian Prime Minister Sergey Stanishev declared that the preparations take at least 45 days and that such a step would not be taken without approval from the European Commission.

Being dependant on Russian natural gas for 92% of the energy production, Bulgaria was severely affected by the recent gas delivery crisis.

Bulgarian president Gheorghi Parvanov also declared that a popular referendum on the opening of the third and fourth reactor at the Kozlodui plant.