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Power Project Under Threat

Bulgaria's government will use its majority in parliament to cancel a Russian power plant project despite citizen approval of a referendum backing its construction.

Although 61 percent of voters in the referendum supported a plan to build a plant at Belene, on the Danube River, official data released Tuesday showed that turnout was 20.2 percent, too low to make the result binding.

Because turnout scraped over the 20 percent threshold and more than half of those voted in favor, the issue now returns to parliament for a final decision.

The $12.5 billion plant was expected to be built by Atomstroiexport and financed by Rosatom. In March 2012, Bulgaria stopped the project to allay concerns that the Kremlin would gain control of the country's nuclear future.

(Reuters)

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