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HOME > HISTORY > 2002 - 2012 > DESIGN

In May and June 2007, NEK received permits from the NRA for the design of nuclear facilities, respectively for Units 1 and 2 of the Belene NPP, and the process of designing 2 power units at the Belene site started.

NEK's application for approval of the project documentation is from April 2008 and together with it begins the transmission of the individual packages of the technical design (TD), including the Interim Safety Analysis Report (ISAR) and the Probabilistic Safety Analysis (PSA) for review and approval by the NRA:

  • The international assessment is assigned to RISKAUDIT IRSN / GRS International (International Research Group in the Field of Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety) with two main tasks: IAEA expertise and additional research and verification calculations on selected safety aspects.

  • The evaluation of selected project solutions is assigned to the Bulgarian engineering company Enproconsult Ltd. 10 topics were selected in order to verify problem areas in the ISAR and especially the evolutional design solutions;

  • An evaluation of the PSA has been organized within a separate project managed by the IAEA.

In September 2009, all evaluations of the initial version of the technical design of the new NPP were completed, including the ISAR and PSA. An IAEA mission was also conducted to review the PSA of Belene NPP.

Until the end of 2009, a number of meetings were organized between NEK, its consultants and Atomstroyexport in order to discuss and resolve the set comments and to achieve agreed positions on all of them. The final harmonized version 1 of the project documentation (TD, ISAR and PSA) was adopted and approved by NEK in January 2010.

At the end of April 2010, version 2 of the project documentation was issued, which includes the amendments made to version 1 and the reflection of the remarks of the NRA and the independent Bulgarian and international expertise performed in its assistance.

In May 2011, the NRA required NEK to perform “stress tests” of the Belene NPP project, even though this project was in the process of licensing and did not formally fall into the category of NPPs for which a safety reassessment as per stress test methodology for the conditions of extreme natural phenomena that could lead to severe accidents is required. The report on the performed analyzes was presented to the NRA in October 2011.

An IAEA expert mission was conducted in December 2011 to assess the compliance of the technical design with the standards of the International Agency and the lessons learned from the Fukushima accident. As a result of the mission, suggestions were made for future improvements in the project during the process of its implementation.

In the period 2011-2012, the results from the expert assessments of the technical design and the ISAR of Belene NPP performed by the NRA consultants were analyzed by the NRA in order to assess the compliance of the prepared technical design with the requirements of the NRA.

As of March 2012, the process of reviewing the prepared design documentation for construction of Belene NPP has been completed and a report has been prepared to the NRA Chairman, in which the NRA experts give a positive assessment of the adopted design solutions and their justification.

Until the Decision of March 2012, by which the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Bulgaria revoked its decision to build a nuclear power plant on the Belene site, the order for approval of the project by the NRA Chairman has not been issued.

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