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Conclusions of international experts


Another major expert finding is that the Belene NPP design includes certain inherent safety features to prevent severe accidents and to mitigate their consequences. 

The "stress tests" report conclusively demonstrates that the Belene design is reliable in terms of prevention and mitigation of severe accidents.

With regard to the assessment of the seismicity of the site, the mission notes that:

  • The last IAEA mission in 1997 to assess the Belene NPP site rejected the assumption of a fault along the Danube river.

  • After this mission, a probabilistic assessment of the seismic hazard of the site was performed using the most modern methods. The results of this assessment are compatible with the seismic hazard assessment on the territory of Bulgaria.

  • An important result of the study is that the annual probability of exceeding the beyond design basis earthquake (which is 40% higher than the design level) is of the order of 10 to minus 5 per year probability (i.e. once per 100,000 years).


With regard to the seismic resilience of the project, the IAEA mission found that due to the basic design requirement for the plant to be safe in case of a beyond design basis earthquake, which exceeds the project earthquake by 40%, Belene NPP has significant internal resilience to earthquakes.

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