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Site selection


25 sites divided into three groups, were studied until 1979:

  • Along the Danube river: Dunavtsi, Dragash Voyvoda (Byala Voda), Belene, Vardim, Batin, Stulpishte, Ribarnika, Mechka, Shlakootvala, Aerodruma, Marten, Brashlyan, Nova Cherna, and Kozloduy - expansion;

  • Along the Black Sea: Shabla, Emona, Atia, Novoseltsi, Marinka (Chengene scaffolding), Lozenets, Varvara;

  • Inside the country: Kremikovtsi, Vidrare, Ledenik, Ivaylovgrad.


Exclusion factors were found in the course of the studies for some sites, which is why they were excluded from further comparison and consideration, for example:

  • The sites Brashlyan and Nova Cherna - due to being located in an area reserved for drinking water;

  • Stulpishte site - due to complicated foundation, large volume of planning works and the potential need for relocation of the village of Stulpishte;

  • The sites along the Danube River: Ribarnika, Mechka, Shlakootvala, Aerodruma and Marten fall within the 15 km zone of the large industrial center Ruse, with a population (at that time) of over 183,000 inhabitants, all of which stand on the state border with Romania from 1 to 1.5 km, which is why they were also not considered promising.


Eventually, 9 potential sites were selected - 4 on the Danube River, 4 on the Black Sea and one inside the country:

  • Dragash Voivoda  (Byala Voda), Belene, Vardim and Batin;

  • Emona, Novoseltsi, Marinka and Varvara;

  • Ivaylovgrad.


During the subsequent evaluation, the sites on the Black Sea coast were not approved by the competent authorities, including the Ministries of Defense and Tourism. In addition, these sites were in areas with increased seismic activity, their development would require a large amount of complex planning work and last but not least, the use of Black Sea water for technical water supply, including for cooling of safety related systems, at that moment was not favorable in terms of the intended technology.

Ivaylovgrad site is located 16 km from the border with Greece and is located near the Edirne earthquake zone, which was not well studied. In addition, the site was characterized by insufficient water resources, a large volume of engineering and preparatory work and was also not approved by the competent authorities.

Dragash Voivoda  (Byala Voda) site is close to the future energy hydro station of the Danube River Nikopol-Turnu Magurele and due to geological incompatibility has also been dropped from consideration.

According to the additional studies developed by Energoproekt in 1979 from the point of view of geology, seismic characteristics, engineering preparatory measures, connections to the grid system, sanitary-hygienic and radiation characteristics the most promising sites for construction of a second NPP were identified as Belene, Vardim and Batin sites located on the Danube river. (Click on one of the names to learn more)

In the period 1979-1981, a large volume of geological, hydrological and other studies were conducted for these three Danube river sites. The following final conclusions were made from the analyses of the obtained data:

  • In terms of spatial characteristics, the most favorable site is the Belene site, located 7.5 km from the border with Romania, while Batin and Vardim are 1.5 and 1.6 km away, respectively.

  • The geological structure of the three sites is similar. The alluvial deposits have a thickness of 15 - 20 meters, consisting of two horizons - upper clayey-sandy and lower gravelly-sandy. The main rock in the range of the sites is represented by thick-layer clay marls.

  • The sites fall in an area with the same seismicity. Belene site has more favorable seismic characteristics compared to Vardim and Batin because it falls on a huge block of the earth's crust, in which there are no active faults, while Batin and Vardim sites are close to the Gorno-Ablanovo fault zone.

  • In terms of circulation and technical water supply and organization for construction of hydraulic facilities, opportunities for organizing a sanitary protection zone and in terms of engineering development of the site, development of the master plan of the plant, construction of regional communications, the most suitable site is Belene.


The Belene site was approved for the construction of a second nuclear power plant in Bulgaria by Decree № 9 from March 1981 of the Council of Ministers.

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