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Site selection

Site development


Additional studies

Site licensing

Site preparation


Site selection studies for a second NPP began in the early 1970s, taking into account plans to build four 1000MW power units and the possibility of expanding with two more units.

As a result of in-depth long-term research, 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.

The site with a total area of 2702 decares was handed over for development and construction of the plant to the former Ministry of Energy by Decision 197 from December 1981 of the Bureau of the Council of Ministers.

The preparation and utilization of the site was carried out in the period 1982-1987 in accordance with the prepared master plan, and the underground technological communications were done for six power units Project 1000MW / V-320.

A huge volume of construction activities have been performed in order to raise the elevation of the site, protect the foundations of the main buildings with slotted walls, reconstruction and construction of new external systems and communications, and arrangement of construction and installation bases.

After the cessation of active construction in 1991, the activities for monitoring and studying the site characteristics continued. Between 1992 and 2001 a number of studies and assessments have been carried out to confirm that the site's characteristics are in line with international requirements and with the standards of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), as well as to assess the possibilities for continuing the project taking into account modern safety requirements.

Pursuant to Decision № 853 of December 2002 of the Council of Ministers, which annulled the 1991 decision to suspend the construction of Belene NPP, all necessary steps were taken to license the Belene site in accordance with the amended legal framework and regulations.


In November 2004, following an environmental impact assessment procedure, the Minister of Environment and Water, with his decision on EIA № 18-8 / 2004, approved the implementation of the investment proposal for the construction of Belene NPP at the Belene site.


In the period 2004-2006, the necessary analyses were performed to confirm the compliance of the site characteristics with the current international requirements and the requirements of national regulations, as well as all necessary procedures under the Act on the Safe Use of Atomic Energy for the approval of the Belene site.


As one of the key factors for site selection, the seismic safety of the Belene site has been thoroughly studied. The results from the studies on the tectonic and the seismic conditions around the Belene NPP site show that it meets the requirements of the IAEA and the Bulgarian Regulation for Ensuring the Safety of Nuclear Power Plants, and is, therefore, fully appropriate for the construction of a nuclear power plant.

The Belene site was approved by Order № 22–512 of the Chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Agency from December 2006.

As part of the site preparation, dismantling of the existing structures was carried out until 2009. As a result of this, the site was cleared for the execution of the construction activities under the new design of the plant.

As a result of all activities for development of the site, the initial siting and other pre-activities, the preparation of the site for the actual start of the construction activities has been completed and by the end of 2012 the following availability of site was ensured:

  • Main construction site, intended for construction of 2 nuclear power units with a capacity of 1000 MW each;

  • External power supply of three 20kV power lines supplying the substation on the site and independent water supply with the required capacity;

  • Auxiliary construction base and facilities for supporting the main construction activities:

    • ​storage base, assembly base, construction base;

    • concrete plants and laboratories.

  • Ports, road and railways connections, site railway station, internal roads and railway communications;

  • Administrative buildings and residential complex for servicing and management of construction activities.

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