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Technical design approval

According to the Eight National Report on Fulfillment of the Obligations of the Convention on Nuclear Safety from 2019, all acts issued and entered into force in connection with the implementation of the licensing process retain their legal effect and the licensee - the National Electric Company (NEK), can continue drawing rights from them. 

Examples of these acts are the order for site approval, and the design permit issued by the Nuclear Regulatory Agency (NRA). The next stage of the licensing procedure - issuance of an order for the technical design (TD) approval, has not been officially finalized yet, although a large scope of work has already been completed relating to this phase.

The report notes that since 2012 several amendments have been made to the Bulgarian nuclear legislation. For instance, amendments were made and adopted to the Act on the Safe Use of Nuclear Energy, while a new Regulation on Ensuring the Safety of Nuclear Power Plants and a new Regulation on Radiation Protection have been issued. 

These reflect the stricter safety requirements in the wake of the Fukushima accident provided in the IAEA standards; the directives approved based on the Euroatom Treaty; and the documents of the Western European Nuclear Regulators Association. 

In accordance with the position presented in the report, the NRA will continue its activities on the approval of the TD for Belene NPP, once after NEK has demonstrated that the TD and the Interim Safety Analysis Report (ISAR) are compliant with the normative documents issued since 2012. 

The report states that it is also necessary for NEK to present an action plan to address the recommendations and comments ensuing from the stress tests performed on the Belene NPP technical design and from the IAEA mission reviewing the results from stress tests. 

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