ASE: Bulgaria's Belene NPP Project Passes Safety Stress-Test

Business » ENERGY | October 4, 2011, Tuesday // 18:29
Bulgaria: ASE: Bulgaria's Belene NPP Project Passes Safety Stress-Test The site of NPP Belene in Northern Bulgaria. The project started as early as 1981, but since then little has been done. Photo by BGNES.

The project for Bulgaria's second nuclear power plant in Belene has met the international "stress-test" safety requirements, announced Russian state company Atomstroyexport, which is supposed to construct the Belene NPP.

"The multilateral analysis and international expert evaluations prove that the Belene NPP project provides for the highest safety level. This safety level meets all international standards and refers to the new generation of nuclear reactors 3+," Atomstroyexport, a subsidiary of Russian state corporation Rosatom, said in a statement to the Bulgarian media Tuesday.

The report for the stress-test of the Belene NPP project has been drafted by Atomstroyexport, Bulgaria's National Electric Company NEK, and international consultancy Worley Parsons.

It has focused on the technical project for the 2000 MW plant, and the Safety Probability Risk Analysis with respect to endurance to natural disasters.

The stress-test report has used the criteria of the Western European Nuclear Regulators' Association. It has analyzed the potential consequences of earthquakes, floods, extreme climate factors as well as measures for crisis management.

The effects of a failure of the Belene NPP security systems in the event of calamities such as power loss and severe damages have also been researched, ASE said.

"The risk analysis has confirmed the reliability of the project solutions for the Belene NPP," the Russian company said.

The "stress-test" report on the Belene NPP project has been presented to the Bulgarian Nuclear Regulation Agency.

The mission of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) for the discussion of the additional assessment report for the safety of the Belene plant is to arrive to Bulgarian on December 12, 2011.

Nuclear stress-tests have been initiated after the devastating earthquake on March 11, 2011, damaged badly Japan's Fukushima NPP leading to radiation leaks.

Regardless of its meeting of safety standards, the fate of the Bulgarian Belene NPP project continues to remain unclear because of the continued haggling between Bulgaria and Russia for its cost, among other disputes.

Bulgaria and Russia have just reached an agreement to extend the negotiations over Belene nuclear project by another six months as of the beginning of October amidst continuing haggling over its price and feasibility. 

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Tags: Belene NPP, Nuclear Power Plant, nuclear reactor, earthquakes, floods, Atomstroyexport, NEK, WorleyParsons, Worley Parsons, stress-test, stress tests, nuclear energy, IAEA, International Atomic Energy Agency, Nuclear Regulation Agency
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