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Prepared by Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Richland, Washington
HIGHLIGHTS THIS MONTH
Novovoronezh Unit 3 Implements Symptom-Based Emergency Operating Instructions
While in Moscow in late February, a U.S. project manager received word from Anatoly Federov, Novovoronezh nuclear power plant (NPP) Operations Department, that the 29 symptom-based emergency operating instructions (EOIs) developed for Unit 3 were in place. The Novovoronezh plant thus became the first NPP in Russia to adopt and fully implement symptom-based EOIs.
The announcement marked completion of a seven-year effort during which U.S. specialists collaborated with and supported Novovoronezh plant efforts to replace its event-based emergency operating instructions with symptom-based instructions.
Event-based instructions require that reactor operators first determine the cause of an emergency--such as a leak in a steam generator tube. They then must follow procedures designed to correct that specific problem and contain its consequences. By comparison, the symptom-based instructions, developed in the United States after the 1979 accident at Three Mile Island NPP, enable control room operators to take action immediately to stabilize a reactor without first having to determine the cause of the problem. Symptom-based EOIs offer the advantages of simplicity and crucial time saved during an off-normal event.
Work on this EOI development effort began in 1991, when Novovoronezh was selected as the pilot site for safety improvements at plants in Russia with VVER-440/230 reactors. By the end of 1996, Novovoronezh staff had developed and implemented 22 of its 29 dual-column-formatted symptom-based EOIs. During 1997, Novovoronezh staff finished developing the remaining 7 EOIs and submitted them to Gidropress for technical basis analyses. The instructions successfully "passed" the analyses and, in early 1998, were approved by Gosatomnadzor, the Russian nuclear regulatory agency, for implementation. (Kent Faris, PNNL, 509-372-4068)
Chornobyl Showcases Recently Implemented EOIs. Lessons learned during the development and implementation of symptom-based EOIs for Chornobyl Unit 3 were shared at a late-March workshop held at the Slavutych Laboratory for International Research and Technology. The event was designed to showcase Chornobyl's newly implemented EOIs and encourage other plants to move forward with their own EOI development work. Participants included representatives from the RBMK plants at Leningrad and Smolensk in Russia and from the Ukrainian VVER NPPs. Staff members from several oversight organizations also attended, including Ukraine's Nuclear Regulatory Administration, Energoatom, ENTEK, the Kurchatov Institute, Rosenergoatom, and the WANO-Moscow Center.
During the workshop, specialists from U.S. contractor Ciel Consultants, Inc., and members of the Chornobyl EOI project team gave presentations on the advantages of symptom-based features and flowchart formatting of EOIs. Flowcharting using CANVAS software was demonstrated. Elements of the comprehensive Chornobyl EOI program also were discussed. A videotape of Chornobyl operators performing EOI training at the Smolensk full-scope simulator was shown, followed by a live EOI training demonstration using the new analytical simulator in Chornobyl Unit 3. Participants toured Chornobyl NPP to review EOI implementation activities and were given an opportunity to discuss EOI usage with three Chornobyl plant shift supervisors. The workshop concluded with a discussion of future activities needed to complete EOI implementation at the remaining RBMK reactors, led by Vyacheslav Vasilevsky of ENTEK. (Donnie Draper, PNNL, 509-372-4079)
Long-Awaited Construction License Issued to Zaporizhzhya. On March 20, Ukraine's Ministry of Environmental Protection and Nuclear Safety issued a construction license to Zaporizhzhya NPP for fabrication of elements important to safety for a dry spent fuel storage system. Specifically, the license permits the construction of ventilated concrete casks and multi-assembly sealed baskets needed for storage of spent fuel at the Zaporizhzhya site. The application for the license had been submitted to the Ministry in spring 1995. Its long-awaited issuance represents the first such license granted in Ukraine. Presumably, this will open the way for an operational license to be issued later this year and the loading of spent fuel into a dry storage cask. (Mike McKinnon, PNNL, 509-372-4198)
Training Course Implemented at Beloyarsk. The pilot training course on sodium systems maintenance was implemented during the week of March 3 at Beloyarsk nuclear power plant (NPP) . The course was developed by Beloyarsk training and technical specialists, with the assistance of U.S. and Balakovo NPP training experts, as part of the training technology transfer project for NPPs in Russia. This course was designed to instruct Beloyarsk NPP staff on proper maintenance of pumps and valves that must operate in a sodium environment. (Sonja Haber, BNL, 516-344-3575)
Proposed Training Activities Discussed. Plans for the second phase of the Russia Training Technology Transfer project were discussed in a mid-March meeting. Talks focused on proposed training activities. The project provides Russian NPP training experts with the skills and methods of the Systematic Approach to Training methodology, which they, in turn, use to develop training programs. Participants at the meeting included representatives from Rosenergoatom, Minatom, Balakovo NPP, the Novovoronezh and Smolensk Training Centers, and VNIIAES, along with the U.S. training program lead technical integrator. (Sonja Haber, BNL, 516-344-3575)
Training Technology Being Transferred to Bilibino. U.S. training experts and training and technical personnel from Bilibino NPP met at Balakovo NPP to continue developing a pilot training program for Bilibino NPP shift supervisors. U.S. and Bilibino personnel are collaborating with Balakovo training experts to develop the course. The meeting was held at Balakovo NPP because of logistics complexities in arranging a trip to Bilibino, particularly during the winter months. The two-week working session began on March 23 and will continue through April 3. Plans are to implement the pilot program at Bilibino NPP later this year. (Sonja Haber, BNL, 516-344-3575)
Russian Trainers Learn New Instructor Skills. A four-week workshop on instructor skills began on March 30 at the facilities of Sonalysts, Inc., in Waterford, Connecticut. Training experts from Balakovo NPP, the Novovoronezh and Smolensk Training Centers, and VNIIAES are participating. The workshop purpose is to transfer instructor skills to the Russian participants, with the goal of enhanced training leading to improved reactor safety. (Sonja Haber, BNL, 516-344-3575)
EOI Working Group Redefines Scope of Supporting Analysis. The VVER-1000 and VVER-440/213 Emergency Operating Instruction (EOI) Temporary Working Group met in late February to better define the scope of the thermodynamic analysis needed to support EOI development for three VVER plants. The Moscow meeting, hosted by VNIIAES, drew representatives from Gidropress, Rosenergoatom, VNIIAES, and the three VVER plants--Balakovo, Kola, and Zaporizhzhya NPPs. A U.S. team member provided technical support.
During the meeting, the members revised two matrices (one for the VVER-1000s and one for the VVER-440/213s) that couple the various accident sequences with their impact on the critical safety functions. When the scenarios for each critical safety function are grouped with similar mitigating operator actions, "bounding" scenarios and, hence, "bounding calculations," can be determined.
The results of this work have reduced the analysis scope from a proposed 400+ scenarios to approximately 25 scenarios. As a consequence, the time required for overall EOI development has been shortened.
Next, the group will develop the scenarios that eventually will be analyzed using RELAP5, the U.S.-developed thermal-hydraulic analysis computer code. Results of this analysis then will be applied to writing the technical basis documents that support the EOIs. (Kent Faris, PNNL, 509-372-4068)
Bilibino Training Space Renovation Nearing Completion. Renovation of the safety maintenance training classrooms at Bilibino NPP is almost finished. Wiring installation, door replacement, and floor and window repairs will be completed within the next several weeks. With support from the U.S. team, Bilibino plant workers are providing the labor for the renovations as well as videotaped progress reports. The U.S. team is working with GET to furnish materials such as floor coverings and lighting fixtures not available locally. (Don Jarrell, PNNL, 509-372-4096)
Reliability Database Development Progresses. During March, the data structure for the Russian reliability database was completed. The structure now is ready to be populated with the existing data stored at VNIIAES. In addition, the local area network (LAN) to support VNIIAES as the central repository of reliability data in Russia was installed and is in operation. The LAN was designed for maximum flexibility and capacity to eventually allow access from all VVER and RBMK plants in Russia, as well as from other countries, through the WANO-Moscow Center. (Greg Trosman, DOE, 301-903-3581; Tom Vehec, PNNL, 509-372-4072)
Installation Begins for Novovoronezh Unit 4 Safety Parameter Display System. On March 7, concurrent with a scheduled plant outage, workers began installing the safety parameter display system for Novovoronezh Unit 4. Because of changes in the Russian customs process (i.e., the dissolution of the Bureau for International Humanitarian and Technical Aid) and resulting procedural uncertainties, the U.S. team has not yet shipped the equipment for the system to the plant site as was planned when the factory acceptance test was completed in January. However, all new cables that eventually will connect the system to sensors within the plant are being installed during this outage. They will remain unconnected until the October 1998 outage, when the remaining equipment will be onsite. This projection is based on the assumption that the current customs issues will be resolved by that time. (Mike Durst, PNNL, 509-372-4698)
Upgrades to Instrumentation and Control Modules Considered for Russian Reactors. Proposed upgrades to instrumentation and control modules in Russia's Soviet-designed NPPs moved closer to reality during a mid-March meeting in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. There, key stakeholders proposed that the initial scope of the effort include, among other considerations, technology transfer as well as an upgrade of instrumentation and control modules in one Russian NPP.
Participants in this work include representatives of VNIIAES, Rosenergoatom, Kursk NPP, DOE, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, U.S. contractors Westinghouse Electric Corporation and Foxboro, and Oak Ridge and Pacific Northwest national laboratories. Recommendations from the meeting will be presented to the DOE/Minatom Coordinating Committee and to the International Science and Technology Center (Moscow) in May 1998 for funding consideration. (Norman Fletcher, DOE, 301-903-3275)
U.S. Thermal-Hydraulic Analysis Code Being Validated for VVER and RBMK Plant Safety Assessments. In mid-March, representatives of Electrogorsk Research and Engineering Center and the Kurchatov Institute met in Argonne, Illinois, with U.S. technical staff from Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory, Argonne National Laboratory, and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. Their objective: to coordinate on developing the RELAP5 validation plans for application to VVER and RBMK reactors. During the meeting, the group drafted preliminary validation plans for both reactor types. The Russian participants agreed to obtain additional necessary information from other Russian organizations to complete the validation plans. Another meeting is scheduled for early April in Moscow to exchange additional technical information. The validation plans are targeted for completion later in April. (Jordi Roglans, ANL, 630-252-3283).
Agreements Reached on Tasks for Kursk In-Depth Safety Assessment. Management and technical experts from Kursk NPP, Rosenergoatom, and the Research and Development Institute of Power Engineering (RDIPE) met with U.S. counterparts in mid-March to discuss specific responsibilities for safety assessment tasks at Kursk Unit 1. Participants agreed on Rosenergoatom support of steering committees. In addition, they agreed that RDIPE will perform the first phase of the in-depth safety assessment for the plant, which will include deterministic safety assessment, limited probabilistic risk assessment, and system descriptions. The project office at Kursk agreed to support the in-depth safety assessment for Unit 1. (Tyrone Blackburn, PNNL, 509-372-4092)
Kola In-Depth Safety Assessment Principals Meet. Representatives of the Swedish International Projects (SiP) office and Kola NPP met on March 11 in Stockholm, Sweden, to discuss the probabilistic risk assessment work for Kola Units 1 and 2. The discussions were a follow-on to a mid-February meeting of U.S. team members from DOE and Argonne National Laboratory with SiP staff. SiP is playing a key role in the overall assessment. (Philip Pizzica, ANL, 630-252-4847)
Russian Regulatory Experts Complete U.S.-Based Cooperative Training Program. Two experts from Gosatomnadzor (GAN), Russia's nuclear regulatory agency, completed a four-week program on event reporting and analysis. The program, a cooperative effort of GAN and DOE, enabled the GAN specialists to work for a month on a day-to-day basis with staff from the DOE Office of Nuclear and Facility Safety in the United States. The GAN representatives obtained practical ideas on implementing an occurrence reporting system that takes into account the very limited number of personal computers currently available at GAN headquarters offices. (Ed Branagan, DOE, 301- 903-6509)
Requirements Defined for Upcoming Simulator Development Proposals. GSE Power Systems, Inc., hosted a workshop session in March at its facilities in Columbia, Maryland. The workshop focused on requirements for the proposals for full-scope simulator projects at Rivne Unit 3 and South Ukraine Unit 1. Representatives of the two NPPs, the Engineering and Technical Center for the Training of Nuclear Industry Personnel (ETC, the Ukrainian simulator vendor), and GSE Power Systems discussed project organization, roles, and responsibilities with U.S. team members from DOE and Brookhaven National Laboratory. Specific proposals for the projects are expected to be completed in April. (Peter Kohut, 516-344-4982)
Training Technology Transfer Continues at Zaporizhzhya. A team of training experts from Khmelnytskyy NPP, the ETC, and the United States held a two-week working visit at Zaporizhzhya NPP beginning in mid-March. The team is collaborating with training and technical experts at Zaporizhzhya to develop a pilot training program for the plant's chemical operators. This visit was the third of four planned to Zaporizhzhya NPP to develop course materials for this pilot program. (Sonja Haber, BNL, 516-344-3575)
INIT Delivers Computers/Office Equipment in Record Time. The second order of office equipment and computers, including copiers and portable computers for remote data collection, was delivered to host-country staff assigned to the reliability database project for Ukraine. Most of the equipment, essential for completing the first three project tasks, arrived within one week of being ordered. The Kyiv-based company INIT once again accomplished an incredibly rapid delivery of important equipment. (Greg Trosman, DOE, 301-903-3581; Tom Vehec, PNNL, 509-372-4072)
Computer System Delivered to Rivne. During the week of March 8, Rivne NPP took delivery of computer equipment provided by the U.S. team. The equipment--computers, operating systems, and a local area network--will support the in-depth safety assessment getting under way at that plant. This new capability permits performance of thermal-hydraulic calculations using RELAP5 and other up-to-date safety analysis codes. (Charles Dickerman, ANL, 630-252-4622)
Agreement Reached on New In-Depth Safety Assessment Tasks. Management and technical experts from Rivne and South Ukraine NPPs and their subcontractor Energorisk met with representatives of Scientech, Inc., and the U.S. team in mid-March. During the two-week meeting in San Diego, California, agreement was reached on the scope, schedule, and labor estimates for five new in-depth safety assessment task orders. Tasks at Rivne NPP include a limited Level 2 probabilistic risk assessment, limited design-basis accident analysis, and analytical justification for EOIs. South Ukraine's tasks include a limited Level 2 probabilistic risk assessment and a limited design-basis accident analysis. (Charles Dickerman, ANL, 630-252-4622; Christian Kot, ANL, 630-252-6151)
First Two Milestones Reached in Stack Stabilization Work. Chornobyl NPP completed its deliverables for the first two of five milestones in the effort to stabilize the Chornobyl Unit 3/4 ventilation stack. Deliverables for the first milestone included bracing repair design documentation, project planning documentation, signed contracts with the constructor for materials and repair work, and regulatory approval to initiate preparatory work and baseline radiation surveys following repair site decontamination. Milestone 2 deliverables included approved purchase orders and delivery dates for the repair materials, design of foundation support repairs and incorporation of these repairs into the project planning and design drawings, and specifications for a mockup to train repair workers in maintaining personnel radiation exposures at levels as low as reasonably achievable (ALARA). Joint Canadian/U.S. payments were made to the plant after the deliverables were verified by the U.S. team. Chornobyl's successful completion of the first two milestones is a key outcome for U.S. efforts at the Shelter. It represents a first step in implementation of a strategy that focuses on Ukrainian management and staffing to accomplish the Shelter work. This is in contrast to most previous experience with Western aid wherein Western contractors manage and perform such work.
Work at the site continues on mockup construction and completion of the personnel and materials access way. Supports for repair site equipment are being installed at the base of the 210-ft-high stack located atop the 200-ft-high shared auxiliary building joining Chornobyl Units 3 and 4.
Milestone 3 deliverables are scheduled to be available for verification on or before April 15. Those deliverables are items necessary to begin mobilizing the large work force and start the actual repair work. The deliverables include final regulatory authority to proceed, updated radiological data reflecting reduced dose rates from installation of U.S.-supplied lead shielding blankets, completion of mockup construction, completion of the personnel and materials access way, and delivery of all required repair materials and equipment. On-site verification of these deliverables is planned for April 15. Upon verification of the deliverables, the United States and Canada will make a joint payment to Chornobyl NPP. This payment will allow mobilization of the repair work force and initiation of repairs by the end of April, depending on site weather conditions. Ventilation stack repairs are expected to be complete by the end of July 1998. (John Schmidt, PNNL, 509-372-6377)
CHORNOBYL SHELTER PROJECT
International Bidders Express High Interest in Chornobyl Shelter Work. By March 17, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) in London and Chornobyl NPP had received an uncounted number of proposals for the early biddable project (EBP) packages. The EBP packages comprise primarily up-front planning, data-gathering, and design tasks. Approximately six teams were short-listed for each package, generally representing several companies from Europe, Japan, and the United States. The proposals will be reviewed and contracts awarded by the Shelter Project Program Management Unit (PMU) after it is selected. The EBRD and Chornobyl NPP are negotiating with the team of Bechtel National, Electricite' de France, and Battelle for the PMU consultant role.
Also on March 17, the EBRD and Chornobyl NPP received expressions of interest for a technical assistance project to support Ukraine's Nuclear Regulatory Administration. The purpose of this project will be to assist the Nuclear Regulatory Administration in managing the many demands expected during implementation of the Shelter project. The EBRD is expected to issue requests for proposals to a short list of candidates by the end of April. (Dennis Kreid, PNNL, 509- 375-2170)
CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE
Bulgaria: Kozloduy Develops Training Course for Reactor Operators. Staff from General Physics Corporation have collaborated with training center staff from Kozloduy NPP to develop a pilot training course for Kozloduy control room reactor operators. The course was developed using the Systematic Approach to Training. Kozloduy trainers implemented the training course during the last week of March. (Sonja Haber, BNL, 516-344-3575)
Bulgaria: EOI Technology Transfer Workshop Held at Kozloduy. Experts from Salem and Braidwood NPPs in the United States teamed with specialists from three DOE national laboratories (Argonne, Idaho Engineering and Environmental, and Pacific Northwest) to present a workshop on EOIs in late March. Kozloduy NPP hosted the event, which was attended by staff from the VVER-1000 and VVER-440/230 units at the plant. Representatives from the Bulgarian Regulatory Organization, Bulgarian Academy of Science, and Energoproekt-Sofia also participated. The U.S. team continued efforts to transfer technology for EOI development to Kozloduy NPP by repeating previous classroom presentations on the U.S. approach to EOI development, EOI verification and validation, lessons learned from EOI development, EOI computer analysis, RELAP5 model verification and validation, and the utility's role in oversight of EOI analysis. Workshop sessions included development of a Kozloduy NPP VVER-1000 EOI analysis matrix and hands-on RELAP5 model review and development. Host-country speakers gave presentations on a systematic approach to EOI development at Kozloduy NPP, current status of EOI development at Kozloduy NPP, current status of EOI analysis at Kozloduy NPP, and draft requirements for EOI regulation for Bulgaria.
As a direct result of this workshop, a draft EOI matrix for the VVER-1000 units was developed. Because of the time required for the classroom presentations, there was insufficient time for development of a similar matrix for the VVER-440/230 units. Kozloduy NPP staff will develop this matrix independently in the near future. These matrices will be used as the foundation for development of a proposal and task order for the EOI analysis work for the VVER units to be performed by Kozloduy NPP, the Bulgarian Academy of Science, and Energoproekt-Sofia. (Kent Faris, PNNL 509-372-4068)
Czech Republic/Hungary: Negotiations Completed for Technology Transfer Project. During March, initial tasks in a technology transfer effort were successfully negotiated. These tasks form the basis of the agreement that will lead to the transfer of data collection technology from Hungary's Paks NPP to Dukovany NPP in the Czech Republic. This technology was transferred originally to Paks NPP by U.S. experts involved in DOE's cooperative safety work. The Nuclear Research Institute at Rez, Czech Republic, successfully negotiated the terms of the work with Paks NPP and the Hungarian Institute for Electric Power Research (VEIKI). Work on the initial tasks already has begun.
The agreement represents the first transfer of Western technology from its original host-country recipient to another host country. Having the Nuclear Research Institute as in-country manager of the transfer results in a much lower contractor cost. This, in turn, enables the U.S. team to define a more detailed project scope to maximize technology transfer. (Tom Vehec, PNNL, 509-372-4072)
Lithuania: Ignalina Control and Protection System To Be Upgraded. In mid-March, NUS Instruments of Idaho Falls, Idaho, completed the first 20 of the 100 analog-to-relay modules the firm is manufacturing for Ignalina NPP. The state-of-the-art modules will replace old, outdated equipment in Ignalina's reactor control and protection system. NUS Instruments will complete the remaining 80 modules by mid-April. Those modules will be shipped to Ignalina NPP in time for the plant's scheduled September 1998 maintenance outage.
In addition, during the week of March 8, Lithuania's Center for Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC) completed building two proof-of-principle modules, a significant step in its process to develop module manufacturing ability. The transfer of manufacturing technology will enable the EMC to build the other 200 modules for Ignalina. NUS Instruments has approved the EMC's implementation of its quality assurance program, which will ensure the quality of the modules the center manufactures. Representatives of Ignalina NPP are scheduled to conduct a quality assurance audit at the EMC during the week of April 13. (Norman Fletcher, DOE, 301-903-3275)
Slovakia: Integration Plan Discussed for Trnava Simulator. Representatives from the Trnava Training Center (VUJE), European Commission contractor CORYS, and U.S. contractor Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) met at CORYS' offices in Grenoble, France, in mid-March. Participants discussed the integration plan for the Trnava V-2 full-scope simulator project. In that discussion, the group sought to identify options for integrating the U.S.-funded RELAP5 software and the European Commission-funded EVVEREST software as well as options for integrating the new input/output system with the existing panels. The integration plan is being finalized by SAIC. (Ken Erickson, PNNL, 509-372-4063)
RBMKs To Receive Infrared Thermography Cameras. Acceptance testing of the selected camera, manufactured by Agema, was completed in March. The cameras should be ready to ship to host-country reactor sites by mid-April. Chornobyl NPP likely will be the first to receive the camera. The Russian RBMKs will receive their cameras after customs clearance is granted. (Ray Pugh, PNNL, 509-372-4103; Tom Vehec, PNNL, 509-372-4072)
Insulation Testing Equipment Ready for Delivery. Power Diagnostics International, a U.S. manufacturer, is providing RBMK plants with equipment for monitoring the condition of insulation in the main generator and high-voltage wiring of NPPs. The equipment identifies insulation breakdown and alerts operators of the condition. The breakdown of insulation can cause the type of catastrophic failures that led to the turbine fire in Chornobyl Unit 2.
The equipment is ready for delivery. Power Diagnostics International is conducting final negotiations with RBMK plant representatives to determine the optimal times for installing the equipment at each location. Chornobyl and Ignalina NPPs will receive the equipment and training immediately upon completion of the logistics arrangements for delivery and installation. The Russian RBMKs will receive their equipment and training after customs clearance is achieved. (Ray Pugh, PNNL, 509-372-4103; Tom Vehec, PNNL, 509-372-4072)
* Change in scope March 28-April 4 -- Moscow, Russia.
* March 28-April 4 -- Reading, Pennsylvania, USA.
* March 29-April 2 -- Kyiv, Ukraine.
* March 30-April 3 -- Moscow, Russia.
* March 30-April 3 -- Moscow, Russia.
* April 1-3 -- Moscow, Russia.
* April 6-7 -- Kyiv, Ukraine.
* April 6-10 -- Moscow, Russia.
* April 13-24 -- Novovoronezh Training Center, Russia.
* April 13-24 -- Rivne NPP, Ukraine.
* April 13-May 8 -- Columbia, Maryland, USA.
* April 17-21 -- Richland, Washington, USA.
* Change in date from April 13-24 to April 20-30 -- Kalinin NPP, Russia.
* April 27-May 1 -- Moscow, Russia.
* May 4 8 -- Kyiv, Ukraine.
May 18-22 -- Balakovo NPP, Russia.
* May 18-June 2 -- Columbia, Maryland, USA.
* May 18-June 12 -- Aiken, South Carolina, USA.
* June 8-July 6 -- Columbia, Maryland, USA.
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