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July/August 1999

The July/August Activity Report documents safety improvements achieved in June, July, and August at Soviet-designed nuclear power plants through U.S. and host-country cooperation. To provide comments or suggestions, send an e-mail message to andrea.currie@pnl.gov.

ContentsPrevious Activity Reports

Highlights
- Second Safety Parameter Display System Turned Over to Novovoronezh
- Ukraine's First VVER-1000 Safety Parameter Display System Approved for Pilot Operation
- State Nuclear Regulatory Administration Approves Emergency Operating Procedure Regulation
Russia
- Fire Detection System Installation Completed at Leningrad Unit 2
- Deterministic Evaluation of Safe-Shutdown Capability Completed for Smolensk
- Safe-Shutdown Analysis Identifies Potential Vulnerabilities at Smolensk
- Russian Specialists Participate in U.S. Y2K Workshops
- RBMK Staff Train on Safety Maintenance System at Leningrad
- Basic Training in Infrared Thermography Supports Safety Maintenance Work
- Simulator Development Progress Reviewed in Moscow
-
Progress and Scope Reviewed on Novovoronezh Safety Assessment
- Agreements Reached on Scope and Schedule for Kola Safety Assessments
- Course Implementation at Kalinin Marks Completion of Training Technology Transfer to Russian Nuclear Power Plants
Ukraine
- Trilateral Cooperation Demonstrated at Quality Assurance Workshop
- U.S. Nuclear Power Plants Host Y2K Workshops for Ukrainian Specialists
- Ukrainian Analysts Train on MELCOR
- Khmelnytskyy Completes Guidelines for Database Development
- Chornobyl Managers Participate in Quality Assurance Workshops
- New Equipment Improves Access to Nuclear Data Facility in Slavutych
- Analysis Methodology for Emergency Operating Instructions Reviewed at Kyiv Workshop
- Khmelnytskyy Implements Second Training Program
Armenia
- Auxiliary Feedwater Pump Delivered to Armenia
Bulgaria
- New Training Program Implemented at Kozloduy
- Bulgarian Specialists Train on RELAP5
Kazakhstan
- Groundwork Laid for Implementing Aktau Shutdown Planning Contract
Cross-Cutting Activities
- Rivne Hosts Seminar on Less-Than-Full-Scope Simulators
Planned Activities

Highlights

Second Safety Parameter Display System Turned Over to Novovoronezh

The second of two safety parameter display systems (SPDSs) installed at Russia’s Novovoronezh nuclear power plant (NPP) successfully completed site acceptance tests on July 8. The U.S. team subsequently turned over the system to the plant. The SPDS for Unit 4 is the second such system the United States has provided to Novovoronezh NPP for its VVER-440 reactors.

Safety parameter display systems now are operating in both Novovoronezh Units 3 and 4, shown here.

Following test completion, a site acceptance test committee formally accepted the system for operation. Committee members included key officials from Rosenergoatom (Russia’s nuclear power plant operating utility), Gosatomnadzor (Russian nuclear regulatory body), the Russian Institute for Nuclear Power Plant Operations (VNIIAES), ConSyst (Russian equipment design organization), and Novovoronezh NPP.

Key members of the international team working to install the Novovoronezh Unit 4 SPDS include (left to right) Pete Lobner, Data Systems & Solutions project manager; Anatoli Alpeyev, Gosatomnadzor project manager; Nikolai Kiselev, ConSyst project manager; and Alexander Kolotov, Rosenergoatom, acceptance committee chairperson.

Safety parameter display systems monitor and automatically display the status of critical safety functions, such as reactor core cooling, to plant operators in the control room and elsewhere. The information enables operators to rapidly assess plant conditions and take appropriate corrective actions if conditions are off-normal.

The SPDS provides Soviet-designed nuclear power plants with the most modern technology available for helping reactor operators manage any event that has the potential to jeopardize safe reactor operations. The system was developed in the United States for use in commercial reactors following the 1979 nuclear accident at Three Mile Island NPP.

Without an SPDS, operators must rely on process computers and multiple control room displays for critical safety information. Those computers lack the speed and user-friendly approach to providing crucial information during an emergency, according to U.S. team members from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.

Russian and American specialists who collaborated on the Novovoronezh Unit 4 SPDS project gather to celebrate successful completion of the site acceptance tests. They are, from left to right, Oleg Lobonok, ConSyst; name unavailable, VNIIAES; Nikolai Kiselev, ConSyst; Serguei Kozatchenko, Novovoronezh NPP; Guia Outmelidze, Western Services; Alexander Kolotov, Rosenergoatom; Anatoli Alpeyev, Gosatomnadzor; Andrey Abramov, ConSyst; Ila Churkin, ConSyst; Dave Fitzcharles, and Dave Stephens (face blocked), both Data Systems & Solutions.

In addition to conducting testing specified for site acceptance, specialists from Data Systems & Solutions (DS&S) verified that the system hardware and software meet criteria for compliance with Year 2000 (Y2K) operating requirements. DS&S--a joint venture of Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) and Rolls Royce--is the primary U.S. contractor for the Novovoronezh SPDS project, working under the direction of Burns & Roe Enterprises, Inc.

DS&S specialists also loaded new Y2K-compliant software into the SPDS installed in Novovoronezh Unit 3 during 1998. The Unit 3 system, whose hardware is identical to that in the Unit 4 system, has been in operation since October and, according to Novovoronezh spokespersons, has performed flawlessly. The updated software will ensure continued trouble-free functionality beyond the Y2K transition. (Norman Fletcher, DOE, 301-903-3275; Mike Durst, PNNL, 509-372-4698)

Ukraine’s First VVER-1000 Safety Parameter Display System Approved for Pilot Operation

On July 23, specialists completed site acceptance tests of the SPDS for South Ukraine Unit 1. Plant management and nuclear regulatory officials formally accepted the system and declared it ready for pilot operation. Signing the acceptance protocol were representatives of Ukraine’s Nuclear Regulatory Administration, Energoatom (Ukraine’s nuclear energy generating company), South Ukraine NPP, Westron, and Electrouzhmontazh. Westron is a consortium established in 1994 between Westinghouse Electric Company and the Hartron Corporation in Ukraine for the implementation of computer-aided control systems in Ukrainian nuclear power plants. Electrouzhmontazh, a Ukrainian company, installed the SPDS in Unit 1.

The newly accepted SPDS displays the status of critical safety parameters on computer monitors in the Unit 1 main control room and nearby computer room, as well as in the shift supervisors’office, administrative building, and the plant’s crisis center. The SPDS collects and processes data from more than 2,000 sensors placed strategically throughout Unit 1.

South Ukraine operating staff check values of critical safety parameters displayed on SPDS monitors in the Unit 1 main control room.

Technical specialists from U.S. firms Burns & Roe Enterprises, Inc., and Westinghouse Electric Company participated in the testing and witnessed the protocol signing. Burns & Roe is the primary contractor for the U.S. effort to provide SPDSs to all 11 VVER-1000 reactor units in Ukraine.

Engineer Nikolay Ivanov, South Ukraine NPP, works on the signal processing hardware, a key component of the Unit 1 SPDS.

Safety parameter display systems are installed also in both Zaporizhzhya Unit 5 and Khmelnytskyy Unit 1. The Zaporizhzhya system awaits final site acceptance testing, now scheduled to be conducted when Unit 5 is restarted. Unit restart is uncertain at this time because of lack of reload fuel. The system at Khmelnytskyy Unit 1 successfully passed all site acceptance testing in March 1999 but awaits approval for pilot operation from the Nuclear Regulatory Administration. That approval is expected to be granted in August. Three more SPDSs are scheduled for installation later in 1999 at South Ukraine Unit 2, Zaporizhzhya Unit 3, and Rivne Unit 3. (Norman Fletcher, DOE, 301-903-3275; Rich Denning, PNNL, 614-424-7412)

State Nuclear Regulatory Administration Approves Emergency Operating Procedure Regulation. On August 8, Alexander Smyshlyavev, head of the State Nuclear Regulatory Administration, gave approval for implementing the regulation of emergency operating procedures for nuclear power plants in Ukraine. In a letter to Dr. Viktor Vasylchenko, Director of the State Scientific and Technical Center for Nuclear Radiation Safety (SSTC NRS), Smyshlyavev noted that the document now is classified as the recommended regulatory document.

Staff of the SSTC NRS developed the document over the past year with technical assistance from U.S. specialists. The document, Emergency operation procedures: purpose, stages of the development and implementation, structure and contents, provides standardized, internationally accepted requirements and guidelines governing the development, implementation, and use of emergency operating instructions for Ukraine’s nuclear power plants with VVER reactors. (Dennis Meyers, DOE, 301-903-1418; Kent Faris, PNNL, 509-372-4068)

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Russia

Fire Detection System Installation Completed at Leningrad Unit 2. Phase 2 of the Leningrad fire detection system project was completed in July. Under subcontract to Bechtel National, the Russian organization KVARS installed the Honeywell fire detection equipment in Leningrad Unit 2. In Phase 1, equipment was installed in half of Leningrad Unit 1. Earlier in Phase 2, the installation of equipment in Unit 1 was completed in December 1998. The system comprises 1,600 "intelligent" photoelectric detectors, which indicate the precise location of a fire. (Rich Reister, DOE, 301-903-0234: Rich Denning, PNNL, 614-424-7412)

Deterministic Evaluation of Safe-Shutdown Capability Completed for Smolensk. A major area of safety concern in Soviet-designed nuclear power plants with RBMK reactors is the ability to shut down the plant safely in the event of a fire. Under the direction of VNIIAES, a team of Russian analysts is conducting the first comprehensive fire safe-shutdown study for an RBMK nuclear power plant at Smolensk Unit 3. The Reactor Core Protection Evaluation Methodology is being used as the guideline for the study; the methodology was developed in late 1996 for the U.S. Department of Energy by a team of U.S. fire safety specialists. These specialists also have provided training to the analysis team as well as periodic reviews of the team’s progress.

The principal product of the safe-shutdown study is a deterministic analysis in which a hypothetical fire is assumed to begin within one of the plant’s fire zones. As a result of the fire, all of the equipment in that fire zone is assumed to fail, including cables passing through the zone. The analysts then determine if it would be possible to shut down the plant safely using equipment that is not in that fire zone. This analysis is repeated for each fire zone, one zone at a time. If a fire zone fails the test, plant upgrades are considered to correct the associated safe-shutdown vulnerabilities. In July, the analysis team completed a draft report, Conduct of Deterministic Evaluation of Safe Shutdown Capability, documenting the results of the deterministic safe-shutdown analysis. (Rich Reister, DOE, 301-903-0234; Andrew Minister, PNNL, 509-376-4938)

Safe-Shutdown Analysis Identifies Potential Vulnerabilities at Smolensk. The Russian working group performing the Smolensk safe-shutdown analysis presented its findings in early August in Moscow. Working group members--representatives of General Energy Technologies, VNIIAES, and Atomenergoproekt (both the Central Office and Moscow branch)--met August 6 through 13 to review the group’s report, Conduct of Deterministic Evaluation of Safe Shutdown Capability, with U.S. fire safety consultants from Bechtel National, Engineering Planning & Management, Inc., and Brookhaven and Pacific Northwest national laboratories.

During the analysis, the working group identified the safety systems and associated components needed to shut down the Smolensk reactor safely in the event of a fire. The analysis evaluated each fire zone under worst-case situations. The report details 10 specific fire-induced vulnerabilities that could cause problems to complicate or prevent a safe shutdown.

The fire-induced vulnerabilities identified in the report can be categorized as problems involving the ventilation system and cabling as well as spurious operation of safety systems in the main and backup control rooms. Potential vulnerabilities could exist also under low-power operation and shutdown conditions; however, those vulnerabilities currently are not within the scope of the analysis.

The Russian working group and U.S. team members collaborating on the safe-shutdown analysis for Smolensk NPP gather for dinner during the recent weeklong review of analysis findings. Shown from left to right are Alexander Shipoulev, Smolensk NPP; Ali Azarm, Brookhaven National Laboratory; German Soldatov, VNIIAES; Mike Archdeacon, Bechtel National; Anatoli Grudakov, Atomenergoproekt (Moscow Office); Bob Kalantari, Engineering Planning & Management, Inc.; Nikolai Vyshkovsky, Atomenergoproekt (Moscow Office); and Andy Minister, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. Not pictured: Vladimir Morozov, Atomenergoproekt.

According to the chief engineer for Atomenergoproekt’s Moscow Office, "The analysis [deterministic] has opened our eyes to problems that we have never seen before and didn’t believe existed with the design of the [RBMK] plant." Russian technical specialists were unaware that cables for the backup control room had been routed through the main control room or that the shutdown of the ventilation system could have a critical effect on the plant’s other safety systems.

The probabilistic portion of the safe-shutdown analysis is in progress. That analysis will estimate the probability of occurrence for each vulnerability. The probabilistic analysis is scheduled for completion by the end of February 2000.

The working group will compile a draft report that identifies the specific vulnerabilities and lists recommended corrective actions for submission to the U.S. team by the end of November 1999. The report will identify interim and long-term corrective actions and will contain a cost-benefit analysis of the proposed corrective actions. The report will be finalized after the probabilistic analysis has been completed. (Rich Reister, DOE, 301-903-0234; Andrew Minister, PNNL, 509-376-4938)

Russian Specialists Participate in U.S. Y2K Workshops. Three Russian Y2K specialists were in the United States July 26 through 30 as guests of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of International Nuclear Safety and Cooperation. The specialists, representing Gosatomnadzor, Rosenergoatom, and VNIIAES, visited Surry and Calvert Cliffs NPPs in Virginia and Maryland for a glimpse of how American nuclear power plants are dealing with Y2K issues.

The specialists toured Virginia Power’s transmission and distribution center in Richmond, Virginia, where they received information on Y2K contingency planning for the utility’s transmission and distribution facilities. At both Surry and Calvert Cliffs, plant representatives provided an overview of U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission guidance for Y2K reviews, plant-specific Y2K assessment and testing procedures, specific equipment problems, remediation plans, and contingency procedures. In addition to the Y2K presentations, both plants provided tours for the visitors, prompting lively discussions and exchanges of questions and answers. Observers reported that the Russian specialists indicated the information they received was invaluable and would be used in finalizing the Y2K program in Russia. (Norman Fletcher, DOE, 301-903-3275; Ron Wright, PNNL, 509-372-4076)

RBMK Staff Train on Safety Maintenance System at Leningrad. From June 28 through July 3, U.S. team members from Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and International Bolting Technologies were at Leningrad NPP, providing equipment-specific training for maintenance staff. Maintenance specialists--five from Leningrad and three from Smolensk--received an overview of bolting technologies, ultrasonic principles, and operation of the bolt stress measurement system delivered earlier to Leningrad and Smolensk NPPs. The system enables specialists to test crucial bolting systems to ensure that problematic bolts are replaced before they fail. Leningrad NPP representatives contributed sample bolts on which class participants practiced to become proficient at operating the system. The instructors gave each student ample hands-on time to use the system to measure bolt elongation caused by stress. On the final day of training, participating trainees were given abnormal bolts and setup conditions for the bolt stress measurement system and asked to identify anomalies and setup problems.

The activity at Leningrad NPP was part of the RBMK safety maintenance technology transfer and training project, through which the U.S. Department of Energy is transferring proven advanced maintenance practices, technologies, training, and materials to Soviet-designed nuclear power plants. The technology transfers are aimed at increasing the assurance that equipment important to reactor safety will function reliably when required. (Grigory Trosman, DOE, 301-903-3581; Thomas Vehec, PNNL, 509-372-4072)

Basic Training in Infrared Thermography Supports Safety Maintenance Work. Two U.S. technical specialists conducted classes in thermographic imaging at the Smolensk NPP training facility July 9 through 18. Russian participants included personnel from the Smolensk training center and Smolensk and Kursk NPPs. Earlier, all three locations had received specialized cameras that use infrared thermography to check for hot spots in reactor components critical to safety. Such hot spots are indicative of problems with electrical connections.

The instructors provided an overview of the camera and its operation as well as the fundamentals of infrared technology. The curriculum moved from basics to specifics dealing with camera and hardware usage. Additional training was conducted in the high-voltage switchyard, where all class attendees had an opportunity to practice using the thermographic camera. The images captured were taken back to the classroom for review, analysis, and critique. Final training was spent on the use and operation of the analytical software that databases, correlates, and trends the thermographic data. (Grigory Trosman, DOE, 301-903-3581; Thomas Vehec, PNNL, 509-372-4072)

Simulator Development Progress Reviewed in Moscow. U.S. specialists spent July 25 through August 6 reviewing the status of various simulator development projects under way at VNIIAES facilities in Moscow. Host-country participants included the VNIIAES managers for the South Ukraine Unit 3 and Bilibino simulator projects, as well as an evaluator from the Ukraine Main State Inspectorate.

The U.S. reviewers found the full-scope simulator for South Ukraine Unit 3, undergoing the final stages of factory acceptance testing, to meet all relevant quality, contract, and developmental requirements. The Ukrainian evaluator from the Main State Inspectorate judged the simulator to meet all Ukrainian requirements for nuclear power plant training simulators.

The Bilibino analytical simulator was undergoing the pre-acceptance testing phase of development. Factory acceptance testing will begin in September, followed by additional reviews.

The Kola full-scope simulator was in the factory acceptance testing stage. VNIIAES specialists demonstrated the simulator’s capabilities to the U.S. team members by providing a comparison of simulator performance data and actual plant data for the same event. The U.S. reviewers found the data acceptable. (John Yoder, DOE, 301-903-5650; Joe Cleary, PNNL, 509-372-4094)

Progress and Scope Reviewed on Novovoronezh Safety Assessment. At Novovoronezh NPP, technical experts are conducting an in-depth safety assessment to determine the most significant safety risks at the plant and to set priorities for design upgrades and operational improvements. In addition, the Novovoronezh assessment is yielding the analyses needed for documentation required by Gosatomnadzor to approve a future operating license for the plant.

On July 14, participants in the Novovoronezh project met at the plant to review the status of current work and discuss alternative directions for future work. Participants included the three-member project steering committee, comprising one representative each from Rosenergoatom and the U.S. Department of Energy, plus the Novovoronezh NPP chief engineer. Also present were U.S. team members from Argonne National Laboratory and SAIC. Argonne manages the project, and SAIC provides technical assistance.

At the meeting, steering committee members agreed to the expansion of the project scope by providing direct U.S. support to Novovoronezh NPP specialists to develop the safety assessment report. To improve the safety analyses, U.S. specialists will continue to transfer modern standards and methodology for safety assessments to their Russian counterparts. (Walter Pasedag, DOE, 301-903-3628; Phil Pizzica, ANL, 630-252-4847)

Agreements Reached on Scope and Schedule for Kola Safety Assessments. Representatives of international groups involved in the Kola in-depth safety assessment met in Stockholm in mid-August to coordinate their efforts and finalize specific plans. Both the Swedish International Project for Nuclear Safety and the U.S. Department of Energy are providing financial and technical support for the safety assessment work on Kola Units 2 and 4.

Swedish International Project staff hosted the meeting for specialists from Kola NPP, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory, and Gosatomnadzor’s Scientific and Engineering Center. The latter has the lead in providing Russian institutional support for the project.

Participants finalized plans for peer review of the Unit 4 probabilistic risk assessment. That review will begin in October and is scheduled for completion in spring 2000. Those present also reached agreement on the schedule and scope for the probabilistic risk assessment of Kola Unit 2. Specialists will begin the assessment in October; they are scheduled to complete it by December 2000. In late September, the steering committee for the Kola in-depth safety assessment will review the plans and the progress to date. (Walter Pasedag, DOE, 301-903-3268; Phil Pizzica, ANL, 630-252-4847)

Course Implementation at Kalinin Marks Completion of Training Technology Transfer to Russian Nuclear Power Plants. During the first week of July, Kalinin NPP training specialists implemented a new training program for Kalinin workers: Motor-Operated Valves. The course is based on the Systematic Approach to Training, which was developed after the Three Mile Island accident in 1979. The course was developed at the Balakovo training center, then tailored specifically for Kalinin NPP before it was implemented for Kalinin staff.

Training specialists from Balakovo NPP and Sonalysts, Inc., provided technical assistance, and a U.S. team representative from Human Performance Analysis Corporation provided feedback on the implementation. This training program is the second to be transferred to Kalinin NPP and is the final training program in the extensive series to be implemented in nuclear power plants in Russia under the U.S. project to transfer training technology. (John Yoder, DOE, 301-903-5650; Don Draper, PNNL, 509-372-4079)

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Ukraine

Trilateral Cooperation Demonstrated at Quality Assurance Workshop. In recognition of Ukraine’s issuance in late May of the Normative Document on Quality Assurance for Nuclear Facilities, British Energy sponsored a workshop in the United Kingdom June 28 through July 2. The workshop was intended to support the implementation of an effective quality assurance plan for Energoatom and for all nuclear power plants in Ukraine. British Energy, which operates Britain’s most modern nuclear power plants, is working to establish partnerships with international energy companies and has a keen interest in the U.S. team’s work to improve nuclear safety in Ukraine.

Invited participants included representatives of Energoatom, the Ukraine Nuclear Power Plant Operational Support Institute (NPP OSI), and Chornobyl, Rivne, South Ukraine, and Zaporizhzhya NPPs. U.S. team members from Scientech and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory also attended.

Workshop events were held at four nuclear power plants in Great Britain (Heysham 1 and 2, Hinkley Point, and Sizewell B) and at the corporation’s Gloucester offices. British Energy representatives conducted tours of each plant, providing opportunities for discussions of quality assurance philosophy between plant staff and the Ukrainian participants. At the corporate offices, workshop participants discussed Energoatom’s plan for implementing quality assurance, then compared and shared viewpoints on the Energoatom and British Energy approaches to quality assurance.

The long-term goal of the workshop--implementation of quality assurance within Ukraine’s nuclear power industry--is not yet realized. However, the workshop demonstrated the singular cooperation achieved by all members of the international team--Ukraine, the United Kingdom, and the United States--collaborating on this project. (Dennis Meyers, DOE, 301-903-1418; Lief Erickson, PNNL, 509-372-4097)

U.S. Nuclear Power Plants Host Y2K Workshops for Ukrainian Specialists. At the invitation of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of International Nuclear Safety and Cooperation, a delegation of Ukrainian Y2K specialists visited the San Onofre and Palo Verde NPPs in California for Y2K workshops July 19 through 23. The specialists represented Ukraine’s Nuclear Regulatory Administration, Energoatom, and Zaporizhzhya NPP.

Informative Y2K presentations provided at both plants covered topics such as U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission guidance for Y2K reviews, plant-specific Y2K assessment and testing procedures, specific equipment problems, remediation plans, and contingency procedures. In addition, San Onofre staff provided a presentation on their Y2K review of transmission and distribution facilities. The presentations were well received by the Ukrainian specialists, prompting many detailed questions. Handouts describing all aspects of Y2K programs were provided at both plants.

In addition to the Y2K presentations and discussions, plant tours were provided. The Ukrainians witnessed a Y2K-induced loss-of-offsite-power simulator exercise, observed operation of Y2K testing software, and toured a central transmission and distribution office. At the end of the trip, the Ukrainian representatives confirmed that they had received much valuable information and committed to using it in their Y2K program in Ukraine. (Norman Fletcher, DOE, 301-903-3275; Dan Couch, PNNL, 509-372-6415)

Ukrainian Analysts Train on MELCOR. The student body of the National Taras Shevchenko University in Kyiv increased by at least 19 during the last two weeks of July, when a group of Ukrainian nuclear analysts participated in a training workshop on the MELCOR code. MELCOR, a U.S.-developed computer program, performs analyses of accident progression and containment/confinement conditions in nuclear power plants. The U.S. team supported the workshop to provide the analysts with the capabilities to perform such analyses as part of the overall in-depth safety assessments under way at nuclear power plants in Ukraine.

Participants in the workshop included technical staff from Khmelnytskyy, Rivne, South Ukraine, and Zaporizhzhya NPPs. Specialists from Ukrainian technical organizations involved in the nuclear power plant in-depth safety assessments participated as well. Organizations represented included Energoprojekt; the NPP OSI; Energorisk, Ltd.; Joint Stock Enterprise-Energoatom Engineering Service; and the International Chornobyl Center/Slavutych Laboratory.

U.S. team members from Argonne National Laboratory organized the workshop. Staff of the Electric Power Institute (VEIKI) of Hungary and Argonne jointly conducted the training. (Walter Pasedag, DOE, 301-903-3826; Christian Kot, ANL, 630-252-6151)

Khmelnytskyy Completes Guidelines for Database Development. Specialists from Khmelnytskyy NPP and its Ukrainian subcontractor Kyiv Energoprojekt completed the guidelines for developing databases required for the in-depth safety assessment under way at Unit 1. The set of five project guidelines, published in both English and Russian, was completed on schedule. Specialists with SAIC provided technical assistance to the Ukrainian team. The guidelines were delivered to U.S. team representatives during the week of July 12.

The guidelines provide the basis for collecting data and preparing a database on each of the following safety-related systems or information areas:

  • nuclear steam supply system
  • containment
  • reliability
  • abnormal events and incidents
  • system description documentation.

When completed, the databases will provide analysts with key information needed for the in-depth safety assessment of Khmelnytskyy Unit 1. (Walter Pasedag, DOE, 301-903-3628; Charles Dickerman, ANL, 630-252-4622)

Chornobyl Managers Participate in Quality Assurance Workshops. To enhance understanding and support of efforts to implement quality assurance principles at Chornobyl NPP, plant management collaborated with the NPP OSI to conduct a series of focused workshops on July 14 and 15. Workshop topics covered quality assurance requirements and the implementation plans developed for Energoatom and for Chornobyl NPP. Presenters included the deputy general director and the head of the quality department, Chornobyl NPP; two Energoatom officials; and one spokesperson each from Zaporizhzhya NPP, the NPP OSI, and Information and Technology (INIT, a Ukrainian contractor to the quality assurance project). A U.S. expert on quality assurance at nuclear power plants gave a presentation as well.

The audience included Chornobyl NPP deputy general directors, deputy chief engineers, and department heads from human resources, security, finance, maintenance, safety, document production, surveillances, and the Chornobyl Shelter. Other participants included personnel responsible for quality assurance in departments and shops throughout the plant: metrology, surveillances, nuclear safety, reactor shop, technical controls, training, modernization, turbine shop, deactivation shop, and maintenance.

Observers reported that managers participating in the workshops responded positively and demonstrated willingness to accept and support the implementation of quality assurance principles throughout the Chornobyl site. In fact, in a policy statement released by the Chornobyl NPP Information Center on July 28, Chornobyl NPP Director General Vitaly Tolstonogov declared that

...the highest priority for all the management, operator and service staff of Chornobyl NPP while performing their duties is ensuring proper nuclear and radiation safety. In implementing the adequate nuclear and radiation safety regime the highest priority is quality assurance in conformity with the public requirements that are based on laws, standards, rules and regulations.

The workshops for Chornobyl NPP managers were the first in a series. Site-specific workshops for the rest of Ukraine’s nuclear power plant managers will be held at each plant before the end of October 1999. (Dennis Meyers, DOE, 301-903-1418; Lief Erickson, PNNL, 509-372-4097)

New Equipment Improves Access to Nuclear Data Facility in Slavutych. The U.S. team is providing the computing resources needed for specialists at the International Chornobyl Center’s Slavutych Laboratory for International Research and Technology to analyze nuclear data. Projects envisioned at the nuclear data facility will involve calculations and analyses related to reactor physics, particle transport, shielding, and criticality, to name a few.

On July 7, computer equipment and software purchased earlier by the U.S. team was delivered to the Slavutych Laboratory for use in the nuclear data facility. IVL Equipment and Engineering, a Ukrainian contractor, will install a local area network, conduct testing for Y2K compliance, and provide maintenance service for the system. Through the new local area network, more users will be able to access the laboratory’s ALPHA-2 computer to assist them in their nuclear data analyses. (Dan Giessing, DOE, 301-903-2852; Andrei Glukhov, PNNL, 509-375-3961)

Analysis Methodology for Emergency Operating Instructions Reviewed at Kyiv Workshop. Ukrainian analysts from Rivne and Zaporizhzhya NPPs, Energorisk, and Joint Stock Enterprise-EIS participated in a U.S.-supported mid-July workshop at the State University in Kyiv. U.S. specialists from Science Applications International Corporation and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory conducted the workshop as a review of the analysis methodology for symptom-based emergency operating instructions (EOIs). During the workshop, attendees also reviewed their respective program guidelines for EOI analysis and participated in an exercise using methodology for developing EOI validation scenarios. (Dennis Meyers, DOE, 301-903-1418; Larry Sherfey, PNNL, 509-372-4080)

Khmelnytskyy Implements Second Training Program. During the period June 21 through July 2, training specialists from Khmelnytskyy NPP finalized and implemented a Unit Shift Supervisor training program for the plant. Training specialists from Sonalysts, Inc., and Ukraine’s Engineering and Technical Center for the Training of Nuclear Industry Personnel collaborated with the Khmelnytskyy trainers to finish developing the instructional materials and transfer the program to the plant. A U.S. team representative from Human Performance Analysis Corporation observed and evaluated the course implementation for the Khmelnytskyy trainers. The Unit Shift Supervisor training program now has been transferred to each nuclear power plant with VVER reactors in Ukraine. (John Yoder, DOE, 301-903-5650; Don Draper, PNNL, 509-372-4079)

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Armenia

Auxiliary Feedwater Pump Delivered to Armenia. Armenia NPP workers are constructing an auxiliary feedwater supply system to provide an emergency supply of water to the steam generators in the event of a seismic event or other accident in which other sources of water supply are lost. In July, the diesel-driven auxiliary feedwater pump, manufactured by Caterpillar Corporation, and an emergency diesel generator (used to operate valves in an emergency involving loss of power) were delivered to the plant. Burns & Roe Enterprises, Inc., is the principal contractor for this project. Armenia plant management is developing a schedule for completion of the system. (Dennis Meyers, DOE, 301-903-1418; Rich Denning, PNNL, 614-424-7412)

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Bulgaria

New Training Program Implemented at Kozloduy. Training specialists from Kozloduy NPP spent the last two weeks of July finalizing and implementing a new training program for workers at the plant. With technical assistance from Sonalysts, Inc., the Mechanical Maintenance--Motor-Operated Valves training program was taught at Kozloduy for the first time during the week of July 26. A U.S. team member from Human Performance Analysis Corporation participated in the implementation to observe and provide evaluation feedback for program improvement. In addition, discussions were held with specialists from the Kozloduy Training Center regarding future training plans and activities for plant staff. (John Yoder, DOE, 301-903-5650; Don Draper, PNNL, 509-372-4079)

Bulgarian Specialists Train on RELAP5. For the first two weeks of August, eight Bulgarian nuclear specialists participated in a training workshop on the RELAP5 computer code. Two U.S. team members from the Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory conducted the training at the Institute of Nuclear Reactors and Nuclear Energy (INRNE) in Sofia, Bulgaria. The workshop is an important component of the U.S. Department of Energy’s work to transfer safety analysis capability to Bulgaria and other host countries with Soviet-designed reactors.

Three trainees represented the nuclear power plant safety group at the INRNE. The other five came from Kozloduy NPP (two from the VVER-440 units, and three from the VVER-1000 units). All eight are involved in the development of the emergency operating instructions, databases, and the RELAP5 computer code input models for the VVER-440 and VVER-1000 reactors.

The classroom sessions comprised eight days of lectures and training exercises based on materials selected from the introductory and advanced RELAP5 computer code courses. The training focused on hands-on modeling exercises and transient analyses and was geared toward providing participants with code operating and analysis experience. In addition, prior to the actual workshop, the instructors conducted preparatory exercises via e-mail for the novice code users.

For the most part, the trainees successfully completed the exercises presented, and all the participants gained knowledge and increased their abilities to conduct basic RELAP5 computer code modeling and analysis tasks. The trainees also expressed interest in continuing to develop their capabilities with RELAP5 through e-mail-based exercises. U.S. team representatives are exploring this possibility. (Walter Pasedag, DOE, 301-903-3268; Tom Moran, ANL, 530-252-5901)

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Kazakhstan

Groundwork Laid for Implementing Aktau Shutdown Planning Contract. U.S. team members from Argonne National Laboratory held meetings in early July with representatives of Kazakhstani entities directly involved in shutting down the BN-350 reactor at Aktau NPP. The meetings were aimed at implementing a contract with the Kazakhstan Nuclear Technology Safety Center for the shutdown-related planning.

The U.S. specialists first held discussions with the vice president of KATEP (the Kazakshstan atomic energy agency) to discuss that agency’s role and views on planning for the shutdown. KATEP is the organization appointed by the Kazakhstan Minister of Energy to lead the BN-350 reactor shutdown project. According to the KATEP spokesperson, the planning effort will last two years followed by a five-year implementation period. After that, the reactor will be held in a safe-store configuration for approximately 50 years, when decontamination and decommissioning activities will commence.

Subsequent discussions with representatives of the Kazakhstan Nuclear Technology Safety Center and Aktau NPP moved the contract closer to implementation. Working with plant personnel, the U.S. team reviewed and modified the flow chart for preparing shutdown documents. They also prepared a high-level schedule for the shutdown process and presented it to upper management at the plant for review and comment.

Because no regulatory basis exists for the BN-350 shutdown project, staff from the Nuclear Technology Safety Center will develop special technical requirements reflecting international decontamination and decommissioning experience. Center specialists requested copies of available relevant U.S. regulatory documents as resource material for developing those requirements. The Kazakhstan Nuclear Technology Safety Center will oversee the shutdown planning contract, once it is implemented. (Walter Pasedag, DOE, 301-903-3268; George Imel, ANL-W, 208-533-7559)

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Crosscutting Activities

Rivne Hosts Seminar on Less-Than-Full-Scope Simulators. In late July, Rivne NPP (Ukraine) brought together other users of less-than-full-scope simulators to discuss how these tools are being used in training programs for nuclear operators. Two representatives from each of Ukraine’s nuclear power plants, staff from Energoatom, and the training managers from Kozloduy (Bulgaria) and Novovoronezh (Russia) NPPs participated. According to U.S. team observers, the managers from both Novovoronezh and Kozloduy did an excellent job of describing how their less-than-full-scope simulators had been incorporated into their training programs. All participants expressed their appreciation for the opportunity to meet and discuss common issues with regard to the use of these simulators. (John Yoder, DOE, 301-903-5650; Joe Cleary, PNNL, 509-372-4094)

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Planned Activities

* indicates the event is new or has been changed in some way since the last report was issued.

* September 7-10 -- South Ukraine NPP, Ukraine

Management and Operational Safety. Managers and key department personnel from South Ukraine NPP will participate in seminars on quality assurance implementation. Representatives of Energoatom, the Nuclear Power Plant Operational Support Institute, and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory also will attend. (Dennis Meyers, DOE, 301-903-1418; Lief Erickson, PNNL, 509-372-4097)

* September 20-22 -- Armenia NPP, Armenia

Engineering and Technology. U.S. team members involved with safety upgrade projects at Armenia NPP will review the status of several projects expected to begin during the current outage at the plant. The review will involve representatives of Armenia NPP, the U.S. Department of Energy, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, and U.S. contractor Burns & Roe Enterprises, Inc. (Dennis Meyers, DOE, 301-903-1418; Rich Denning, PNNL, 614-424-7412)

* September 20-24 -- Kyiv, Ukraine

Training. U.S. training experts from Sonalysts, Inc. and Human Performance Analysis Corporation will meet with participants from Ukrainian nuclear power plants and the Engineering and Technical Center for the Training of Nuclear Industry Personnel. Together they will identify areas for expansion of the Simulator Instructor training course. (John Yoder, DOE, 301-903-5650; Joe Cleary, PNNL, 509-372-4094)

* September 21-23 -- Novovoronezh NPP, Russia

Plant Safety Assessment. Technical specialists from Science Applications International Corporation and Argonne National Laboratory will join representatives of Novovoronezh NPP for a walkdown of the plant’s confinement system. Participants also will define the scope of work associated with the beyond-design-basis accident analysis to be conducted as part of the overall deterministic safety assessment for Novovoronezh Units 3 and 4. (Walter Pasedag, DOE, 301-903-3268; Phil Pizzica, ANL, 630-252-4847)

* September 27-28 -- Stockholm, Sweden

Plant Safety Assessment. The steering committee for the Kola in-depth safety assessment will meet to approve current planned activities, resolve funding issues, and coordinate future work. Representatives of the Swedish International Project, Kola NPP, the Gosatomnadzor Scientific and Engineering Center, the U.S. Department of Energy, and Argonne National Laboratory will participate. (Walter Pasedag, DOE, 301-903-3268; Phil Pizzica, ANL, 630-252-4847)

* September 27-October 1 -- Slavutych, Ukraine

Training. Training and technical specialists from the Chornobyl Shelter and the Slavutych Laboratory for International Research and Technology will implement a training program in radiation safety for the Shelter’s general workers. The program, developed with assistance from U.S. training specialists from Path Training Corporation and Human Performance Analysis Corporation, is designed to increase workers’ knowledge and awareness of radiation safety. (John Yoder, DOE, 301-903-5650; George Vargo, PNNL, 509-375-6836)

* October 4-15 -- Ignalina NPP, Lithuania

Training. Training specialists from the International Atomic Energy Agency, Sonalysts, Inc., and Ignalina NPP will continue the transfer of training materials for the Mechanical Maintenance--Reactor Turbine Technician training program. (John Yoder, DOE, 301-903-5650; Don Draper, PNNL, 509-372-4079)

* October 11-15 -- Obninsk, Kaluga Region, Russia

Plant Safety Assessment. The Fourth Annual Information Exchange Forum, Safety Analysis for Nuclear Power Plants of VVER and RBMK Types, is scheduled. U.S. specialists from Argonne National Laboratory are preparing the forum in cooperation with the Russian Institute of Physics and Power Engineering, International Atomic Energy Agency, the Nuclear Energy Agency of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the Swedish International Project on Nuclear Safety, and the French/German organization Riskaudit. Forum organizers expect approximately 100 participants to present roughly 60 technical papers. (Walter Pasedag, DOE, 301-903-3268; Jan van Erp, ANL, 630-252-3381)

* date changed to October 14-16 from October 12-14 -- Slavutych, Ukraine

Chornobyl Initiatives. The International Chornobyl Center will hold its annual conference, to facilitate the exchange of information on scientific and technical international cooperation at the Chornobyl site and on nuclear and radiation safety issues. The conference also seeks to coordinate and integrate efforts of the world community. (Elena Tolkach, Secretary of the Organizing Committee, P.B. 151, Slavutych, Kyiv Region 255190, Ukraine, telephone: 38-(044)-79-23016; fax: 8-(044)-79-28144; e-mail: elena@chctr.pnl.gov)

* October 18-22 -- Kyiv, Ukraine

Training. Representatives of the Engineering and Technical Center for the Training of Nuclear Industry Personnel, Ukraine’s nuclear power plants, and the U.S. team will discuss draft versions of training standards and guidelines under development by the Engineering and Technical Center. (John Yoder, DOE, 301-903-5650; Don Draper, PNNL, 509-372-4079)

* October 25-November 5 -- Armenia NPP, Armenia

Training. Training experts from Sonalysts, Inc., and the International Atomic Energy Agency will work with training and technical specialists at Armenia NPP to 1) continue developmental work on a training program for senior foreman for the reactor maintenance shop and 2) complete preparations and implement the pilot Radiation Protection Technician training program. A training specialist from Human Performance Analysis Corporation will be present during the second week to participate in the pilot presentation and provide feedback aimed at program improvement. (John Yoder, DOE, 301-903-5650; Don Draper, PNNL, 509-372-4079)

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