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August 1998 - Armenia
- Bulgaria
- Czech Republic
- Hungary
- Kazakhstan
- Lithuania
- Russia
- Slovakia
- Ukraine
- United States
- Cross-Cutting Activities
- Planned Activities



Welcome to the August Activity Report, which documents safety improvements achieved in August at Soviet-designed nuclear power plants through U.S. and host-country cooperation. To request a hard-copy version or to provide comments or suggestions, send an e-mail message to andrea.currie@pnl.gov.

Mobile Pumping Unit for Novovoronezh Passes Tests, Achieves Site Acceptance

A custom-designed mobile pumping unit, which provides an emergency water supply system for Novovoronezh nuclear power plant (NPP), successfully passed its site acceptance tests this month. Following the week-long testing, which began on August 10, Novovoronezh representatives signed a protocol formally accepting the equipment on behalf of the plant. Together, the test completion and plant acceptance represent a significant accomplishment for the project, which is being conducted for the U.S. team by lead contractor Parsons Power Group Inc. of Reading, Pennsylvania.

The fully self-contained unit consists of a diesel-driven pump, an auxiliary diesel generator, a control and alarm panel, and large-diameter flexible hoses to connect the pump to an external water supply and the plant's feedwater system. These components are mounted on an enclosed mobile platform that can be moved where needed in the plant. The unit was designed to provide an independent, seismically protected emergency water supply to back up the plant's fragile feedwater system.

When representatives of Parsons Power Group and subcontractor Power Services Inc. arrived on site at Novovoronezh NPP, they found that plant staff already had finished constructing a complex test stand that included a large tank to provide the necessary supply of water for the testing.

The Novovoronezh-constructed test stand included a large tank (right) for the water supply needed for the site acceptance test.

Together they uncrated, assembled, and inspected the equipment, which had been detained in Russian customs holding areas for nearly 9 months before being released to Novovoronezh NPP. The inspection revealed only two small findings, which are being resolved by Parsons Power.

The unit then was tested to verify its functional operability. Performance of the unit at design ratings and the operation of components, auxiliary devices, and instrumentation and controls were found to be in accordance with technical specifications. One minor vibration problem was noted but was resolved immediately.

Alex Tsiganov (left), Novovoronezh NPP project manager, and Lynn Fischer, Power Services Inc. technical representative, prepare to inspect the mobile pumping unit being provided by the United States for the Novovoronezh plant emergency water supply system.

While on site for the testing, the U.S. contractor representatives also provided training on the new equipment for Novovoronezh maintenance and operations personnel.

The successful test completion, while a major accomplishment, does not signify the end of this project. Piping connections still must be installed in Novovoronezh Units 3 and 4 so the mobile pumping system can be connected to the plant's existing feedwater supply. Novovoronezh personnel are scheduled to do that work during the fall 1998 outage; installation work is expected to be completed by the end of 1998. Once the piping is installed, the mobile pumping unit will be able to be connected quickly (within 2 hours) to the plant's existing water supply during emergency conditions. When not in use, the mobile pumping unit will be stored in a seismically safe building at the plant. (Dan Couch, PNNL, 509-372-6415)

Russian and American team members stand before the mobile pumping unit following successful completion of site acceptance testing. Shown (left to right) are Ray Pearsall, project manager, and Vladimir Vaysman, senior project engineer, both of Parsons Power Group; Alex Tsiganov, project manager for Novovoronezh NPP; Oleg Novochenko, Novovoronezh NPP maintenance engineer; Lynn Fischer, technical services representative, Power Services Inc.; and A. Kozlovtsev, Novovoronezh NPP laboratory technician.

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Russia

Novovoronezh Analytical Simulator Undergoing Site Acceptance Testing. The analytical simulator for Novovoronezh NPP has been shipped to the site, and the site acceptance tests are being performed. The simulator is expected to be ready for use in training after tests are completed. Additional support accessories are being purchased to complete the project. (Peter Kohut, BNL, 516-344-4982)

Bilibino Simulator Coming Together. Representatives of GSE Power Systems (the U.S. contractor), LAKROM (the Russian subcontractor), and Bilibino NPP have reviewed the preliminary design specification for the analytical simulator under development. Data on the fuel characteristics have been received to enable thermal-hydraulic modeling of the core. The uninterruptible power supply has been tested at the LAKROM facilities in Moscow. The simulation and instructor station computers have been shipped to Russia. However, the computers are being held in customs pending approval of duty-free status. Delivery of the computers to LAKROM and incorporation into the overall system is essential for completion of the project. (Peter Kohut, BNL, 516-344-4982)

Computers for Balakovo Simulator Shipped. The simulation and instructor station computers for the Balakovo analytical simulator have been shipped to Russia. However, the computers are currently held up in customs. If customs problems are not resolved soon, there will be significant impact on the project. (Peter Kohut, BNL, 516-344-4982)

VNIIAES Delivers Calculation Matrix for Kola Emergency Operating Instructions. During the week of August 17, VNIIAES delivered to the U.S. team a matrix of bounding mode calculations for the emergency operating instructions (EOIs) being developed for Kola NPP. The calculations were reviewed and found acceptable. The delivery completes 50 percent of a task that includes the development of scenarios to be analyzed for application to the VVER-440/213 EOIs at Kola. The task, which began in January 1998, was performed by VNIIAES with input from Kola and Gidropress staff members. (Larry Sherfey, PNNL, 509-372-4080)

Installation Work Nearing Completion for Novovoronezh on Safety Parameter Display Systems. During the August outage at Novovoronezh Unit 3, all connections to the unit's safety parameter display system (SPDS) were completed. The site acceptance tests are scheduled for completion during the second half of September. Representatives from Rosenergoatom, Gosatomnadzor, and U.S. contractors Burns & Roe and Science Applications International Corporation will witness the tests. Novovoronezh Unit 3 will return to power near the end of October. The SPDS equipment for Novovoronezh Unit 4, which had been held up for customs approval, has been delivered to the plant. Installation of this system will be completed during the fall 1998 outage. (Mike Durst, PNNL, 509-372-4698)

Gosatomnadzor Inspectors Receive Training. Twenty nuclear safety inspectors from Gosatomnadzor received specialized training in a mid-August workshop on fire protection and chemical process safety. Specialists from the U.S. Department of Energy, Factory Mutual, and Science Applications International Corporation conducted the workshop in Moscow. The workshop was one of a series provided by the United States for Gosatomnadzor staff in support of efforts to enhance Russia's institutional and regulatory framework. (Ed Branagan, DOE, 301-903-6509; George Vargo, PNNL, 509-375-6836)

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Ukraine

Workshop Initiates Development of Standard and Procedures for Document Control and Records Management. A workshop on document control and records management was held in Slavutych, Ukraine, from July 27 through 31. Representatives from Energoatom and Chornobyl, Zaporizhzhya, Rivne, and South Ukraine NPPs participated. U.S. participants, who included representatives of Grand Gulf NPP and Scientech, Inc., described practices at three U.S. NPPs. The Ukrainian participants explained the practices and systems in use at Ukrainian NPPs. Roundtable discussions covered proposed approaches to standardizing essential elements of document control at the NPPs and Energoatom. This workshop was the first major activity coordinated by Ukraine's Nuclear Power Plant Operational Support Institute (NPP OSI) for Energoatom. (Lief Erickson, PNNL, 509-372-4097)

Rivne Delivers Draft Emergency Operating Instructions. In early August, Rivne NPP specialists submitted a complete set of EOIs and draft bases documents to the U.S. team, the Nuclear Regulatory Administration (NRA), and Energoatom. The submittal represents the first complete set of EOIs for a plant with a VVER-440/213 reactor. The drafts are being provided to the NRA and Energoatom for comment and have been approved at the plant for preliminary verification. The bases documents and EOIs are expected to undergo revision as further analyses are performed. When complete, the EOIs will enhance plant safety by providing operators with procedures that eliminate the need for diagnosis before response, enabling quicker mitigation and reducing operator stress. (Larry Sherfey, PNNL, 509-372-4080)

Equipment Ordered for Reliability Database Pilot Plants. Computer equipment to support the Ukraine reliability database project was ordered in August for pilot plant sites at Rivne, South Ukraine, and Khmelnytskyy NPPs. These three plants will be the first to be connected to the centralized reliability database. The KAYLNA computer company in Kyiv was awarded the contract to supply the equipment. (Grigory Trosman, DOE, 301-903-3581; Tom Vehec, PNNL, 509-372-4072)

Agreement Reached on First Task in Khmelnytskyy Safety Assessment. During August, the first planning meeting was held for Phase I of the Khmelnytskyy in-depth safety assessment. Experts from Khmelnytskyy NPP and their contractor Kyiv Energoprojekt reached agreement with the U.S. team on the details of the first Khmelnytskyy technical task. In that task, Khmelnytskyy specialists will work with the U.S. team to develop project guidelines. (Charles Dickerman, ANL, 630-252-4622)

Task Orders Signed for Zaporizhzhya In-Depth Safety Assessment. Members of the U.S. team met with representatives of Zaporizhzhya NPP and its contractors, Energorisk, Ltd. and Joint-Stock Enterprise Energoatom Engineering Service (JSE-EIS), August 18 through 22 in Energodar, Ukraine. Participants agreed upon the scope, labor estimates, and costs for tasks associated with data collection and analysis and a Level 1 internal events probabilistic risk assessment. Task orders for this work were signed with Zaporizhzhya and JSE-EIS representatives. Energorisk personnel agreed to submit signed task orders to the U.S. team by August 28. The tasks are part of the in-depth safety assessment project getting under way at Zaporizhzhya Unit 5. The signings are a significant step in implementing the effort: the Zaporizhzhya Unit 5 project is the lead in-depth safety assessment for all NPPs in Ukraine with VVER-1000/320 reactor units. (Christian Kot, ANL, 630-252-6151)

Capacity Factor Project Gets Under Way. U.S. specialists met with Energoatom representatives in Kyiv on August 11 through 14 to begin the capacity factor project. The project involves performing a feasibility study to determine ways in which the nuclear electrical capacity factor might be improved for Ukraine's eleven VVER-1000 NPPs. During the Kyiv meetings, the original project plan was revised to provide greater work scope to Energoatom and to include additional technology transfer activities. At Energoatom's request, the project plan was modified also to focus on Rivne NPP as a pilot plant. Following detailed review and discussion, a protocol indicating agreement with the modified project plan was signed by Energoatom and U.S. team members. During the next few months, U.S. specialists will establish a contract with Energoatom and visit the Rivne site to collect capacity factor data and interview key plant personnel. (Dan Couch, PNNL, 509-372-6415)

New Project Will Assess Physical Security of Ukraine's NPPs. The physical security of Ukraine's NPPs will be assessed in a new project begun during August. A U.S. technical expert held meetings in Kyiv at Energoatom offices and at Rivne and Chornobyl NPPs to get the work under way. The physical security directors from Energoatom and Ukraine's Ministry of Energy indicated enthusiasm for such a project and freely shared information. Although not previously planned, the Ukraine representatives invited the U.S. specialist to visit Rivne and Chornobyl NPPs, where he interviewed relevant plant personnel and inspected the plant security systems. Valuable information was obtained to assess the physical security needs in Ukraine and determine the equipment and technology needed to make improvements. In September, Energoatom will provide a report on the overall state of Ukrainian nuclear plant physical security. Following receipt of that information, the U.S. team will draft a detailed report providing an assessment of the physical security of Ukraine's NPPs. (Dan Couch, PNNL, 509-372-6415)

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Bulgaria

Kozloduy Personnel Train on Configuration Management Software. During August, a specialist with American Technologies Inc., supervised training in computer-based configuration management (CM) techniques at Kozloduy NPP. Personnel from the plant's Bank Pumping Station were provided training on the Master Equipment List (MEL) module. The MEL is part of the Configuration Management Information System (CMIS) being installed during the pilot project. Datacom Software Engineering Company, a Bulgarian subcontractor to American Technologies Inc., provided the training.

Personnel previously received training on the Document and Records System Module and subsequently have entered approximately half of the controlled procedures for their facility into the database. They also have created a document control center where they will store controlled documents and facility records.

Ognian Kotcev, Bank Pumping Station facility manager, stated "We have already begun using the database to track documents and have found the new process much easier and more effective than the manual process we used previously. The Bank Pumping Station receives many documents from outside organizations. These documents need to be controlled but many arrive with no identification number. The new CM process assigns a unique number and allows us to distribute and control copies to the facility users. In addition, the computer network allows any user to immediately determine which are the latest revisions of such documents and review a list of the approved copy-holders. So far, we like the system very much."

Kozloduy NPP managers are monitoring the pilot project to learn how best to implement a complete CM program at their six nuclear units. The CMIS will include three software modules: Document and Records System, Master Equipment List, and Change Control. Together, these modules will form an integrated system to help the facility handle controlled documents and records, maintain a comprehensive asset list, and dynamically control changes to the configuration of the facility. (Donnie Draper, PNNL, 509-372-4079)

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Lithuania

Reactor Protection System Upgrade Expanded at Ignalina. On August 20, representatives from the U.S. team met with staff of Ignalina NPP to initiate a cooperative program for a reactor protection system upgrade at Ignalina Unit 2. The upgrade will involve installing a system similar to that now being installed in Ignalina Unit 1. (Rich Denning, PNNL, 614-424-7412)

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Cross-Cutting Activities

U.S. Contractors Selected for International Nuclear Safety Work. During August, eight U.S. engineering firms were awarded 3-year contracts to provide technical and engineering services in support of the U.S. team's international nuclear safety initiatives. Pacific Northwest National Laboratory conducted a competitive process to select the contractors who were awarded the basic ordering agreements (BOAs). The BOAs provide the contractual vehicle under which future task orders for specific work will be assigned by the U.S. team.

A total of 14 proposals were submitted for consideration. The eight firms selected are Babcock & Wilcox Environmental Services, Inc.; Scientech, Inc; Duke Engineering & Services; Burns & Roe Enterprises, Inc.; Parsons Infrastructure & Technology Group, Inc.; Stone & Webster Engineering Corporation; Bechtel National, Inc.; and Paul C. Rizzo Associates. The scope of their work will involve both the potential development of new safety-related projects and the continuation of existing projects within the U.S. effort. (Jeff Ace, PNNL, 509-375-2640)

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Planned Activities

* August 30-September 2 -- Rivne and Kyiv, Ukraine.

Code Validation for VVER Reactors. A U.S. technical specialist from Argonne National Laboratory will meet with Ukrainian representatives from Rivne NPP and the Nuclear Power Plant Operations Support Institute (NPP OSI) to discuss their participation in the code validation project for application to VVER reactors. The feasibility of using specific data from Ukrainian plant transients to define a standard problem will be evaluated. The quality and availability of relevant data will be discussed. (Jordi Roglans, ANL, 630-252-3283)

* August 31-September 11 -- Moscow, Russia.

Russian Reliability Database. Training on computer software and network administration will be conducted at MICROINFORM for project participants. (Grigory Trosman, DOE, 301-903-3581; Tom Vehec, PNNL, 509-372-4072)

* September 11-October 1 -- Chornobyl NPP, Ukraine.

RBMK Safety Maintenance Technology Transfer and Training. U.S. specialists will conduct training for Chornobyl plant staff in use of the thermographic imaging camera being provided to the plant by the U.S. team. (Ray Pugh, PNNL, 509-372-4103; Tom Vehec, PNNL, 509-372-4072)

* September 3-4 -- Stockholm, Sweden.

Code Validation for RBMK Reactors. A U.S. representative from Argonne National Laboratory will attend the first coordination meeting for the project on neutron kinetics code assessment for application to RBMK reactors. Representatives of the Stockholm Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), Swedish International Project, and Kurchatov Institute will participate in the meeting. (Jordi Roglans, ANL, 630-252-3283)

* September 7-8 -- Moscow, Russia.

Code Validation for Application to VVER and RBMK Reactors. A U.S. specialist from Argonne National Laboratory will meet with Russian participants in the code validation projects at the Russian International Nuclear Safety Center (RINSC). Participants will finalize the task order for the definition and analysis of the next standard problems for VVER applications, and make arrangements for the code configuration control training scheduled for later in September. Representatives from RINSC, the Electrogorsk Research and Engineering Center (EREC), and the Kurchatov Institute will attend. (Jordi Roglans, ANL, 630-252-3283)

September 7-11 -- Bratislava, Slovakia.

Plant Safety Assessment. A workshop, "Optimization of Resource Allocation Effectiveness for Controlling Risk Associated with the Operation of NPPs," will be held. Participants will be primarily from the Slovakia Nuclear Regulatory Authority and the Slovakia nuclear industry. (Jan Van Erp, ANL, 630-252-3381)

* September 14-18 -- Argonne, Illinois, USA.

Plant Safety Assessment. Staff from Argonne National Laboratory and Los Alamos National Laboratory will present a training course on the GASFLOW-II computer code for staff members of the Hungarian Institute for Electric Power Research (VEIKI). This training will enable the Hungarians to perform state-of-the-art analyses of hydrogen mixing and distribution in the Paks containment. Hydrogen behavior has been identified as one of the outstanding safety issues at Paks. (Bruce Spencer, ANL, 630-252-6564)

* September 15-16 -- Khmelnytskyy NPP, Ukraine.

Training. A U.S. training specialist will conduct a project scoping visit in support of the Management and Supervisory Skills course for Khmelnytskyy NPP. Representatives from Zaporizhzhya NPP also plan to attend the course. (Peter Kohut, BNL, 516-344-4982)

* September 17 -- Kyiv, Ukraine.

Training. A U.S. training specialist will attend a technical planning meeting at the Engineering and Technical Center for the Training of Nuclear Industry Personnel. U.S.-supported nuclear safety training projects in Ukraine will be discussed. (Peter Kohut, BNL, 516-344-4982)

* September 21-23 -- Kozloduy NPP, Bulgaria.

Training. A U.S. training specialist will assist training personnel at Kozloduy NPP in administering the Organizational Culture survey. (Peter Kohut, BNL, 516-344-4982)

* September 21- October 2 -- Ignalina NPP, Lithuania.

Training. A U.S. training specialist will work with Ignalina NPP trainers in support of the Control Room Reactor Operator training course development. (Peter Kohut, BNL, 516-344-4982)

* September 28-October 2 -- Balakovo, Russia.

Simulators. Specialists from Gosatomnadzor, VNIIAES, and Brookhaven National Laboratory will present a training course on plant simulator verification and validation. Course participants will include staff from Balakovo, Bilibino, and Ignalina NPPs who will be testing simulators at each of these plants. (Peter Kohut, BNL, 516-344-4982)

* October 13-14 --Moscow, Russia.

Information Exchanges. A U.S.-sponsored Year 2000 (Y2K) Information Exchange will include a discussion of the general situation within the U.S. nuclear industry, detailed explanation of findings at U.S. plants and current Y2K-related activities, and discussion of possible concerns for Soviet-designed reactors. Representatives of various Russian organizations, institutes, and nuclear power plants are expected to attend, as are two Ukrainian representatives. (Tanya Colgan, PNNL, 509-375-2054)

* October 23-November 9 -- Smolensk Training Center and Kursk NPP, Russia.

RBMK Safety Maintenance Technology Transfer and Training. U.S. specialists will conduct training for NPP maintenance staff in use of the thermographic imaging camera being provided by the U.S. team. (Ray Pugh, PNNL, 509-372-4103; Tom Vehec, PNNL, 509-372-4072)

* December 5-15 -- Leningrad NPP, Russia.

RBMK Safety Maintenance Technology Transfer and Training. U.S. specialists will conduct training for NPP maintenance staff in use of the thermographic imaging camera being provided by the U.S. team. (Ray Pugh, PNNL, 509-372-4103; Tom Vehec, PNNL, 509-372-4072)

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