Rivne safety assessment work resumes under new management
In late June, the U.S. technical coordinator for the plant in-depth safety assessment participated in the first project review meeting planned and led by Rivne NPP to facilitate and coordinate the restart of activities related to the plant safety assessment. Rivne NPP now plays a greatly enhanced role as Ukrainian manager of the Rivne safety assessment. Participation by plant technical staff also is expanded. Enthusiasm for the new arrangement was evidenced by the fact that every member of the Ukrainian team attended the June 28 review meeting even though it was a national holiday (Constitution Day).
Meeting participants included U.S. team members from Argonne National Laboratory and SCIENTECH, Inc., the technical assistance contractor for the safety assessment. Separate meetings were held between the U.S. team and the three parties of the Ukrainian team–Rivne NPP, the International Chornobyl Center/Safety Analysis Laboratory, and Energorisk. Discussions covered functional relationships as well as scope and schedule for future project tasks. (Walter Pasedag, DOE, 301-903-3628; Charles Dickerman, ANL, 630-252-4622)
Physical security upgrades under way at Khmelnytskyy
The U.S. team is working with Khmelnytskyy NPP to upgrade physical security measures at the plant. During the last half of June and first week of July, project participants held technical discussions at Khmelnytskyy to review progress to date. Management representatives of the Ukrainian organizations involved in the work–EnergoAtom, Kyiv Energoprojekt, Transexpo Corporation, and Khmelnytskyy NPP–and the U.S. project manager from Pacific Northwest National Laboratory signed a joint protocol documenting the discussions. From their discussions, group members reached the following conclusions and agreements:
• As of June 2000, the project is about one month behind the schedule originally agreed upon. The slippage was caused by a 90-day refueling and maintenance outage currently under way at Khmelnytskyy NPP. To meet the project completion deadline, Transexpo Corporation agreed to bring additional labor resources onsite to work 24 hours a day.
• Pacific Northwest National Laboratory has purchased half of the equipment, which is in the process of being delivered. Delivery of equipment purchased outside Ukraine has been delayed slightly. However, the equipment is expected to arrive onsite within two weeks. The installation activity is progressing well. In particular, most of the equipment in the reactor building, special building, and fresh fuel storage facility will be installed in the beginning of August. The adjustment, testing, and commissioning activities will be accomplished in August. The unit alarm station also will be installed then.
• The operational and training procedures are being developed. EnergoAtom and Khmelnytskyy NPP management will define a list of positions and the staffing plan for training and certification. It is anticipated that the plant personnel will be trained by the end of August to be able start routine operation in September 2000.
Host-country contributions to the project include the following:
• Khmelnytskyy NPP is providing financing for design activities related to the electrical system. The plant has contracted with Kyiv Energoprojekt for this work.
• Khmelnytskyy workers have manufactured about half of the doors, frames, enclosures, and other structural components. Those components are ready for installation.
EnergoAtom, Khmelnytskyy NPP, and Transexpo Corporation agreed to make all efforts necessary to complete the physical security upgrades by August 31, 2000. (Grigory Trosman, DOE, 301-903-3581; Andrei Glukhov, PNNL, 509-375-3961)
Reliability database being implemented at Khmelnytskyy
During the last week of July, participants in the Ukraine reliability database project met to review past, current, and future activities related to database development and implementation. The meetings, held in Kyiv and Neteshin, involved representatives of Information Technologies Incorporated (INIT), EnergoAtom, and Khmelnytskyy NPP, along with the U.S. project manager from Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and a technical specialist from Western Services Corporation. Western Services is a host-country subcontractor to Data Systems & Solutions (DS&S), the American firm serving as technical advisor and mentor to the reliability database project.
The review of project status found that the database structure is well developed, and the pilot implementation at Khmelnytskyy NPP is in progress. The pilot implementation has taken longer than anticipated, as specialists are working to fully integrate the reliability database with the plant’s existing databases and work processes. The reliability database, originally viewed as a stand-alone database and application program to collect reliability information, has evolved into a more useful tool to the plant. Full integration will allow plant workers to apply the reliability database to their day-to-day operations such as tracking corrective actions, planning maintenance, tracking inventory, and documenting design reference material. Khmelnytskyy specialists had independently begun several database projects to meet these needs. By absorbing these functions into the reliability database, the project is ensuring the use of the available information and the maximum benefit to the plant.
Closing discussions included revised scheduling and resources planning to complete a full implementation of the reliability database at each of Ukraine’s nuclear power plants and at EnergoAtom offices. A formal revised plan is expected before the next meeting of the Ukraine coordinating committee. (Grigory Trosman, DOE, 301-903-3581; Tye Blackburn, PNNL, 509-372-4092)
International Chornobyl Center hosts nuclear safety center representatives
Following two-day meetings hosted by the International Chornobyl Center (ICC) at its Slavutych Laboratory, representatives of the Ukraine, Russia, and Kazakh nuclear safety centers agreed on a list of areas with the highest prospects for further cooperation. These areas include decommissioning, rehabilitation of land and radioecology, emergency planning, and safety analysis. As decided during the meetings, a detailed document will be prepared to define possibilities and forms of cooperation.
This was the first integrating meeting of the three centers since they became members of the International Nuclear Safety Center (INSC) network initially encouraged and supported by the U.S. Department of Energy for approximately five years now. In addition to Ukraine’s ICC, the Russian INSC, and the Center of Nuclear Technology Safety of Kazakhstan, the INSC network also includes the U.S. INSC at Argonne National Laboratory and the Lithuanian Energy Institute. The network of national centers is addressing and resolving nuclear safety and nonproliferation issues through joint cooperation and exchange of information.
For Ukraine, operation of the center in Slavutych is especially important, given the coming Chornobyl closure in December. In joint research, it will address various issues specifically related to the monitoring, cleanup, decontamination, and decommissioning of the Chornobyl reactors as well as provide alternative employment for those who would lose their jobs with the plant. It is envisioned that the ICC Slavutych Laboratory will become a repository of modern nuclear safety codes and a center of modern codes training, usage, and validation. Ukraine now has more VVER reactors than any other country. Cooperative activities to promote nuclear safety in Ukraine can also include a program to train specialists on techniques related to documenting and standardizing internationally accepted practices for modeling systems, with particular emphasis on the VVER reactors. Using the ICC Nuclear Data Bank facility, Slavutych can serve as a site for the dissemination of nuclear safety data and information in Ukraine and beyond.
Minutes of the meetings will be placed on the Internet sites of each of the three parties involved. At present, the ICC web site can be accessed at http://slirt.chornobyl.org. (Riaz Awan, DOE, 301-903-2687; Mykola Kurilchik, International Chornobyl Center, firstname.lastname@example.org)
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