International Workshop on Safety of First-Generation VVER-440 Nuclear Power Plants
In late May, two technical specialists from Argonne National Laboratory (ANL) participated in the International Workshop on Safety of First-Generation VVER-440 Nuclear Power Plants (NPP) in Piestany, Slovakia. A third ANL technical representative helped prepare for the conference and served as the scientific secretary during the meetings. The workshop was sponsored by the NNSA in cooperation with the IAEA, the Nuclear Regulatory Authority of Slovakia (UJD), and the Center for Nuclear Safety in Central and Eastern Europe (CENS). A total of 15 papers were presented as part of the workshop, which was attended by approximately 40 people, coming from six different countries as well as the IAEA. The primary objective of the workshop was to identify and prioritize potential improvements in hardware and plant operation of the first-generation VVER-440 nuclear power plants based on insights gained from recent probabilistic risk assessments (PRAs) completed by the plants and their technical support organizations. A list of the current improvements and the recommendations of the PRAs for potential improvements was prepared and conclusions from the comparisons and analysis of this data will be the substance of the final report of the meeting. (Jan van Erp, ANL, 630-325-7938)
Bubbler Condenser Steering Group (BCSG) Meets
A technical specialist from ANL acting as the NNSA-designated U.S representative member of the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) Bubbler Condenser Steering Group (BCSG), participated in the third meeting of the BCSG. The meeting was held at the Nuclear Regulatory Authority of Slovakia (VJD) in Bratislava, Slovakia on April 29 and 30, 2002. The goal of the Steering Group (SG) is to provide convincing evidence for use in bringing closure to bubbler condenser issues for the VVER-440 model V213s. Three new experiments being funded by a consortium of Czech, Hungarian, and Slovakian utilities, will be conducted using the large-scale bubbler condenser experiment facility at the Electrogorsk Research and Engineering Center (EREC) in Electrogorsk, Russia. The resulting data will serve as evidence of VVER-440/213ís bubble-condenser issues.
The new experiments simulate main steam line break, 200-millimeter - medium break Loss of Coolant Accident (LOCA), and 90-millimeter - small break LOCA scenarios. The utilities have now signed a contract with EREC, which states that the three tests should be completed by July 19, 2002. A draft outline for a report on BSCG activities and conclusions was approved at the meeting. The next BCSG meeting was tentatively scheduled for November 25 and 26, 2002 in Prague. A final meeting is planned for December 2002. (James Sienicki, ANL, 630-252-4848)
Emergency Procedures Workshop Takes Place in Vienna, Austria
Two technical specialists from PNNL traveled to Vienna, Austria to participate in an IAEA workshop on Emergency Operating Procedures (EOPs). The focus of the workshop was to develop a general guidance document on the development, implementation, and review of EOPs. This document will provide guidance to countries and individual NPPs involved in developing or upgrading their EOPs and will contain guidelines for IAEA review teams and other regulatory organizations when reviewing EOPs. The meeting was well attended with representatives from Bulgaria, Canada, China, Croatia, France, Germany, India, the Netherlands, Pakistan, Russia, Slovakia, United States, and the World Association of Nuclear Operators (WANO).
The first two days of the meeting were dedicated to presentations given by various countries regarding the type of EOPs used in their country and how they have been developed. The next three days were focused on revising and updating an early draft IAEA document on the development and review of EOPs. By the end of the week a significantly updated draft was prepared and further action items were assigned to finish specific sections over the following few weeks. The IAEA staff plans to issue this document later this year. (Larry Sherfey, PNNL, 509-372-4080; Robert Moffitt, PNNL, 509-372-4108)
Design Basis Documents Developed at IAEA Workshop
A technical specialist from PNNL attended an IAEA workshop in Madrid, Spain concerning the development of design basis documents for VVER-1000 reactors. The workshop was broken down into two parts. Two days were presentations by Empresarios Agrupandos (EA), a Spanish nuclear architect/engineer, and two days were used for an IAEA RER/9/069 expert meeting. The Spanish presentations were very informative about lessons-learned from their methodology, procedures, and computer tools used to re-constitute and maintain the nuclear power plant (NPP) safety design basis for Almaraz NPP. These lessons learned have direct applicability to the NNSA-sponsored Design Document System Management (DDSM) activities in Ukraine. The RER/9/069 expert meeting was comprised of presentations from Kozloduy NPP, Temelin NPP, the Russian NPPs, and the Ukrainian NPPs concerning the design basis re-construction efforts for their VVER-1000s. (Tyrone Blackburn, PNNL, 509-372-4092)
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