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Khmelnytskyy Operating HistoryIn March 1992, Unit 1 was shut down to correct a problem with piping and in May and November because of turbine vibrations. In December 1993, it was taken out of service after a hydrogen leak was detected in the cooling system.
Unit 1 was shut down for five days in March 1994 following a fire in the turbine hall that was caused by a short circuit in an electrical cable. The event was classified as Level 1 on the International Nuclear Event Scale (INES). Since 1992, the plant has been unable to ship its spent fuel to Krasnoyarsk in Russia for reprocessing because Russia will not accept its spent fuel. With storage space decreasing, the plant reracked the spent fuel pool, increasing capacity enough to provide an additional three years of storage.
To obtain spare parts, the plant must sign agreements with the appropriate Russian suppliers. As a result of delays in agreements, many of Khmelnytskyy's maintenance activities are now focused on the repair and refurbishment of equipment or on preventive maintenance. According to a Ukrainian news agency report in October 1994, Khmelnytskyy had been forced to suspend repairs because of a lack of funds.
The Ukrainian Parliament's 1990 moratorium stopped construction on three other units at the plant. In October 1993, the Ukrainian parliament voted to lift the moratorium on new plant construction, citing Ukraine's energy shortage as the reason. In February 1994, then-President Kravchuk issued a directive calling for the completion by 1999 of five VVER-1000 s that were under construction, including Khmelnytskyy 2, 3 and 4. Khmelnytskyy 2 is about 75 percent complete, Khmelnytskyy 3 is 50 percent complete and Khmelnytskyy 4 is 10 percent complete.
However, Unit 2 does not incorporate the changes made to Unit 1 as a result of new safety documentation for VVERs introduced in 1988. The cost of complying with the 1988 requirements has been estimated at more than $10 million.
Source: Source Book: Soviet-Designed Nuclear Power Plants in Russia, Ukrane, Lithuania, the Czech Republic, the Slovak Republic, Hungary, and Bulgaria, 4th edition. Nuclear Energy Institute. 1996. (online)
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