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Activity Report

January 1 through 30, 1998
Prepared by Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Richland, Washington
This report is available on the Internet at


Training Technology Transferred to Kursk. A team of training experts from Balakovo nuclear power plant (NPP) and the United States worked with training and technical experts at Kursk NPP during the week of January 19 to finalize instructional materials for a pilot program in mechanical maintenance. The team implemented the pilot program for Kursk staff during the week of January 26. (Sonja Haber, BNL, 516-344-3575)

Analytical Simulator Under Development for Bilibino. Work to develop an analytical simulator for Bilibino NPP began with a kickoff meeting at the headquarters of GSE Systems, Inc., in Columbia, Maryland. Participants included representatives of Rosenergoatom, Gosatomnadzor, GSE, and LAKROM, the Russian simulator contractor. Technical specialists from the U.S. team also participated. By the end of January, LAKROM had received and tested the computer hardware for the simulator. Bilibino NPP specialists have provided nearly three-quarters of the plant-specific data to the contractor. Those data are being analyzed for use in designing the simulator. Vendor and modeling software will be installed next. Planning is under way for simulator-related training programs for Bilibino NPP operators. Those programs will cover hardware and software maintenance and instructor training. (Peter Kohut, BNL, 516-344-4982)

Rosenergoatom Approves Emergency Operating Instructions for Novovoronezh. On January 16, Rosenergoatom officials approved implementation of the last seven emergency operating instructions (EOIs) developed for Novovoronezh Unit 3. The Rosenergoatom letter to the chief engineer of Novovoronezh NPP stated in part

We permit to application of the EOI of the second stage of implementation agreed by the Don Region Administration of Gosatomnadzor of Russia ..... at the unit 3 of Novovoronezh NPP.

Twenty-two EOIs had been implemented previously at the plant. An order from the plant chief engineer, anticipated in early February, will initiate plant operations using the additional new EOIs. (Kent Faris, PNNL, 509-372-4068)

Safety Parameter Display System for Novovoronezh Nears Completion. Factory acceptance testing of equipment for a Novovoronezh NPP safety parameter display system was completed successfully on January 28. The two-week test, conducted at the Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) facility in Delaware, Ohio, provided a thorough demonstration of system performance under all possible operating scenarios. Regulatory staff from Gosatomnadzor and representatives of other Russian institutes witnessed the testing. Russian regulations require that such a team observe and certify acceptable test completion before allowing the equipment to be installed or to operate in a nuclear plant.

Successful test completion satisfies the final requirement prior to the equipment being shipped to Novovoronezh for installation into Unit 4 later this spring. These test results are of significance also to equipment for the Novovoronezh Unit 3 system. The Unit 3 equipment had been installed into the Novovoronezh plant before the regulatory agency requirement for observation and certification was met. However, the Russian regulatory team agreed to do a surrogate witness of the Unit 3 tests based on the results of the Unit 4 equipment tests. If that alternative proves acceptable, the Unit 3 equipment could be turned over to Novovoronezh plant operating staff in late May 1998. (Mike Durst, PNNL, 509-372-4698)


Plans Finalized for Training Activities in Ukraine. U.S. team representatives met with training specialists and representatives of the Ukrainian NPPs, the Engineering and Technical Center for the Training of Nuclear Industry Personnel (ETC), and Energoatom on January 21 in Kyiv. The group discussed work to be conducted in 1998 for the Ukraine training technology transfer project. Participants also agreed upon a work plan for a new project on simulator training. The simulator training work is expected to begin as soon as the project work plan is approved. (Sonja Haber, BNL, 516-344-3575)

Training Technology Being Transferred to South Ukraine. A team of training experts from Khmelnytskyy NPP, the ETC, and the United States began a two-week working visit at South Ukraine NPP on January 26. The team is collaborating with training and technical experts at the plant to develop a pilot training program on Instrumentation and Controls (Soldering). This visit is the third of four planned to South Ukraine NPP to develop course materials for this pilot program. (Sonja Haber, BNL, 516-344-3575)

Technical Specifications Defined for Ukraine Plant Simulator Projects. GSE Systems, Inc., and U.S. technical experts discussed technical specifications for the full-scope simulators for South Ukraine Unit 1 and Rivne Unit 3 during mid-January meetings in Columbia, Maryland. The specifications cover the additional tasks for the plants that the U.S. side has agreed to fund. The simulator specifications defined at the meetings will be discussed with representatives of South Ukraine and Rivne NPPs, the ETC, Energoatom, and GSE Systems in Kyiv in February (see Planned Activities, February 3-5). If all parties agree to the specifications at the February meeting, contract negotiations for the tasks can begin. (Peter Kohut, BNL, 516-344-4982)

Ukrainian Ministry Approves Chornobyl Emergency Operating Instructions. In a recent letter to Chornobyl NPP, Ukraine's Ministry for Environmental Protection and Nuclear Safety gave conditional approval to the plant to implement the new symptom-based emergency operating instructions developed in collaboration with Ciel Consultants, Inc., and U.S. team representatives. Full approval from the Ministry will be granted after

  • Energoatom gives its approval to implement
  • Chornobyl operators complete training on the full-scope simulator at the Smolensk Training Center
  • the training center certifies by letter that simulator training was completed successfully.

Chornobyl NPP staff have begun working to fulfill the Ministry's conditions. Training at the Smolensk center began on January 25 for Chornobyl plant operators. Allowing for shift rotations, completion of training is expected in approximately six weeks. (Donnie Draper, PNNL, 509-372-4079)

Chornobyl Shelter Project

Conferences Held for Bidders on Shelter Implementation Plan Work. Conferences for bidders who made the short list for work under the Shelter Implementation Plan (SIP) were held in Slavutych on January 20 and 21. At the conferences, bidders learned that proposals for the early biddable projects (EBPs) are due to the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development on March 15; the project management unit (PMU) proposals are due on February 17. Six companies/consortiums were short-listed for the Civil Engineering EBP, six for the Operation and Monitoring EBP, five for the Emergency Systems EBP and six for the Fuel-Containing Material EBP. American companies represented in the EBP short-listing include General Atomic, Dames & Moore, Morrison-Knudsen, Stone & Webster Engineering Corporation, Los Alamos Technical Associates, and Duke Engineering & Services Company. Five companies were short-listed for the PMU. U.S. companies represented on that short list include Bechtel National, Battelle Memorial Institute, and a European subsidiary of Westinghouse Electric Corporation. (Dennis Kreid, PNNL, 509-375-2170)

Chornobyl Initiatives

Trilateral Cooperation Supports Chornobyl Unit 3/4 Ventilation Stack Repairs. Ukraine, Canada, and the United States have joined forces to fund repairs to the external bracing and foundation of the Unit 3/4 ventilation stack, damaged heavily in the 1986 accident. The U.S. funding (US$1 million) and Canadian funding (US$0.8 million) is approved. A contract was placed with the Shelter in December 1997, specifying project management deliverables comprising five milestones as the basis for Canadian and U.S. payments for the repair equipment and actual repairs. Ukraine is contributing US$0.454 million to the project. Chornobyl Shelter staff will manage the repair efforts, which will be performed by Ukrainian construction companies. Deliverables for the first two milestones are due in February 1998. The resulting payments will fund the purchase of a system to deliver repair components to the elevated repair sites, as well as repair equipment and replacement bracing and foundation repair components. Actual repairs will be started with the onset of spring weather conditions at the site, in recognition of worker safety considerations at the exposed and elevated repair locations. (John Schmidt, PNNL, 509-372-6377)

Central and Eastern Europe

Lithuania: Supplier Chosen for Ignalina Reactor Protection System. A safety analysis of Ignalina NPP determined that the Unit 1 reactor protection system may not respond adequately to certain safety-related events. Consequently, the Lithuanian nuclear regulatory agency VATESI mandated that the plant's control and protection system be modified 1) to ensure that it will provide adequate protection to the plant during those events and 2) to increase the overall reliability of the the plant protection system. During a January 9 meeting at Parsons Power offices in Reading, Pennsylvania, an Ignalina representative approved the design specifications for the electronic protection system being provided to Ignalina Unit 1 as part of the safety-related modifications. Foxboro, a U.S. commercial firm, subsequently was selected as the vendor for the reactor protection system. (Norman Fletcher, DOE, 301-903-3275)

Lithuania: Ignalina Gives Final Approval for Process Control Module Manufacture. After testing the second prototype process control module developed by NUS Instruments, Ignalina NPP representatives gave NUS final approval on January 23 to produce 100 of the modules for the power plant. Another 200 of the safety-related modules for plant process control subsequently will be manufactured by a Lithuanian firm, the Center for Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC). Personnel from EMC completed manufacturing training at NUS Instruments in Idaho Falls, Idaho, in December. During the training, they manufactured five modules. (Norman Fletcher, DOE, 301-903-3275)

Planned Activities

* February 1-4 -- Slavutych, Ukraine.
Chornobyl Deactivation, Decontamination, and Decommissioning (DD&D). A delegation from the U.S. team will hold discussions with staff of Chornobyl NPP and the Slavutych Laboratory for International Research and Technology regarding construction of the heat plant for Chornobyl NPP. They also will review status of tasks related to the overall Chornobyl DD&D work. (Riaz Awan, DOE, 301-903-2687)

* February 1-7 -- Kyiv and Slavutych, Ukraine.
Simulators. Technical leaders from the U.S. team will meet in Kyiv with host-country representatives and contractors for discussions of three simulator projects under way at Ukrainian NPPs. In Slavutych, they will participate in the wrap-up meeting for the Chornobyl NPP analytical simulator. During the meeting, the simulator will be turned over formally to Chornobyl NPP. (John Yoder, DOE, 301-903-5650)

* February 2-6 -- Richland, Washington, USA.
International Cooperation. A representative of the Russian Academy of Sciences Nuclear Safety Institute will meet with U.S. team members at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. Discussions will cover ongoing bilateral nuclear safety projects for Soviet-designed reactors as well as new initiatives. (Laurin Dodd, PNNL, 509-372-4423) (Workshop No. 98-010; Travel Coordinator Jennifer Carpenter, PNNL, 509-372-4139)

* February 2-7 -- Kyiv, Ukraine.
International Cooperation. Administrative specialists from the U.S. team and representatives of Chornobyl Union International will discuss, negotiate terms, and expedite placement of a new contract for logistical support services provided to U.S. staff while traveling on project business in Ukraine. Meetings also will be held with representatives of Energoatom and Derzhkomatom to negotiate terms and expedite placement of a new basic ordering agreement and tasks related to Ukrainian customs clearance. (Jeff Ace, PNNL, 509-375-2640)

* February 2-13 -- Rivne NPP, Ukraine.
Training. A U.S. training specialist and personnel from Khmelnytskyy NPP and the Engineering and Technical Center for the Training of Nuclear Industry Personnel will conduct a working visit to Rivne NPP. They will collaborate on preparing instructional materials for the Instrumentation and Controls (Soldering) pilot training program. (Sonja Haber, BNL, 516-344-3575)

* February 3-5 -- Kyiv, Ukraine.
Simulators. The status of full-scope simulator projects at Rivne Unit 3 and South Ukraine Units 1 and 3 and of the analytical simulator project at Chornobyl Unit 3 will be reviewed. Discussions are expected to cover staging options for the simulators, data collection, model development, schedule, and project integration issues. Representatives from the Ukrainian NPPs, GSE Power Systems, VNIIAES, the Engineering and Technical Center for the Training of Nuclear Industry Personnel, and the U.S. team will participate in the review. (Peter Kohut, BNL, 516-344-4982)

* February 4 -- Energodar, Ukraine.
Plant Safety Assessment. The steering committee for in-depth safety assessment work at Ukraine's VVER NPPs will meet at Zaporizhzhya NPP to review the status of ongoing projects. Steering committee members include representatives of Energoatom, all VVER plants in Ukraine, and the U.S. Department of Energy. Personnel from Ukrainian subcontractors and Scientech, the U.S. technical assistance contractor for the lead reactor units in Ukraine, also will attend, as will U.S. team project coordinators. (Christian Kot, ANL, 630-252-6151)

* February 6-9 -- Kuznetsovsk, Ukraine.
Plant Safety Assessment. A planning meeting for the in-depth safety assessment of Khmelnytskyy NPP will be held at the plant. U.S. coordination and technical assistance staff will meet with staff from the NPP and the Ukrainian subcontractor to address initial Ukrainian activities on this project. (Charles Dickerman, ANL, 630-252-4622)

* February 6-10 -- Kyiv, Ukraine.
Chornobyl Initiatives. U.S. experts will meet with management of the Chornobyl Center on Nuclear Safety, Radioactive Waste and Radioecology. They will discuss the application of remote sensing to environmental monitoring and characterization at Chornobyl NPP. (Roger Anderson, PNNL, 206-528-3300)

* February 7-14 -- Vienna, Austria.
Management and Operational Safety; Emergency Operating Instructions. A technical lead from the U.S. team will participate in an International Atomic Energy Agency advisory group meeting, "Development and Use of Plant Procedure and Job Aids for NPPs." He also will review the initial draft of Good Practices and Procedures, a document developed by the advisory group. (Dennis Meyers, DOE, 301-903-1418)

* Date changed from December 8-10 to February 8-10 -- Brussels, Belgium.
International Cooperation. The Norway-based Environmental Foundation Bellona, known as the Bellona Foundation, will hold an international technical workshop on nuclear waste problems in northwestern Russia. A technical expert from the U.S. team will participate. (Jim Wiborg, PNNL, 509-375-6745)

* February 9-13 -- Kursk NPP, Russia.
Plant Safety Assessment. U.S. experts from Science Applications International Corporation and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory will meet with a management representative of Kursk NPP to establish the project office for the Kursk in-depth plant safety assessment. The U.S. team members also will work with representatives of Kursk NPP and the Research and Development Institute of Power Engineering to develop the work plan and initial task orders for the project. (Ty Blackburn, PNNL, 509-372-4092)

* February 9-20 -- Trnava Training Center, Slovakia.
Training. A U.S. training specialist and staff of the Trnava Training Center will review instructional materials developed for the center's Instructor Training pilot course. That course will be implemented during the week of February 16. (Sonja Haber, BNL, 516-344-3575)

* February 9-21 -- Kyiv and Slavutych, Ukraine.
Chornobyl Shelter Safety Upgrades. U.S. technical experts will work with staff of Chornobyl NPP to assemble and conduct a functional checkout of the nuclear safety monitoring system developed for the Chornobyl Shelter. The U.S. team members also will train Shelter personnel and staff of the Ukrainian Academy of Sciences' Interdisciplinary Scientific and Technical Center-Shelter (ISTC-Shelter) on how to operate the monitoring system and evaluate the data collected. (Riaz Awan, DOE, 301-903-2687)

* February 10-13 -- Stockholm, Sweden, and St. Petersburg, Russia.
Plant Safety Assessment. Technical leaders from the U.S. team will meet in Stockholm with a representative of the Swedish International Program for discussions of western support for the Leningrad NPP in-depth safety assessment. In St. Petersburg, the team members will discuss the potential scope of work for the effort with candidate eastern subcontractor organizations. (Walt Pasedag, DOE, 301-903-3628)

* February 11-12 -- Stockholm, Sweden.
Plant Safety Assessment. Technical experts from the U.S. team will meet with a representative of the Swedish International Project (SiP) office to discuss a cooperative effort in conjunction with the Kola in-depth safety assessment (KOLISA) Project. The SIP and the Norwegian government have pledged support for a Level 1 plant safety assessment for Units 1 and 2 at Kola NPP. (Philip Pizzica, ANL, 630-252-4847)

* February 14-21 -- Oradell, New Jersey, and Washington, D.C., USA.
Engineering and Technology. Key staff members of Armenia NPP, Armenia's Ministry of Energy, and nuclear regulatory organization will meet with representatives of U.S. contractor Burns & Roe and members of the U.S. team. Participants will discuss cooperative reactor safety work in Armenia. (Dennis Meyers, DOE, 301-903-1418) (Workshop No. 98-009; Travel Coordinator Gail Flora, PNNL, 509-375-6554)

* February 15-21 -- Vienna, Austria.
Plant Safety Assessment. A technical expert from the U.S. team will participate in discussions of efforts to validate the RELAP5 computer code for RBMK reactor safety analyses. Representatives of the International Atomic Energy Agency and of Japan, Germany, Sweden, Russia, and the United States will compare results of calculations performed on Japanese experimental data. Those comparisons are expected to lead to International Atomic Energy Agency acceptance of the RELAP5 code as generally applicable for RBMK analysis work. (Walt Pasedag, DOE, 301-903-3628)

* February 15-21 -- Sofia, Bulgaria.
Emergency Operating Instructions. By invitation, U.S. experts will conduct a workshop for staff of Bulgaria's Committee on the Use of Atomic Energy for Peaceful Purposes. The workshop will cover the American approach to regulating emergency operating instructions. Bulgarian officials will use the information in drafting its regulation for symptom-based emergency operating instructions. (Dennis Meyers, DOE, 301-903-1418)

* February 15-28 -- Slavutych, Ukraine.
Chornobyl Initiatives. A U.S. delegation will participate in the dedication ceremony and related activities for the new facilities of the Chornobyl Center/Slavutych Laboratory. U.S. participants also will meet with Ukrainian officials to discuss plans for technical work for the Center and cooperative efforts to diversify the economy of Slavutych. (Terry Lash, DOE, 202-586-6450)

* February 16-20 -- Kyiv, Ukraine.
Ukraine Quality Assurance. Representatives of the Ukraine Quality Assurance Project Group will meet to provide a status report on the National Quality Assurance Standard for Nuclear Power Plants, which will be issued by the Nuclear Regulatory Administration (NRA) as a normative document. They also will discuss plans for development of lower-level quality assurance procedures and begin developing a pilot procedure for assessment of quality. Representatives of all NPPs in Ukraine, Energoatom, and Energoatom contractors will attend, in addition to technical specialists from Scientech, Inc., and U.S. team members from two national laboratories. The NRA may be represented as well. At this meeting, Energoatom likely will request to expand the membership of the Project Group to include the NRA's scientific and technical center. (Lief Erickson, PNNL, 509-372-4097)

* February 18-23 -- Slavutych, Ukraine.
Chornobyl Initiatives. Technical experts from the U.S. team will oversee the reconfiguration of the DOE-provided satellite telecommunications system for the Chornobyl Center on Nuclear Safety, Radioactive Waste and Radioecology/Slavutych Laboratory for International Research and Technology. The U.S. team representatives also will provide training for Slavutych Laboratory personnel on operation of the telecommunications system and associated computer network. (Brian Kremer, DOE, 202-586-9096)

* February 21-28 -- Energodar, Ukraine.
Ukraine Nondestructive Examination. Technical experts from the U.S. team will oversee delivery and setup of a remote system for inspecting steam generator tubes at Zaporizhzhya NPP. The system, which was assembled in Zagreb, Croatia, will enable plant staff to examine and repair leaking tubes in situ. (Greg Trosman, DOE, 301-903-3581; Tom Taylor, PNNL, 509-375-4331)

* February 21-28 -- Moscow, Russia.
Management and Operational Safety; Regulatory and Institutional Framework. Two U.S. project leaders and representatives of Rosenergoatom and VNIIAES will discuss the Kalinin Local Crisis Center project. They will identify the activities remaining and schedule needed for project closure. Subsequent meetings with Gosatomnadzor representatives will focus on that agency's work to develop regulatory standards for fuel cycle facilities. The U.S. team will review and comment on the draft standards, finalize the agenda for a March workshop on radiation protection inspections, and provide training to Gosatomnadzor staff on issues and technical information related to decontamination and decommissioning. (Dan Giessing, DOE, 202-586-9466)

* February 21-28 -- Madrid, Spain.
Plant Safety Assessment; Reliability Database Development. The International Atomic Energy Agency technical meeting, "Probabilistic Safety Assessment Applications to Improve Nuclear Power Plant Safety," will be attended by a technical lead from the U.S. team and representatives of host-country organizations involved in developing reliability databases. Participants will represent INIT (Ukraine), VNIIAES (Russia), VUJE (Slovakia), and NRI-Rez (Czech Republic). (Greg Trosman, DOE, 301-903-3581) (Workshop No. 98-007; Travel Coordinator Gail Flora, PNNL, 509-375-6554)

* February 22-28 -- Moscow, Russia.
Emergency Operating Instructions. A U.S. technical lead and a representative of Science Applications International Corporation will work with staff of VNIIAES, Gidropress, and Balakovo and Kola NPPs to mentor how best to perform analyses of emergency operating instructions. The U.S. team members also will discuss strategies for completing the work. (Dennis Meyers, DOE, 301-903-1418)

* February 23-March 6 -- Beloyarsk NPP, Russia.
Training. A U.S. training specialist will conduct a working visit at Beloyarsk NPP to continue review and development of training material and practice implementation of the Sodium Systems Maintenance pilot course. The course itself will be implemented during the second week of the visit. (Sonja Haber, BNL, 516-344-3575)

* March 1-4 -- Kyiv, Ukraine.
Nondestructive Examination Initiative. A technical expert from the U.S. team will meet with officials of Energoatom and the National University of Ukraine. Discussions will cover the initial action plan for a project to establish a centralized certification and training program in nondestructive examination within Ukraine. (Greg Trosman, DOE, 301-903-3581)

* March 8-14 -- Moscow, Russia.
Plant Safety Assessment. Technical experts from Brookhaven and Pacific Northwest national laboratories and Science Applications International Corporation will meet with a representative of the Nuclear Safety Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences (IBRAE) regarding IBRAE's Development of Standard Probabilistic Risk Assessment Procedure Guides, Recommendation Report. This report was developed by IBRAE as the first deliverable of a set of procedure guides for probabilistic risk analysis. Discussions also will be held with staff of the Research and Development Institute of Power Engineering (RDIPE) to review ongoing project planning and task order development for the in-depth safety assessment at Kursk NPP. (Ty Blackburn, PNNL, 509372-4092)

* Date changed from January 26-February 6 to March 16-27 -- Zaporizhzhya NPP, Ukraine.
Training. A U.S. training specialist and personnel from Khmelnytskyy NPP, the Engineering and Technical Center for the Training of Nuclear Industry Personnel, and Zaporizhzhya NPP will continue preparation of training materials for the Chemical Operator pilot training program. (Sonja Haber, BNL, 516-344-3575)

* March 23-27 -- Kalinin NPP, Russia.
Simulators. A U.S. training specialist will present a training course on plant simulator verification and validation. Staff from the Kalinin project and personnel from one or more additional NPPs will participate in the course. (Peter Kohut, BNL, 516-344-4982)

* May 18-22 -- Balakovo NPP, Russia.
Simulators. Plant staff involved with Balakovo's simulator project, plus representatives from one or more additional NPPs, will attend a training course on simulator verification and validation. A U.S. training specialist will present the course. (Peter Kohut, BNL, 516-344-4982)


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