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Activity Report

for the period February 8 through February 21, 1997
Prepared by Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, Washington


Groundwork Laid for Configuration Management at Two Russian Plants. In late January, U.S. members of the management and operational safety team met in Moscow with representatives of Balakovo and Novovoronezh nuclear power plants (NPPs) and Rosenergoatom to initiate the Russian configuration management project. Training on basic concepts of configuration management was provided. The Russian representatives expressed enthusiasm about the project and recognized that configuration management is an important process to incorporate into their management operations. A protocol outlining the agreements for Phase I of the project was signed by Rosenergoatom, Novovoronezh, Balakovo, and the U.S. team. (Dan Couch, PNNL, 509-372-4591)

Kola Simulator System Hardware Passes Test. The hardware for the input/output system of Kola NPP's full-scope simulator recently completed satisfactory acceptance tests in Moscow. The input/output system, a major U.S. contribution to the Kola full-scope simulator project, was tested in early February at the simulator staging facility of General Energy Technologies (GET). Observing the tests were GET's manager for the Kola project, a representative of Kola NPP, and several U.S. technical staff. Also present were technical staff from ELISP, the hardware supplier, who immediately corrected some very minor deficiencies that surfaced during the testing. The Kola NPP representative indicated complete satisfaction with the test results; he will provide written approval of the test plan and of the test results. The successful test makes it possible for technical staff to begin integrating the input/output system with the control room panels. Those panels are scheduled for delivery to GET in August. (Peter Kohut, BNL, 516-344-4982)

New Work Begun for Bilibino, Balakovo NPP Simulators. During the week of February 17, U.S. technical staff met in Moscow with representatives of Bilibino and Balakovo NPPs. They reviewed, finalized, and signed memoranda of understanding for an analytic simulator for Bilibino and an upgrade for the Balakovo simulator. They also discussed contractual arrangements and a possible project schedule, as well as reviewing the draft technical specifications, for the Bilibino simulator. Staff from Rosenergoatom and participants from VNIIAES also attended these meetings. (Peter Kohut, BNL, 516-344-4982)

Russian Representatives of VVER Plants Complete Comprehensive Training Course. On February 21, representatives from Russian plants with VVER reactors (Kola, Novovoronezh, and Kalinin NPPs) and the Novovoronezh Training Center completed a four-week course in the Systematic Approach to Training and instructor skills. The course, which began on January 27, was held at General Physics Corporation facilities in Aiken, South Carolina. In addition to classroom training, course participants visited the Catawba and V.C. Summer NPPs for a first-hand look at well-equipped and managed training facilities. The intent of these activities is to transfer technology for training to host country participants who will, in turn, transfer what they have learned to trainees at their home NPPs. (Sonja Haber, BNL, 516-344-3575)

Balakovo Trainers Implement Radiation Protection Technician Training Course. Staff from Balakovo NPP collaborated with a team from Sonalysts, Inc. to implement the pilot course for radiation protection technicians during the week of February 10. Representatives from Khmelnytskyy and Chornobyl NPPs and from the Novovoronezh Training Center also attended the course as observers. (Sonja Haber, BNL, 516-344-3575)

Gosatomnadzor Delegation Attends U.S. Briefing. A delegation from Gosatomnadzor, headed by that agency's First Deputy Chairman, visited Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, Washington, on February 13 and 14. During this visit, U.S. team representatives briefed the delegation on the status of projects to improve the safety of nuclear facilities in Russia, efforts to stop the production of weapons-grade plutonium, and efforts to improve the security of nuclear materials in the former Soviet Union. (George Vargo, PNNL, 509-375-6836)


Ukrainian Plant to Begin Configuration Management Work. During the first week of February, meetings were held in Kyiv, Ukraine, to begin work on a configuration management plan for Zaporizhzhya NPP. Representatives of the Zaporizhzhya plant, Derzhkomatom, and the new Ukrainian utility Energoatom discussed with U.S. team members how to initiate the Ukrainian configuration management project. Training on basic concepts of configuration management was provided. The Ukrainian representatives appeared enthusiastic about the project and recognized that the configuration management process is important to incorporate into their management operations. The four groups of representatives signed a protocol outlining the agreements for Phase I of the project. (Dan Couch, PNNL, 509-372-4591)

South Ukraine Simulator Components Pass Acceptance Tests. GSE Power Systems, Inc. (formerly S3 Technologies) recently conducted acceptance tests on computer hardware and software for South Ukraine Unit 3's full-scope simulator. Technical staff from the U.S. team were present during the testing. All components successfully passed their respective tests. The computer system soon will be shipped to VNIIAES, the simulator vendor. (Peter Kohut, BNL, 516-344-4982)

New Agreements Signed for Simulator Work at Two Ukrainian Plants. During the week of February 17, U.S. technical staff and representatives of Zaporizhzhya Unit 5 and Rivne Unit 2 met in Kyiv. A memorandum of understanding was finalized and signed for the Zaporizhzhya Unit 5 simulator. Pending issues are under review for the Rivne Unit 2 simulator. The existing full-scope simulator at Zaporizhzhya will be upgraded. Meeting participants also discussed scope, schedule, and other project business issues. Talks also were held with staff of Derzhkomatom and the Engineering Technical Center concerning ongoing and potential simulator projects planned for Ukraine. (Peter Kohut, BNL, 516-344-4982)

Safety Analysis for South Ukraine Unit 1 to Begin. Meetings held in Argonne, Illinois, on February 10 through 14 marked the start of a new in-depth safety analysis project in Ukraine. Representatives of South Ukraine Unit 1 and their subcontractor, Energorisk, Ltd., together with Scientech, Inc. and the U.S. team, drew up plans and schedules for the first phase of the safety analysis to be conducted for the plant. The parties reached agreements on work scope, baseline schedule, preliminary effort estimates, and project organization. A first draft of a project plan was prepared. Financial arrangements for the project also were discussed. The parties finalized and signed two task orders for the project dealing with project planning and documentation/evaluation of previous probabilistic risk assessment work. (Christian Kot, ANL, 630-252-6151)

Transfer of Training Technology Begins in Ukraine. Participants from Ukraine met with U.S. technical leads in Kyiv on January 20 and 21 to begin work on the training technology transfer effort for Ukrainian NPPs. Discussions were held on the work plan and schedule for this project. Ukrainian participants included representatives of Derzhkomatom and the South Ukraine, Rivne, Zaporizhzhya, and Khmelnytskyy NPPs. (Sonja Haber, BNL, 516-344-3575)

Chornobyl Shelter Project

U.S. Technical Support Provided to European Commission Study. The European Commission's report, Chornobyl Unit 4; Short- and Long-Term Measures, issued in November 1996 provided a technically based set of recommended short- and long-term measures to initially stabilize conditions in the existing shelter. The cost and schedule estimates provided in the report were not sufficient to support an international pledging conference of G-7 participants. Therefore, a second study phase has been initiated to define more clearly the required projects in preparation for the pledging conference planned for May or June 1997. At a meeting in Darmstadt, Germany, on February 10, a team of experts began developing a Shelter Implementation Plan. The plan includes provisions for resolving remaining issues between the European Commission recommendations and the Ukrainian position regarding shelter stabilization and fuel removal.

The U.S. representative met with the Ukrainians in Kyiv on February 16 and 17 to review open issues. The full team meets in Darmstadt on February 24 and 25 to begin the required engineering and project planning efforts. (Dennis Kreid, PNNL, 509-375-2170)

Chornobyl Shelter Equipment Upgrades Under Way. Equipment and support infrastructure are being upgraded at the Chornobyl shelter to improve the radiological and industrial safety conditions for shelter workers. The upgrades are significant in light of the anticipated increased work volume and international work force that will be involved in implementing the recommended short- and long-term measures to stabilize the shelter. Upgrades are being performed in four areas:

  • dose reduction
  • nuclear (criticality) safety monitoring
  • dust suppression
  • industrial safety.

To reduce dose to workers, the United States is providing electronic dosimeters and whole- body and extremity thermoluminescent dosimetry systems plus software to record and plan personnel exposure and shielding as well as control of radiation zone access.

Major components of a system to monitor neutron flux transients in the shelter are being purchased. The system, planned for delivery in July 1997, will provide spectral information essential to determining if the transients are due to actual changes in reactivity of nuclear fuel within the shelter.

Dust suppression equipment (airless sprayers) has been ordered to assist in decontaminating and maintaining low contamination levels in shelter periphery support areas and accessways to actual work sites for ongoing and future work.

A wide variety of equipment has been identified to upgrade industrial safety conditions. Basic tools such as hard hats, ear protectors, ladders, and fall protection and rescue equipment have been ordered. A variety of drilling equipment will be provided to improve worker safety in ongoing efforts to install proper power and ventilation within the shelter. Finally, a variety of photographic, video, and video processing equipment is being provided to assist in establishing baseline conditions and planning information. (Dennis Kreid, PNNL, 509-375-2179)

Central and Eastern Europe

Slovak Partners Review Progress. In mid-February, meetings were held at UJD, the Slovak nuclear regulatory authority in Bratislava; at Bohunice NPP; and at VUJE, the Nuclear Power Plant Research Institute in Trnava. Meeting participants reviewed the accomplishments and future direction of U.S. efforts to improve the safety of Soviet-designed reactors in Slovakia. Participants agreed that significant progress has been made on the effort to upgrade the software and hardware for the VVER-440/213 full-scope simulator at the Trnava Training Center. Possibilities were considered for using the facility after the upgrade in human factors testing is completed. Participants identified the continued development of the RELAP5 analysis capability for plant and regulator staff members as a significant need. U.S. staff at the meeting judged it a success--representatives of the Slovak organizations left with actions to provide detailed infomation for completing their fiscal year 1997 projects and providing a list of potential new starts for fiscal year 1998. (Nick Grossman, DOE, 301-903-3299; Walt Pasedag, DOE, 301-903-3628; Jeff Binder, ANL, 630-252-7265)

Peer Review Completed of Hungarian Assessments. During a program review meeting in Budapest on February 10 and 11, U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) representatives provided Hungarian government officials with copies of DOE's final report, Containment Loads and Structural Response for a Large Pipe Break Accident in a VVER-440/213 Nuclear Power Plant. The report documents the peer review conducted by U.S. technical experts from Argonne National Laboratory on Hungarian assessment of containment loadings and containment structural capability stemming from a large pipe break accident in a generic VVER-440/213 reactor. Official transmittal of the report represents the final step in the U.S. effort to improve the accident localization system in Hungary's Soviet-designed reactors. (Nicholas Grossman, DOE, 301-903-3299)

Planned Activities

"*" indicates the event is a new item or has been changed from the last report.

February 22-28 -- Moscow, Russia.
U.S. technical experts will visit VNIIAES to evaluate data on its suitability for inclusion in the Russian RBMK reliability database. (Bob Moffitt, PNNL, 509-372-4108)

February 22-March 1 -- Washington, D.C., and Richland, Washington, USA.
Representatives of Rosenergoatom will meet with U.S. experts to discuss customs and maintenance issues related to the U.S. efforts to improve the safety of Soviet-designed reactors. (Tom Vehec, PNNL, 509-372-4072) (Workshop No. 97-025; Travel Coordinator Gail Flora, PNNL, 509-375-6554)

February 23-March 1 -- Moscow, Russia.
U.S. experts in plant safety evaluation will meet with staff of ENTEK to discuss the deterministic safety analysis portion of the probabilistic and deterministic safety analysis for Leningrad Unit 2. ENTEK also will present a progress report on the pressure tube rupture propagation efforts under way for Leningrad Unit 2. (Walt Pasedag, DOE, 301-903-3628)

February 24-26 -- London, England.
A U.S. fire protection expert will present a paper at Fire & Safety '97, the Second International Conference on Fire Protection and Prevention in Nuclear Facilities. The presentation will cover the status of fire safety upgrades at VVER and RBMK facilities being supported by the United States. In conjunction with the conference, a workshop will be held in which U.S. contractors and Russian and Ukrainian representatives will discuss the safe shutdown guidelines and plans for safe shutdown studies in the host countries. (Rich Reister, DOE, 301-903-0234; Rich Denning, PNNL, 614-424-7412) (Workshop No. 97-001; Travel Coordinator Gail Flora, PNNL, 509-375-6554)

February 24-27 -- Moscow, Russia.
U.S. team members from the legislative and regulatory project will participate in a workshop on licensing of nuclear facilities in Russia at the Gosatomnadzor (GAN) Scientific and Engineering Center. This workshop, which also marks the tenth anniversary of GAN's Scientific and Engineering Center, will cover a variety of issues directly related to Russia's transition from a system of operating permits to one of licensing. (Ed Branagan, DOE, 301-903-6509; George Vargo, PNNL, 509-375-6836)

February 24-28 -- Energodar, Ukraine.
Representatives of the U.S. effort and contractor Scientech, Inc. will meet with Zaporizhzhya NPP personnel and the plant's subcontractors. The representatives will plan the in-depth safety analysis project for Zaporizhzhya Unit 5. (Christian Kot, ANL, 630-252-6151)

February 24-28 -- Moscow, Russia.
U.S. experts in probabilistic safety analysis will participate in a review meeting for the Kola in-depth safety analysis (KOLISA) project. Expected to participate are staff from Kola NPP, IBRAE, the Kurchatov Institute, and U.S. contractor SAIC. The U.S. team members then will hold working meetings with their technical counterparts on the IBRAE quality assurance and peer review teams. (Walt Pasedag, DOE, 301-903-3628)

February 24-March 7 -- Zaporizhzhya NPP, Ukraine.
U.S. specialists will train technical and engineering staff from Ukrainian NPPs on the use of manual ultrasonic equipment. The seminar also will cover modern ultrasonic techniques for determining the through-wall extent of defects. (Tom Taylor, PNNL, 509-375-4331)

February 24-March 7 -- Kursk NPP, Russia.
Sonalysts, Inc. staff will work with Kursk NPP training staff to develop a training program on mechanical maintenance as part of the training technology transfer program. (Sonja Haber, BNL, 516-344-3575)

*February 28-March 5 -- Slavutych and Kyiv, Ukraine.
A U.S. team representative of the International Shelter project will deliver the results of the preliminary joint European Commission/United States study of the Chornobyl shelter to Ukrainian ministries and staff of Chornobyl NPP. (Dennis Kreid, PNNL, 509-375-2170)

March 1-7 -- Vermont Yankee NPP, Vernon, Vermont, USA.
The plant manager and staff representatives from Novovoronezh NPP will participate in a WANO-sponsored exchange meeting with staff of Vermont Yankee NPP. The exchange will cover operational safety topics--conduct of operations, management and operational controls, emergency operating instructions, operator training--plus recent plant events and other items of mutual interest. (Kent Faris, PNNL, 509-372-4068) (Workshop 97-014; Travel Coordinator Gail Flora, PNNL, 509-375-6554)

*March 2-6 -- Kyiv, Ukraine.
A U.S. technical expert and a representative of Burns & Roe will meet with staff of Derzhkomatom and Zaporizhzhya and Khmelnytskyy NPPs. They will review the bid specification for Russia's Novovoronezh Unit 4 safety parameter display system with Ukrainian staff so that specifications can be developed for the two plant sites in Ukraine. Meeting objectives are to 1) review bid specifications developed for VVER reactors, 2) agree on the language to use in the final bid package, and 3) finalize the bid specification for the request for proposal to be issued March 24. (Norman Fletcher, DOE, 301-903-3275)

March 3-14 -- Smolensk NPP, Russia.
Sonalysts, Inc. staff will work with Smolensk NPP training staff to develop a training program on mechanical maintenance as part of the training technology transfer program. (Sonja Haber, BNL, 516-344-3575)

March 3-14 -- Smolensk Training Center, Russia.
Sonalysts, Inc. staff will work with Smolensk Training Center staff to develop a training program for the shift supervisor position as part of the training technology transfer program. (Sonja Haber, BNL, 516-344-3575)

*March 7-13 -- London, England.
U.S. experts will participate in a steering committee meeting for the Leningrad NPP Unit 2 probabilistic and deterministic safety assessment. Participants will include representatives from Sweden, Finland, Switzerland, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States. The meeting agenda includes 1) a comprehensive review of project status, 2) discussion of work scope options, 3) presentation of the external review plan including potential participants and their level of effort, and 4) resolution of management issues. Working level meetings are planned prior to and following the March 11 steering committee meeting, to assist with problem identification and resolution. (Walt Pasedag, DOE, 301-903-3628)

*March 8-14 -- Sofia and Kozloduy, Bulgaria.
A technical lead from the U.S. team and a representative of GSE Power Systems, Inc. will meet with the director and training staff of Kozloduy NPP to discuss technical aspects of the simulator upgrade project. The goal of the meeting is to finalize the technical specifications and sign a memorandum of understanding for the effort. (John Yoder, DOE, 301-903-5650)

*March 8-14 -- Vienna, Austria.
A U.S. technical lead will participate in an advisory group meeting at International Atomic Energy Agency headquarters. The meeting topic is "Experiences in the Use of the Systematic Approach to Training (SAT) for NPP Personnel Training." In addition, NPP training staff from Russia, Ukraine, and Bulgaria will attend and contribute their lessons learned in the use of SAT as a direct result of participating in the U.S. training activities. (John Yoder, DOE, 301-903-5650; Dan Giessing, DOE, 301-903-2852)

March 10-March 14 -- Upton, New York, USA.
U.S. specialists will present a one-week workshop at Brookhaven National Laboratory on verification and validation procedures for nuclear power plant simulators. Staff from Khmelnytskyy and South Ukraine NPPs and from the Engineering Technical Center in Kyiv have been invited to attend. (Peter Kohut, BNL, 516-344-4982)

March 10-21 -- Chornobyl NPP, Ukraine.
Staff from General Physics Corporation and Sonalysts, Inc. will work with the Chornobyl NPP training staff to develop training programs for radiation protection technicians and control room reactor operators. (Sonja Haber, BNL, 516-344-3575)

March 15-April 12 -- Aiken, South Carolina, USA.
Twelve representatives of Russian research reactors will participate in a training workshop at General Physics Corporation facilities. General Physics staff will train the group on the Systematic Approach to Training and instructor skills. (Sonja Haber, BNL, 516-344-3575) (Workshop No. 97-004; Travel Coordinator Melinda Stone, PNNL, 509-375-4391)

*March 17-21 -- Armenia Nuclear Power Station, Armenia.
U.S. team members will meet with representatives of Armenia nuclear power station to take the next steps on the fire safety upgrades under way. They also will begin work on two new projects (an alternative decay heat removal system and an auxiliary feedwater system) and hold preliminary discussions of potential new projects. (Dennis Meyers, DOE, 301-903-1418)

March 17-22 -- Mohovce NPP, Slovakia.
Regulatory agency representatives from host countries with VVER reactors will attend a regulator workshop hosted by Mohovce NPP. Personnel from each VVER reactor site also will participate. The workshop, which continues work begun at the November meeting in Chattanooga, Tennessee, will cover topics associated with emergency operating instruction development, implementation, and regulation for VVER reactors. U.S. technical staff also will attend. (Larry Sherfey, PNNL, 509-372-4080)

March 17-28 -- Beloyarsk NPP, Russia.
Sonalysts, Inc. staff will work with Beloyarsk NPP training staff to develop a training program on mechanical maintenance as part of the training technology transfer program. (Sonja Haber, BNL, 516-344-3575)

March 17-28 -- Khmelnytskyy NPP, Ukraine.
General Physics Corporation will work with staff of Khmelnytskyy NPP on the Control Room Operator training course. (Sonja Haber, BNL, 516-344-3575)

*March 23-29 -- Neteshin, Ukraine.
U.S. team members will participate in discussions with representatives of Khmelnytskyy NPP and GSE Power Systems, Inc. Talks will cover project developments, participating in and inspecting simulator model testing, status of the training center, and review of plant staff participation in the Khmelnytskyy full-scope simulator project. (Dan Giessing, DOE, 301-903-2852)

*April 7-10 -- Lithuania.
Meetings will be held at the Swedish International Project office, Ignalina NPP, the Lithuania Energy Institute, the regulatory agency, and the Ministry of Energy. Representatives of the U.S. team will work to coordinate projects with those sponsored by Sweden and other countries, to review current projects, and to plan new projects. (Dennis Meyers, DOE, 301-903-1418)

*Date Changed to April 7-18 -- Waterford, Connecticut, USA.
Personnel from the Chornobyl NPP training development group will work with staff from Sonalysts, Inc. on the Radiation Protection Technician training course. (Sonja Haber, BNL, 516-344-3575) (Workshop No. 97-020; Travel Coordinator Melinda Stone, PNNL, 509-375-4391)

*April 7-18 -- Balakovo NPP, Russia.
Personnel from Sonalysts, Inc. will assist Balakovo NPP staff in implementing the Safety Inspector training course. (Sonja Haber, BNL, 516-344-3575)

*April 14-April 25 -- Leningrad NPP, Russia.
Sonalysts representatives and Balakovo NPP training staff will work with Leningrad plant staff to continue development of the training course for unit shift supervisors. (Sonja Haber, BNL, 516-344-3575)

*April 15-May 3 -- Aiken, South Carolina, USA.
Chornobyl NPP staff will travel to General Physics Corporation headquarters to continue developing the Control Room Reactor Operator training course. (Sonja Haber, BNL, 516-344-3575)


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