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Activity Report

for the period March 8 through March 21, 1997
Prepared by Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Richland, Washington


Coordinating Committee Reviews Overall Progress on Efforts to Improve Reactor Safety. the committee that coordinates U.S. and Russian cooperative efforts to improve the safety of Soviet-designed reactors met on March 17 and 18 in Washington, D.C. Committee members are representatives of Minatom, VNIIAES, Rosenergoatom, Atomtechenergo, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), and U.S. national laboratories. Topics discussed were the status of Minatom-DOE cooperative projects to enhance nuclear safety, project funding needs for 1998, and areas for additional Minatom-DOE cooperation.

Major outcomes of the meeting included agreements to establish a mechanism for coordinating nuclear safety enhancement projects in Armenia and to perform independent reviews of safety assessments at Novovoronezh, Leningrad, and Kursk nuclear power plants (NPPs). The next Coordinating Committee meeting will be held in Moscow in September 1997. (Pierce Ostrander, PNNL, 202-646-5219)

Novovoronezh Plant Formulates Strategy for Completing Emergency Operating Instructions. On March 7, the Chief of Operations from Novovoronezh Unit 3 met in the United States with technical leads for emergency operating instruction (EOI) development. Participants held detailed discussions on the status of the Novovoronezh Unit 3 EOI development effort and the technical issues needing resolution. They jointly identified several action items needed to bring closure to the EOI development effort for the plant. (Gregory Slovik, BNL, 516-344-7983)

Kursk Safety Parameter Display System Undergoes Acceptance Tests. During the week of March 3, the safety parameter display system developed for Kursk Unit 2 underwent factory acceptance testing. The tests were conducted by a private-sector manufacturer of electrical equipment, Zavod Automatizacni Techniky (ZAT), at its facilities in the Czech Republic. A subcontractor to Westinghouse Electric Corporation, ZAT has substantial previous experience in assembling Westinghouse equipment. Representatives of the Russian agencies RDIPE, VNIIEM, VNIIAES, and Gosatomnadzor, as well as technical experts from Parsons Power Corporation and other members of the U.S. team, observed the testing.

After successfully passing the tests, the system will be shipped to Kursk NPP where it will be installed during the planned outage in April and May 1997. Site acceptance testing of the system is to be completed in June. The Kursk Unit 2 safety parameter display system is the prototype for systems to be installed in each of the operating RBMK-1000 NPPs. (Rich Denning, PNNL, 614-424-7412; Norman Fletcher, DOE, 301-903-3275)


Development of Training Programs Continues at Chornobyl. From March 10 through March 21, General Physics Corporation and Sonalysts, Inc. worked with the training development group from Chornobyl NPP on the Control Room Reactor Operator and Radiation Protection Technician training programs. Their work focused on program design and continued development of training materials for use in the pilot courses. Those courses are scheduled to be conducted in late spring. (Sonja Haber, BNL, 516-344-3575)

Steering Committee Discusses Safety Parameter Display Systems for Ukrainian NPPs. On March 12 and 13, the steering committee for safety parameter display system projects at Ukrainian NPPs met in Kyiv. Committee members include representatives of the Ukrainian agencies Derzhkomatom, Energoatom, and the Scientific Engineering Center for Control Systems and Emergency Response; Khmelnytskyy Unit 1 and Zaporizhzhya Unit 5; and the U.S. contractor Burns & Roe. The meeting was held to present the committee's charter and finalize comments on the bid specification for selecting a supplier for the systems.

The committee approved a final version of the charter in principle. The group also acquired most comments necessary to finalize the bid specification; Derzhkomatom's final comments will be collected during a conference call planned for March 31. The steering committee will hold its next meeting in May in conjunction with selection of the system hardware supplier. (Mike Durst, PNNL, 509-372-4698)


Working Group Reconvenes to Complete Shelter Implementation Plan. During the week of March 18, U.S. members of the International Shelter Project working group gathered in Darmstadt, Germany, to complete a draft of the Shelter Implementation Plan. The working group, established in January 1997 by the United States to provide technical support to the European Commission Shelter Project, is working toward its original objective: to issue the draft plan by March 26. (Dennis Kreid, PNNL, 509-375-2170)

Safety Equipment for Chornobyl Shelter Being Prepared for Shipment. U.S.-provided safety equipment for the Chornobyl Shelter is being consolidated at an eastern United States port for shipment to Ukraine. Airless sprayers, industrial safety equipment, and photography equipment are ready for shipment. Ladders, electronic dosimeters, portable survey instruments, protective clothing, and some video equipment will be staged by early April. (Dennis Kreid, PNNL, 509-372-6377)

Use of Engineered Safeguards in Chornobyl Shelter Discussed. During the week of March 18, a representative of the Chornobyl Shelter met in the United States with technical experts to resolve issues related to the use of engineered safeguards in the shelter. Participants discussed using high-efficiency particulate air filters, drilling equipment, fall protection, and shelter power supplies for a water vapor-vacuum cleaner to maintain previously decontaminated surfaces at low contamination levels. The U.S. team transferred software for dose tracking and shielding to the shelter representative during this visit. (Dennis Kreid, PNNL, 509-372-6377)


Safety Upgrades Under Way at Armenia Nuclear Power Station. U.S. team members met with representatives of the Armenian Ministry of Energy, Armenian Nuclear Regulatory Authority, Armenia nuclear power station, and the Russian architect/engineer, Atomenergoproekt, to take the next steps in a fire safety project at the station. The group planned for retests of the replacement flooring material by VNIIPO, the Russian fire testing organization. In addition, as a precursor to vendor selection, participants reviewed the technical requirements for the fire doors.

The group developed joint project plans for two new efforts--an auxiliary feedwater system and a cooling system for safety-related loads. The plans for both projects contain scope, schedule, roles and responsibilities of all participants, and a list of project team members. They also include regulatory requirements, contracting strategy, and plans for project team meetings. The participants clarified the design strategy for the auxiliary feedwater system, so formal design activities can begin. Initial contracting activities began for the cooling system project. These included development of the detailed lists of labor and materials needed to complete the project. (Dennis Meyers, DOE, 301-903-1418)


Lithuania: Ignalina NPP Staff Receive Training in Quality Assurance Auditing. On March 21, three staff members from the International Projects Department of Ignalina NPP completed a two-week training course in quality assurance auditing. Presented by the U.S. firm of Colandrea and Associates, Inc., the course was offered in San Diego, California. Information obtained through the course will enable Ignalina personnel to conduct effective quality assurance audits of companies providing safety-related equipment for the Ignalina plant. The audits will enhance overall plant safety by ensuring that only quality components provided by vendors will be installed in Ignalina NPP safety systems. (Ron Wright, PNNL, 509-372-4076)

Slovakia: Progress Made on V1 Simulator Upgrade Project. Earlier this month, U.S. staff traveled to the Nuclear Power Plant Research Institute, Trnava, Slovakia, to discuss the V1 simulator upgrade project. The emphasis was on the installation and testing of new simulator operating features, implementation of new interactive capabilities, and verification and validation of those new features and capabilities. Decisions and agreements were made in each area. Based on information developed during the site visit, Slovakian specialists will complete additional work on the simulator validation. (Bill Shier, BNL, 516-344-2385)

Slovakia: Study of System Upgrades Completed at Bohunice NPP. During the week of March 17, U.S. contractor Scientech, Inc. delivered the final report for the Bohunice NPP instrumentation and control upgrade study. The report presents a functional specification for an upgraded instrumentation and control system; the system also will be computer-based. The work was a collaborative effort between Scientech, Inc. and the Slovak Nuclear Power Plants Research Institute (VJE). Copies of the report will be available soon for distribution to interested parties. (Bob Fitzpatrick, BNL, 516-344-7204)


VVER Regulators Discuss Regulation of Operational Safety. Regulators of VVER reactors from Ukraine, Russia, Bulgaria, Hungary, and Slovakia met at Mohovce NPP during the week of March 17 to discuss technical subjects related to the regulation of operational safety. Also in attendance were representatives from each of the VVER reactor sites in those host countries. Topics discussed were 1) EOI development in eastern Europe, 2) EOI format, rules of usage, and structure, 3) a general review of EOI strategies, 4) operator training, 5) operator licensing, 6) the U.S. EOI inspection program, 7) early U.S. EOI regulation, 8) EOI verification and validation in the United States, and 9) EOI verification and validation at Zaporizhzhya NPP.

Regulatory and NPP representatives noted the importance and usefulness of the workshop, which made possible the exchange of experiences among regulators as well as NPP experts. Members expressed particular interest in how the soon-to-be-drafted Ukrainian EOI regulation might apply to their specific needs.

During the meeting, U.S. technical leads and representatives from the Ukrainian State Scientific and Technical Center discussed a contract for development of EOI regulation in Ukraine. A verbal agreement was reached between all parties; formal signing by the center is expected by April 1, 1997. The center representatives agreed that a draft EOI regulation would be available for comment in May. The next meeting is scheduled tentatively for June 1997, at a site yet to be determined, following review of the draft EOI regulation. (Larry Sherfey, PNNL, 509-372-4080)

Advisory Group Participants Exchange Experiences with Training Technology. A U.S. technical lead recently co-chaired a meeting of an International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) advisory group whose agenda was "Experiences in the Use of the SAT [Systematic Approach to Training] for NPP Personnel Training." In addition, the U.S. team enabled Russian and Bulgarian counterparts to attend so they could contribute their lessons learned in the use of SAT while participating in training activities offered as part of the U.S. effort. Ukrainian counterparts also were invited but were unable to attend the meeting. (Sonja Haber, BNL, 516-344-3575)

Training Consultants Attend IAEA-Hosted Meeting. A representative from the U.S. training effort participated in an IAEA-sponsored meeting for consultants involved in training. Meeting discussions were focused on the training and development of management personnel for nuclear power plants. The U.S. team member shared lessons learned as part of the ongoing training for NPP personnel in Russia and Ukraine. (Sonja Haber, BNL, 516-344-3575)


  • "*" indicates the event is a new item or has been changed from the last report.
  • "TBD" means the event date or location is to be determined.
  • Note: in the interest of providing a timely update on the Soviet-Designed-Reactor Safety Program, no formal document review of this weekly report has been conducted by DOE or PNNL.

*March 23-29 -- Beloyarsk NPP and Moscow, Russia.
Rosenergoatom will host an international conference focused on analysis of Russian NPP operational safety in 1996 and 1997. A member of the U.S. team will participate at the invitation of Rosenergoatom's International Relations department. (Laurin Dodd, PNNL, 509-372-4423)

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)

March 24-April 4 -- 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 24-April 18 -- Idaho Falls, Idaho, USA.
Personnel from Zaporizhzhya NPP and the Sevastopol Institute of Nuclear Energy and Industry in Ukraine and from IBRAE and Electrogorsk Research Center for Nuclear Power Plants Safety (EREC) in Russia will attend an introductory training course in applying the RELAP5 code to thermal-hydraulic safety analysis of nuclear power plants. Specialists from U.S. national laboratories will instruct the course. (Ross Jensen, ANL, 208-533-7911; Don Fletcher, INEL, 208-526-7652) (Workshop No. 97-06; Travel Coordinator Melinda Stone, PNNL, 509-375-4391)

April dates TBD -- Khmelnytskyy NPP, Ukraine.
A U.S. technical expert and a representative of SAIC will meet with Khmelnytskyy personnel regarding support for that plant's safety analysis work. The start of data collection activities is expected to be discussed. (Jeff Binder, ANL, 630-252-7265).

April 4-14 -- 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) (Workshop No. 97-046; Travel Coordinator Melinda Stone, PNNL, 509-375-4391)

*April 5-7 -- Sofia and Kozloduy NPP, Bulgaria.
Representatives of the U.S. technical team and contractors American Technologies, Inc., and Stone & Webster Engineering Company will review the configuration management project under way at Kozloduy NPP. The plant's manager for the project and Bulgarian subcontractors also will participate in the review. (Dennis Meyers, DOE, 301-903-1418)

*April 5-10 -- Washington, D.C., USA.
Representatives from Ukraine will meet with U.S. team members to discuss coordination of equipment deliveries to Ukraine. (Grig Trosman, DOE, 301-903-3581) (Workshop No. 97-077; Travel Coordinator Chrissy Garcia, PNNL, 509-372-6307)

April 7-10 -- Visaginas, Kaunas, and Vilnius, 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)

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 11-25 -- Moscow, Russia, and Kyiv, Ukraine.
U.S. team members will hold discussions on logistical issues with representatives of Rosenergoatom and SYNTEZ Co. in Russia and Derzhkomatom and the Chornobyl Union in Ukraine. (Dan Giessing, DOE, 301-903-2852)

*April 12-16 -- Moscow, Russia.
Representatives from Rosenergoatom will meet with U.S. technical specialists involved in the transfer of circuit breaker technology. They will discuss project scope and coordination with Russian circuit breaker manufacturers and identify a proposed pilot plant to implement the project. They also will discuss the battery technology transfer project and the instrumentation and control module survey on which Rosenergoatom is working. (Norman Fletcher, DOE, 301-903-3275)

*April 12-19 -- Balakovo NPP, Russia.
U.S. training experts will observe the implementation of the twelfth and final pilot training course for Balakovo NPP. The Technical Safety Inspector course will be presented April 14 through 17 at the Balakovo Training Center. Performance measures for training activities at the center also will be reviewed. (John Yoder, DOE, 301-903-5650)

*April 12-19 -- Moscow, Russia.
U.S. experts in plant safety assessment will meet with ENTEK representatives. They will discuss the deterministic safety analysis portion of the probabilistic and deterministic safety analysis for Leningrad Unit 2. (Walt Pasedag, DOE, 301-903-3628)

*April 13-20 -- Charlotte, North Carolina; Atlanta, Georgia; and Fulton, Missouri, USA.
Representatives of various agencies and NPPs in Ukraine will attend meetings on event analysis reporting and lessons learned. U.S. participants hosting the meetings include Duke Power Company, the Institute of Nuclear Power Operations, and Calloway NPP. (Donnie Draper, PNNL, 509-372-4079) (Workshop No. 97-075; Travel Coordinator Gail Flora, PNNL, 509-375-6554)

April 14-25 -- 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) (Workshop No. 97-052; Travel Coordinator Melinda Stone, PNNL, 509-375-4351)

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) (Workshop No. 97-051; Travel Coordinator Gail Flora, PNNL, 509-375-6554)

*April 20-26 -- Vienna, Austria.
A U.S. technical expert will participate in a meeting of International Atomic Energy Agency consultants on preparation of guidelines for accident analysis for RBMK reactors. The outcome of this meeting will be integrated into the probabilistic and deterministic safety analyses under way at Leningrad Unit 2 and Kursk Unit 1. (Walt Pasedag, DOE, 301-903-3628)

April 21-25 -- Bratislava, Slovakia.
The International Atomic Energy Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy will hold their second joint workshop on probabilistic risk assessments for Soviet-designed reactors. The workshop will focus on issues related to reliability data and will be the starting point for a project to develop a robust collection of generic data on probabilistic risk assessments of Soviet-designed reactors. (Jeff Binder, ANL, 630-252-7265) (Workshop No. 97-043; Travel Coordinator Gail Flora, PNNL, 509-375-6554)

*April 21-May 16 -- Idaho Falls, Idaho, USA.
Personnel from Ukraine's Kharkiv Energoprojekt and South Ukraine NPP and from Russia's Electrogorsk Research Center for Nuclear Power Plants Safety (EREC) will attend an introductory training course in applying the RELAP5 code to thermal-hydraulic safety analysis of nuclear power plants. Specialists from U.S. national laboratories will instruct the course. (Ross Jensen, ANL, 208-533-7911; Don Fletcher, INEL, 208-526-7652) (Workshop No. 97-064; Travel Coordinator Melinda Stone, PNNL, 509-375-4391)

*April 26-May 7 -- Idaho Falls, Idaho, USA.
Representatives from Ignalina NPP will participate in meetings on quality assurance auditing. NUS Instruments will host the sessions. (Ron Wright, PNNL, 372-4076) (Workshop No. 97-070; Travel Coordinator Gail Flora, PNNL, 509-375-6554)


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