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March 1999 - Armenia
- Bulgaria
- Czech Republic
- Hungary
- Kazakhstan
- Lithuania
- Russia
- Slovakia
- Ukraine
- United States
- Cross-Cutting Activities
- Planned Activities
- Previous Activity Reports

The March Activity Report documents safety improvements achieved in late February and March at Soviet-designed nuclear power plants through U.S. and host-country cooperation. To request a hard-copy version or to provide comments or suggestions, send an e-mail message to

Highlight of the Month

Safety Parameter Display Systems Will Enhance Plant Simulator Authenticity. In a project begun during summer 1998, the U.S. team is equipping full-scope simulators with safety parameter display systems (SPDSs) at Ukraine's nuclear power plants (NPPs) with VVER-1000 reactors. Adding the SPDSs will ensure that the simulators accurately reflect all the equipment now in the plant control rooms.

Full-scope simulators will be upgraded with SPDSs at Khmelnytskyy Unit 1, Zaporizhzhya Units 1 and 5, South Ukraine Units 1 and 3, and Rivne Unit 3. In mid-September 1998, the team completed contract negotiations for the first two upgrades with SPDSs--Khmelnytskyy Unit 1 and Zaporizhzhya Unit 5. Burns & Roe Enterprises, Inc., is the general contractor for the work. Westinghouse Electric Company manufactures the systems, and GSE Power Systems, Inc. (GSE) will develop the software to provide the interface between the simulators and the SPDSs.

Adding a safety parameter display system as part of each full-scope simulator for Ukraine's nuclear power plants increases the accuracy with which the simulators reflect real conditions and equipment now in those plants' control rooms. The full-scope simulator pictured here includes the three dual-screen SPDS workstations deployed in the actual main control room of a VVER-1000 reactor.

On March 10, Westinghouse delivered the hardware for the Zaporizhzhya simulator's SPDS to GSE in Columbia, Maryland. GSE technicians are incorporating the SPDS unit and its software into the existing design of the simulator. Zaporizhzhya Unit 5 management expects delivery of the completed unit later this spring. Westinghouse is scheduled to deliver a similar unit for the Khmelnytskyy simulator to GSE in April 1999. Installation of the upgrades for both plants is planned for completion in 2000. The SPDSs for the other four VVER-1000 sites will follow as the full-scope simulators are designed and completed. (Kent Faris, PNNL, 509-372-4068)



Zaporizhzhya Managers Participate in Skills-Enhancement Training. Managers from Zaporizhzhya NPP attended a management and supervisory skills course offered at the plant March 17 through 19. The goal of the course, taught by a U.S. training specialist from Human Performance Analysis Corporation, was to enhance the capabilities and effectiveness of the plant's management and supervisory staff.

Twelve middle- and upper-level managers representing the departments of operations, maintenance, technical support, and training, participated in the course. Their selection for participation in the course was based on their involvement in a larger training program to prepare them for promotion to higher-level positions within the plant.

The course covered decision making; communications; history of management theory; principles of organizing, motivating, and managing groups; quality management; and human factors. Training specialists used a combination of lecture and group exercises in teaching the course.

All participants successfully completed the course. The managers demonstrated their accomplishments through participation in a case-study exercise of an event that illustrated concepts covered in the course.

This class was the first of its kind taught at Zaporizhzhya NPP. Plant trainers will be able to use the materials and conduct the course on their own on an as-needed basis in the future. (Peter Kohut, BNL, 516-344-4982)

Rivne Confinement Database Key to Plant Safety Assessment Work. Specialists from Rivne NPP and its subcontractor Energorisk recently finished their work on a database of reactor confinement information for Rivne Unit 1. U.S. team representatives received the database on March 1 and declared it completed. The database, prepared in accordance with internationally accepted guidelines for quality assurance and database development, is a significant element in the in-depth safety assessment for Rivne Unit 1. Analysts also will use the database to evaluate the capability of Rivne Unit 1 to limit or confine the release of radioactive materials under severe accident conditions. U.S. specialists from Argonne National Laboratory and Scientech, Inc., provided technical support to the Ukrainian database developers. (Charles Dickerman, ANL, 630-252-4622)

U.S.-Ukraine Collaborations Discussed for Plant Physical Protection Upgrades. During the first week of March, discussions between the U.S. team and Ukrainian officials centered on cooperative efforts to upgrade physical protection approaches at four of Ukraine's nuclear power plants. In the first series of meetings, Zaporizhzhya's deputy general director for physical security and Khmelnytskyy's deputy general director toured a U.S. representative through their respective plants, providing a firsthand look at the status and needs for on-site physical protection measures. The Ukrainian representatives then proposed Zaporizhzhya and Khmelnytskyy NPPs as pilot facilities for the implementation of physical upgrades. The group identified and listed in priority order four areas for possible joint U.S.-Ukrainian cooperative work:

  • internal physical barrier system
  • access control system for vital internal areas
  • personnel access control system for perimeter access points
  • site-wide central alarm system.

The U.S. team member then met with Energoatom's director of physical protection and special issues to discuss the badging systems requested of the United States for Rivne and Khmelnytskyy NPPs. At Energoatom's specific request, the proposed site for one of the two badging systems was changed from Rivne to Zaporizhzhya NPP. Completion of the contract, purchase, and delivery of these systems is expected by April 1999. The Energoatom representative provided the U.S. team member with a copy of Ukraine's Regulations on Physical Protection of Nuclear Material and Nuclear Facilities.

The information gathered during these discussions will provide the basis for a report that will identify areas of concern in physical security at Ukrainian NPPs. The report will be provided to the U.S. Department of Energy for further consideration. (Andrei Glukhov, PNNL, 509-375-3961)

New Safety Training Under Development at Chornobyl. Workers inside the Chornobyl Shelter soon will be receiving training in radiation safety at the site. During the final week of February, representatives from the Slavutych Laboratory for International Research and Technology and Path Training Corporation met to outline the program and agree on basic content of the coursework. Path specialists are designing the training program for the Shelter's general workers, to increase their level of knowledge and awareness of radiation safety. The radiation safety training program is part of the broader U.S. effort to improve radiation dose control and dose reduction techniques for Chornobyl Shelter workers through the transfer of internationally endorsed methodology. (George Vargo, PNNL, 509-375-6836)

Ukrainian Team Completes Technology Scanning and Assessment Training. Three Ukrainian specialists spent the entire month of March training with U.S. team members on a system for identifying and evaluating nuclear-related technologies for application at nuclear facilities. The system, called technology scanning and assessment (TSA), is used for making decisions about which technologies are best suited to addressing specific needs. The Ukrainian specialists are preparing to offer such services to nuclear power plants and other organizations in Ukraine and internationally.

The specialists from the International Chornobyl Center--representing both the Slavutych and Kyiv offices--participated in initial training in TSA in October 1998. In March, the three then traveled to Seattle and Richland, Washington, to apply the TSA methodology to their selected technology: radiological characterization and surveying for Chornobyl NPP decommissioning. They researched the regulations and processes used in the United States and elsewhere and combined that information with a study of the available techniques and instruments used in such surveys. On March 30, they presented the results of their work--"A Recommended Radiological Survey Approach for the ChNPP to Consider Prior to Decommissioning -- An Evaluation of Regulations, Methods, and Instruments"--to a U.S. audience of professional peers and interested others at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.

The United States is supporting development of TSA capability at the International Chornobyl Center to enhance the center's proficiency in strategic decision making for business development and to enable center professionals to provide TSA services to other organizations, particularly Energoatom. (Gretchen Hund, PNNL, 206-528-3338)



Specifications Finalized for Safety Parameter Display System. Specialists and representatives from Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), the Republic of Armenia's Ministry of Energy and Fuel (Armatomenergo), and Armenia NPP gathered in late February to finalize specifications for the safety parameter display system the United States is providing for the plant. Under contract to Burns & Roe Enterprises, Inc., SAIC is patterning the system for Armenia after the designs of similar systems just completed for Novovoronezh Units 3 and 4 in Russia.

However, because the design of Armenia's VVER-440/270 reactor differs substantially from that of the VVER-440/230 reactors at Novovoronezh, the database of input parameters for the Armenia system will be somewhat larger than that of the Novovoronezh Unit 3 prototype. The protocol signed at the conclusion of the February 22 work session includes a justification for this departure from the original project plan.

The factory acceptance test for the Armenia system is scheduled for July 1999 in the United States. Seven representatives from Armenia's Ministry of Energy, Nuclear Regulatory Administration, and the nuclear power plant itself will participate in that test. The system is to be installed at the plant during September and October 1999. (Norman Fletcher, DOE, 301-903-3275; Rich Denning, PNNL, 614-424-7412)



Training Program To Be Transferred to Ignalina. Training specialists from Sonalysts, Inc., the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), and Ignalina NPP held the first of four working sessions in support of the transfer of a pilot training program for plant personnel. The training program will be offered specifically for senior foremen of the reactor equipment maintenance shop. During this session, the training specialists analyzed the tasks associated with the senior foreman position and began designing the training program for Ignalina. The transfer of training technology to Ignalina is a joint DOE/IAEA effort. (Peter Kohut, BNL, 516-344-4982)


Planned Activities

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

* April 5-9 -- Kyiv, Ukraine

Plant Safety Assessment. U.S. experts from Argonne National Laboratory will conduct a workshop at Kyiv State University to train Ukrainian experts on the use of ORIGEN, a reactor analysis code. ORIGEN calculates the inventory of radioactive elements resulting from reactor operation. Ukrainian organizations scheduled to participate are Khmelnytskyy, Rivne, South Ukraine, and Zaporizhzhya NPPs; Energoatom Engineering Services Company; Energorisk; and Kyiv Energoprojekt. At the request of the International Chornobyl Center, specialists from the Slavutych Laboratory for International Research and Technology and the center's Kyiv office also will participate. (Igor Bodnar, ANL, 630-252-8336)

April 5-9 -- Khmelnytskyy NPP, Ukraine

Training. Individuals from Rivne, South Ukraine, Zaporizhzhya, and Khmelnytskyy NPPs will participate in a training course for simulator instructors. Training specialists from Sonalysts, Inc., assisted by training specialists from the Engineering and Technical Center for the Training of Nuclear Industry Personnel, will present the course. The course will focus on improving skills for Ukrainian training specialists who will be responsible for conducting training using full-scope simulators at their home plants. (Peter Kohut, BNL, 516-344-4982)

* April 19-30 -- Zaporizhzhya NPP, Ukraine

Training. An international group of training specialists will finalize learning materials and implement a training course (Unit Shift Supervisor). Specialists from Sonalysts, Inc., and the Engineering and Technical Center for the Training of Nuclear Industry Personnel will assist Zaporizhzhya trainers in the final preparation of materials and in course implementation. Training specialists from Khmelnytskyy, Rivne, and South Ukraine NPPs will observe the course implementation. (Peter Kohut, BNL, 516-344-4982)

* May 4-14 -- Rivne NPP, Ukraine

Training. Training specialists from Sonalysts, Inc., and the Engineering and Technical Center for the Training of Nuclear Industry Personnel will work with Rivne training staff to finalize learning materials and implement a training course (Unit Shift Supervisor) at the plant. Training specialists from Khmelnytskyy, South Ukraine, and Zaporizhzhya NPPs will participate as observers of the implementation. (Peter Kohut, BNL, 516-344-4982)

* June 7-June 18 -- South Ukraine NPP, Ukraine

Training. South Ukraine NPP training specialists will finalize and implement the Unit Shift Supervisor course for the plant. Training specialists from Sonalysts, Inc., and the Engineering and Technical Center for the Training of Nuclear Industry Personnel will work with South Ukraine specialists to finalize learning materials and implement the course. Training specialists from Khmelnytskyy, Rivne, and Zaporizhzhya NPPs will participate as observers of the implementation. (Peter Kohut, BNL, 516-344-4982)

June 14-18 -- Vienna, Austria

Cross-Cutting. The International Atomic Energy Agency's International Conference on the Strengthening of Nuclear Safety in Eastern Europe will review the results of national and international programs to enhance the safety of VVER and RBMK nuclear power plants. Additional specific information about the conference is available at

October 12-14 -- Slavutych, Ukraine

Chornobyl Initiatives. The International Chornobyl Center will hold its annual conference, to facilitate the exchange of information on scientific and technical international cooperation at the Chornobyl site and on nuclear and radiation safety issues. The conference also seeks to coordinate and integrate efforts of the World Community. Abstracts are due June 1, 1999. (Elena Tolkach, Secretary of the Organizing Committee, P.B. 151, Slavutych, Kyiv Region, 255190, Ukraine, telephone: 38-(044)-79-23016; fax: 8-(044)-79-28144; e-mail:

Looking Ahead

Year 2000 Issues Discussed with Ukrainian Nuclear Industry Representatives. The U.S. Department of Energy's Office of International Nuclear Safety and Cooperation sponsored two workshops this month at which U.S. and Ukrainian specialists discussed Year 2000 (Y2K) issues for Ukraine's nuclear energy production and transmission-distribution sectors. The workshops presented a general overview of the Y2K problem and described how the U.S. nuclear industry is addressing the issues. U.S. presenters also described the methodology suggested by the IAEA, which includes initial assessment, detailed assessment, remediation, contingency planning, testing, and embedded systems.

The first workshop, organized jointly with Energoatom and hosted by Chornobyl NPP offices in Kyiv, was held on March 15 and 16 for representatives of Ukraine's nuclear energy production sector. Participating organizations included the Ukrainian Ministry of Energy, Energoatom, the International Chornobyl Center, and Zaporizhzhya, Rivne, and Chornobyl NPPs. Following the U.S. team's presentations, Ukrainian participants summarized their existing Y2K programs and discussed technical concerns that have arisen in their work.

Jeffery Dagle, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory senior research engineer, and Zoya Voitenko, Zoya Voitenko and Associates interpreter, provide an overview of the Y2K problem to representatives of Ukraine's nuclear power industry.

The audience for the second workshop comprised representatives of Ukraine's nuclear energy transmission and distribution sector. The National Dispatching Center (NDC) of Ukraine worked with the U.S. team to organize and conduct the workshop at the NDC office in Kyiv on March 18 and 19. More than 40 representatives of the NDC itself, as well as staff from eight regional dispatching regions, participated.

Representatives of Ukraine's nuclear energy transmission and distribution sector listen intently as presenters describe how nuclear industry counterparts in the United States are addressing the Y2K problem.

It appeared that NDC specialists have completed much of the initial assessment of systems. The challenge for the transmission and distribution sector lies in deciding on the best approach for remediation based on finances available. (Tye Blackburn, PNNL, 509-372-4092; Tatyana Colgan, PNNL, 509-375-2054)


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