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April 1998 - Armenia
- Bulgaria
- Czech Republic
- Hungary
- Kazakstan
- Lithuania
- Russia
- Slovakia
- Ukraine
- United States
- Cross-Cutting Activities
- Planned Activities

Welcome to the new Monthly Activity Report, which documents safety improvements achieved each month at Soviet-designed nuclear power plants through U.S. and host-county cooperation. This report replaces the old biweekly activity report and is available online or in hardcopy form. To request a hardcopy version or to provide comments or suggestions, send an e-mail message to INSP Communications through

Upgraded Safety-Related Electronics Improve Safety of Lithuanian NPP

One hundred safety-related electronic modules designed to enhance the reliability of the control and protection system at one of the world's largest operating nuclear power plants--Lithuania's Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant, Unit 2--were delivered the week of May 18 as part of the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE's) effort to improve the safety of Soviet-designed nuclear power plants. Unit 2 is an RBMK reactor, and is one of two 1500-megawatt nuclear power plants used to generate more than 80 percent of Lithuania's electricity.

The function of the modules, designated LO3, is to continuously monitor critical plant safety parameters and trigger protective actions when certain plant conditions, such as reactor coolant or steam flow, reach established set points.

One hundred safety-related electronic modules manufactured in the United States by NUS Instruments were delivered to Ignalina this month. These new modules are replacing aging, unreliable modules at Lithuania's Ignalina NPP. The modules monitor key reactor conditions and trigger indicators when conditions become abnormal. As part of technology transfer efforts, an additional two hundred modules are being manufactured in Lithuania for the NPP using technology and quality assurance methods acquired from the U.S. manufacturer.

NUS Instruments in Idaho Falls, Idaho, designed and manufactured the analog-to-relay conversion modules in accordance with U.S. quality standards for safety-related equipment. These 100 electronic modules represent one-third of the total number of modules being provided to Ignalina's Unit 2. An additional 200 modules are being manufactured at the Center for Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC) in Lithuania using technology and quality assurance methods acquired from NUS Instruments. The 200 modules are scheduled for delivery to Ignalina Unit 2 in September 1998.

In 1996, Ignalina plant managers shared their concerns about electronic modules with U.S. DOE officials and sought assistance. The old modules, used at Ignalina's Unit 2 since the plant began operating in 1986, have high failure rates, which impacted the reliability of the control and protection system to perform its safety function. In addition, when the modules fail, they may give no indication of failure. The new modules indicate when a failure has occurred, thus enabling timely replacement of the failed module.

To ensure that U.S. quality standards are met for the 200 units being manufactured by EMC in Lithuania, three members of Ignalina's operations staff were provided with comprehensive quality assurance training in the United States. The knowledge and skills acquired prepared the Ignalina staff to perform formal audits of both NUS Instruments' and EMC's design and production process.

"Aside for the safety considerations, the benefits associated with this effort extend far beyond Unit 2 receiving new modules," said Ron Wright, who manages the module project for Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL). "The transfer of the module manufacturing technology and establishment of in-country capability will allow in-country manufacture of nuclear safety equipment using modern quality control practices."

The project is conducted within DOE's Instrumentation and Controls Section of the International Nuclear Safety Program (INSP). The purpose of the project is to provide short-term safety improvements for the safety-related control and protection systems at Ignalina NPP. Delivery and installation of the electronic modules satisfies, in part, one of the DOE Secretary's Presidental Commitments for FY 1998.



Training Technology Being Transferred to Russian NPPs. The second phase of the training technology transfer project in Russia began April 13 with a two-week workshop at the Novoveronezh Training Center. The workshop focused on the development of two pilot training courses for all NPP sites in Russia: 1) a control room reactor operator training program for the RBMK sites (Leningrad, Kursk, and Smolensk NPPs) and 2) a mechanical maintenance training course for motor-operated valves for the VVER sites (Kola, Kalinin, and Novovoronezh NPPs), as well as Beloyarsk and Bilibino NPPs. U.S. and Balakovo specialists worked with representatives from each of the NPP sites on the development of these courses. Each course will be implemented later this fall. (Sonja Haber, BNL, 516-344-3575)

Kalinin Implements Training Course. The pilot mechanical maintenance training course, developed by training personnel at the Kalinin NPP with assistance from General Physics Corporation and Balakovo NPP, was implemented at Kalinin NPP during the last week of April. Participants from the Kola NPP also attended in preparation for their own implementation scheduled for June. (Sonja Haber, BNL, 516-344-3575)

Russian Trainers Learn New Instructor Skills. Training experts from Balakovo NPP, Novovoronezh and Smolensk Training Centers, and VNIIAES participated in a four-week Instructor Skills workshop at the facilities of Sonalysts, Inc. in Waterford, Connecticut. The workshop transferred instructor skills to the Russian participants with the goal of enhanced training leading to improved reactor safety. (Sonja Haber, BNL, 516-344-3575).

Bilibino Safety Maintenance Training Session Conducted. A training session for the lead instrumentation and control maintenance technician from Bilibino NPP was conducted for two weeks in late March and early April at Balakovo NPP. During the working period, refresher training on the Systematic Approach to Training was conducted, and then the Bilibino training needs were compared to the training programs available to transfer from Balakovo NPP.

The job position was selected and the duties determined for the Instrumentation and Control Maintenance Technician for Thermal Automatics and Control Division. With these established, the comparable Balakovo program was used as the basis for performing a job and task analysis, developing learning objectives, and discussing program design.

Sonalysts Inc., provided the Bilibino representative a notebook computer loaded with all of the Balakovo program materials associated with instrumentation and control maintenance training, as well as a program description from a U.S. NPP. The representative will use the computer in the maintenance training program. The computer is to be retained permanently by Bilibino NPP upon completion of this program. (Don Jarrell, PNNL, 509-372-4096)

Work Progresses Toward Code Validation for Application to VVER and RBMK Reactors. A working meeting was held on April 1-3 at the Russian International Nuclear Safety Center (RINSC) in Moscow to make progress toward completing the RELAP5 validation plans for application to Soviet-designed reactors. Representatives participated from RINSC, Electrogorsk Research and Engineering Center (EREC), Gidropress, Kurchatov Institute, Institute of Physics and Power Engineering (IPPE), Research and Development Institute of Power Engineering (RDIPE), and Argonne National Laboratory (ANL). A preliminary list of standard problems for RELAP5 validation for both VVER and RBMK applications was developed during the meeting. The lists of standard problems will be incorporated in the validation plans, which will be finalized by the end of May. (Jordi Roglans, ANL, 630-252-3283)

Russian and U.S. Specialists Consider Merits of R-Space Code. Russian and U.S. specialists attended a workshop on probabilistic and deterministic safety analysis for Leningrad NPP in Richland, Washington, on April 20-24, 1998. Participants from the Research and Development Institute of Power Engineering (RDIPE), Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), and Fluor Daniel Northwest, Inc., discussed the development and use of the R-SPACE computer program for determining single pressure tube rupture propagation in RBMK reactors. PNNL is verifying the R-SPACE code using an analytical benchmark test. A key recommendation from this workshop is to continue development of this important tool for safety analysis of RBMK reactors. (Georgi Tsiklauri, PNNL, 509-372-4081)

Gosatomnadzor Participates in Workshop on Conducting Radiation Protection Inspections. In Moscow, Russia, on April 6-9, a representative from PNNL and staff from the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Nuclear Energy, Science and Technology (DOE-NE) and the DOE Office of Environment, Safety and Health (DOE-EH) held a workshop on conducting radiation protection inspections for 24 nuclear safety inspectors from Gosatomnadzor. (Ed Branagan, 301-903-6509; George Vargo, PNNL 509-375-6835)



Course Development Continues at South Ukraine NPP. Training specialists from South Ukraine NPP involved in the Ukraine training technology transfer project collaborated with Khmelnytskyy NPP experts on course development for a pilot training program on Instrumentation and Control - Soldering. This trip gave the South Ukraine training specialists the opportunity to work with Khmelnytskyy NPP training specialists and with equipment that will be provided to South Ukraine NPP. (Sonja Haber, BNL, 516-344-3575)

Course Implemented at Rivne NPP. The Instrumentation and Controls pilot course, focusing on the calibration of pressure transmitters, was implemented during the week of April 20. The training staff at Rivne NPP implemented this course after working closely with U.S. and Khmelnytskyy training experts on its development. The materials were developed using the Systematic Approach to Training methodology. (Sonja Haber, BNL, 516-344-3575).

VVER EOI Analysis Continues. Over the past several months, presentations have been made to VVER NPPs outlining methodologies for identification of bounding calculational modes and scenarios for EOI technical bases. Both Rivne NPP and Zaporizhzhya NPP have submitted matrices that identify the calculational modes. A meeting was held on March 23 through April 3 in San Diego, California, in conjunction with in-depth safety analysis project teams from both plants. At this meeting, these matrices were reviewed. The Rivne matrix appears to be complete and technically accurate. The Zaporizhzhya matrix is approximately 80% complete. Rivne is beginning their list of bounding calculations. Zaporizhzhya is making corrections and additions to their matrix before making their calculational list.

A task order was negotiated for Rivne EOI analysis at this meeting. The level of effort and technical scope were considered acceptable. Negotiations are continuing on the cost proposal. Finalization of this task order will allow Rivne's contractor, Energorisk, to begin performing the EOI technical bases calculations. Zaporizhzhya specialists are expected to follow a similar path when their RELAP input deck is complete. (Kent Faris, PNNL, 509-372-4068)

Ukrainian NPP Specialists Complete Workshop. U.S. experts conducted a two-week workshop in early April in Neteshin. "Advanced Ultrasonic Detection and Sizing Techniques" was attended by 15 ultrasonic specialists from all five nuclear power plants in Ukraine. Twelve of the 15 participants passed the examination required for completing the workshop and were awarded certificates. (Tom Taylor, PNNL, 509-375-4331)

Planning Continues for SPDS Installations. In Kyiv in early April, the steering committee for the safety parameter display system (SPDS) project discussed the SPDS installations planned for the upcoming outages at Khmelnytskyy Unit 1 and Zaporizhzhya Unit 5. The outages are scheduled to start May 2 for Zaporizhzhya and May 15 for Khmelnytskyy. Most equipment for the outages is in Ukraine and being prepared for the factory acceptance test in late May. The committee agreed that the critical safety functions portion of the SPDS will be installed during the two outages, and all other functions will be finished by the end of 1998 while the units are operating. (Mike Durst, PNNL, 509-372-4698)

Code Validation Applied to VVER Reactors. A meeting took place on April 6-7 in Kyiv, Ukraine, to discuss the participation of Ukrainian organizations in the code validation project. Participants attended from the Sevastopol Institute of Nuclear Energy and Industry, the Operations Support Institute of Energoatom, the State Scientific Engineering Center of Control Systems and Emergency Response, and Argonne National Laboratory. A task order will be prepared for the Sevastopol Institute to perform the analysis of the first standard problem defined by the Russian International Nuclear Safety Center. The other organizations will provide a proposal to define a standard problem based on plant transient data. (Jordi Roglans, ANL, 630-252-3283).


Chornobyl Initiatives

Chornobyl Fire Safety Upgrades Continue. Now that the weather has warmed, workers have begun applying fire resistant coating material to structural steel in the Chornobyl turbine hall. Personnel from Askenn Concern have applied almost one-third of the material and are expected to complete application in May. A contract has been negotiated with Askenn to install the fire doors. Fire door installation is expected to begin in May. The only remaining fire safety upgrade activity is the replacement of the fire detection and alarm system. Design of the system by Energoproekt is close to completion. The system will be installed in fall 1998. (Rich Denning, PNNL, 614-424-7412)

Chornobyl Shelter Project

Repairs Initiated to Ventilation Chimney. At Chornobyl NPP, repairs have been initiated to the ventilation chimney between Unit 3 and the Shelter which encloses the destroyed Unit 4. The external bracing which supports this chimney was seriously damaged by the 1986 explosion, resulting in the possibility that it might collapse when heavily stressed by a small earthquake, high wind, or heavy snow loading. Collapse of this chimney could damage the still-operable Unit 3, or cause collapse of the Shelter, depending on the direction of fall. This work will return the chimney and its bracing to its full design strength.

The first two of nine structural elements with significant damage have been replaced. During the next two months, the remaining seven badly damaged elements will be replaced, and repairs will be performed to strengthen thirteen additional dented elements. A unique feature of this project is the construction of a full-size model of a portion of the bracing framework. The model is used for worker training and work timing to support ALARA concepts and minimize radiation doses received by workers.

Structural analysis, repair design, contracting, and project management are performed by Ukrainian organizations. Repairs are proceeding rapidly, and the project is on schedule for completion during July 1998. (Bryan Gore, PNNL, 509-372-4121)


Central and Eastern Europe


Fire Safety Upgrades Continue at Armenia NPP. On April 17, the second shipment of floor coating material for Armenia NPP arrived in Yerevan. The first shipment, manufactured by Keeler and Long Company, already has been installed at the plant. The second shipment will enable the plant to complete the removal of flammable plastic floor covering and replacement with a nonflammable epoxy paint for the critical 12,000 square meters associated with an European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) loan agreement. The plant will initiate double shifts to complete the application of this material by the end of June. In addition, all 140 of the standard fire doors have been manufactured by the Atomremmash company in Kursk, Russia. (R. Denning, PNNL, 614 424-7412).



Kaunas University of Technology Receives Computers. Kaunas University of Technology received the five Pentium personal computers and a printer that will support training in safety analysis. The computers are connected via network and are fully operational. (Roger Tilbrook, ANL, 630-252-8352)

Lithuanian International Nuclear Safety Center Web Site Operational. During the week of April 13, the first version of an International Nuclear Safety Center web site was established for Lithuania at the Lithuania Energy Institute (LEI). The U.S. expert participating demonstrated the techniques for converting electronic documents into forms suitable for display and access on the web site. The site already offers full access to the Ignalina Source Book and Ignalina Handbook (print-quality in PDF format) and will be enhanced by LEI in the near future. The documents also will be available in easy-to-browse HTML format as soon as the conversion is complete. (Roger Tilbrook, ANL, 630-252-8352)



Trnava Full-Scope Simulator Upgrade. The factory acceptance testing of the Trnava full-scope simulator upgrade input/output (I/O) system was conducted on April 22-24. The I/O testing was performed at the RTP Corporation location in Pompano Beach, Florida. This testing was designed to verify that the integrated I/O system operates as designed and that all components are installed as required for the simulator. RTP Corporation provided a software and hardware engineer to perform the testing. The project manager from PNNL and the I/O system engineer from Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) participated in the testing. RTP is a subcontractor to SAIC.

The I/O system passed the factory acceptance tests and will be packed for shipping to Trnava, Slovakia, during the first week of May. The I/O system will be installed and tested on site to ensure that no damage occurred during shipping. (Ken Erickson, PNNL, 509-372-4063)


Planned Activities

May 4-8 -- Kyiv, Ukraine.

Ukraine Reliability Database. A joint committee of U.S. and Ukrainian experts will offer a training seminar focused on probabilistic safety assessment topics related to data collection and analysis. Western examples of reliability databases will be discussed and related directly to development of the reliability database for Ukraine. Logistics for the in-country portion of the seminar will be handled by INIT, in cooperation with the Kyiv State University. (Greg Trosman, DOE, 301-903-3581; Tom Vehec, PNNL, 509-372-4072)

*May 4-9 -- Kyiv, Ukraine.

Nondestructive Examination and Safety Maintenance. U.S. team members will meet with representatives from Energoatom, INIT Corporation, Kyiv National University, and Petton Institute to outline the initial steps for developing a national nondestructive examination training and certification facility. This facility will enable Ukrainian nondestructive examination specialists to be certified to international standards. (Tom Taylor, PNNL, 509-375-4331)

*May 11-15 -- Zaporizhzhya NPP, Ukraine

Training. Staff from General Physics Corporation, Brookhaven National Laboratory, and the Khmelnytskyy NPP will work with training staff from Zaporizhzhya NPP to finalize training materials for the Chemical Operator pilot training course. The pilot course will be implemented during the second half of this visit. (Sonja Haber, BNL, 516-344-3575).

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)

May 18-June 2 -- Columbia, Maryland, USA.

Simulators. Staff of GSE Power Systems, Inc., will provide training to representatives from Balakovo and Bilibino NPPs in hardware maintenance associated with the analytical simulator being developed for the plants. (Peter Kohut, BNL, 516-344-4982)

May 18-June 12 -- Aiken, South Carolina, USA.

Training. Training staff from Lithuania's Ignalina NPP will participate in a Systematic Approach to Training workshop at the General Physics Corporation offices. The workshop will introduce Ignalina staff to the SAT methodology as a first step to developing the Control Room Reactor Operator course material for their plant. (Sonja Haber, BNL, 516-344-3575)

*May 25-28 -- Desnogorsk, Russia.

RBMK Maintenance and Technology Transfer and Training. U.S. training specialists will help in the development of lesson plans for alignment and vibration monitoring equipment and assist in the startup and functional testing of the Scientific Technical Center's new thermo-mechanical training loop. The main function of the thermo-mechanical training loop is to provide functional mockups for training personnel for alignment and vibration monitoring equipment. (Francis Buck, PNNL, 509-372-4102)

*June 6-19 -- Kola NPP, Russia.

Training. Staff from General Physics Corporation and the Balakovo NPP will work with training staff from Kola NPP to finalize training materials for the Mechanical Maintenance pilot training course. The pilot course will be implemented during the second week of the visit. (Sonja Haber, BNL, 516-344-3575)

*June 8-12 -- Kyiv, Ukraine.

Ukraine Quality Assurance. The second Ukraine Quality Assurance Project seminar for 1998 will involve planning for pilot procedure development in the area of document control and records management. U.S. experts will describe and provide examples of U.S. practices and procedures. Representatives for each of Ukraine's NPPs and Energoatom will describe the current state of procedures and programs in Ukraine, and plans will be outlined for procedures to be implemented at the sites. These procedures are expected to be coordinated with the configuration management approaches under development at Zaporizhzhya NPP. (Lief Erickson, PNNL, 509-372-4097)

June 8-July 6 -- Columbia, Maryland, USA.

Simulators. Training staff from Balakovo and Bilibino NPPs will participate in a training course for simulator instructors. The course, to be presented by personnel from GSE Power Systems, Inc., is associated with the analytical simulators being developed for the plants. (Peter Kohut, BNL, 516-344-4982)

*June 22-July 3 -- Novovoronezh Training Center, Russia.

Training. Staff from Sonalysts, Inc. will support the second workshop for Phase 2 of the Russian training technology transfer program. As part of the Phase 2 work, each site will develop a pilot program for either Control Room Reactor Operators or Mechanical Maintenance technicians. Scheduled to participate are training staff from Balakovo, Beloyarsk, Kalinin, Kola, Kursk, Leningrad, Novovoronezh, and Smolensk NPPs. (Sonja Haber, BNL, 516-344-3575)


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