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

The September Activity Report documents safety improvements achieved in late August and September 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

Monthly Highlight

Engineered Safety System Technology Transferred to Ukraine

A major milestone was reached this summer when safety parameter display systems (SPDSs) were installed in three operating reactors in Ukraine as part of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) efforts to improve the safety of Soviet-designed nuclear power plants (NNPs). One of the systems, installed at South Ukraine Unit 1, began operating in June. At Khmelnytskyy Unit 1 and Zaporizhzhya Unit 5, similar SPDSs are installed, and a training program has begun that will be completed in December along with upgrades to the systems.

All three reactors are Soviet-designed VVER-1000s, which use pressurized light water for cooling and meet most modern safety standards. Ukraine has 11 operating VVER-1000s--the largest and newest of the Soviet reactor designs--with five more under construction. These 11 reactors, plus the two VVER-440/213s at Rivne NPP and an RBMK at Chornobyl Unit 3, produce about 47 percent of Ukraine's electricity. At Chornobyl Unit 3, the only operating RBMK reactor in Ukraine, an SPDS is scheduled for installation later this year.

Safety parameter display systems monitor and automatically display the status of critical safety functions, such as reactor core cooling, to plant operators in the control room and elsewhere. The SPDS provides reactor operators information they can use to rapidly assess plant conditions and take appropriate corrective actions if conditions are abnormal.

The SPDS provides Soviet-designed reactors with the most modern technology available in the United States for helping reactor operators manage any event that has the potential to jeopardize safe reactor operations. The SPDS was developed in the United States for use in commercial reactors following the 1979 nuclear accident at the Three Mile Island nuclear power plant.

Heorhiy Balakan, shift supervisor (standing), and Stepan Stoykov, senior
reactor operator
Aleksandr Priamikov, senior reactor operator (left), and Valeriy Gonchar,
reactor operator
Plant operating staff check values of critical safety parameters at South Ukraine Unit 1. Values are displayed on two safety parameter display system (SPDS) computer monitors in the reactor's main control room. Monitoring stations linked to the SPDS are available at several locations in the plant. South Ukraine's SPDS began operating in June 1998. Similar systems are installed at Zaporizhzhya Unit 5 and Khmelnytskyy Unit 1.

Without an SPDS, reactor operators must rely on process computers and multiple control room displays for critical safety information. Those computers lack the speed and user-friendly approach to providing crucial information during an emergency, according to an expert from DOE's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL).

U.S. technical experts have been involved in the design, fabrication, software development, factory testing, shipping, installation, and final acceptance testing for the SPDSs. Installation of the VVER-1000 SPDSs marks the first large-scale multi-unit emplacement of an engineered safety system performed in conjunction with Energoatom, the Ukrainian organization responsible for nuclear power operations. Energoatom also provides reactor operators with SPDS training on a developmental unit in Kyiv, Ukraine.

Through its international nuclear safety work, DOE plans to install SDPSs at all 11 of Ukraine's VVER-1000 reactors. South Ukraine Unit 2, Rivne Unit 3, and Zaporizhzhya Unit 3 are scheduled to receive SPDSs in 1999.

Burns & Roe Enterprises, Inc., is the lead U.S. contractor on this $23 million project, with Westinghouse Electric Corporation as the subcontractor. Ukrainian contributions to this effort are represented in services, labor, and materials. (Mike Durst, PNNL, 509-372-4698)



VNIIAES Completes Analysis Matrix for Balakovo Emergency Operating Instructions. In late August, VNIIAES delivered a revised analysis matrix for the Balakovo NPP emergency operating instructions (EOIs). The matrix, based on methodology developed by Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) specifically for the U.S. team's EOI projects, results from comparisons of critical safety functions, initiating events, and symptoms of plant conditions. Working through the process allows the specialist to systematically identify accidents (bounding modes), which when analyzed, will create an analytical envelope for a number of the EOIs.

Technical experts from the U.S. team reviewed the matrix and found it acceptable. With submittal of the VNIIAES revision, the NPP-specific matrices and lists of bounding modes for EOI analysis now are complete for all of the pilot NPPs (Balakovo, Kola, Rivne, Zaporizhzhya, and Kozloduy). Depending on the NPP, the number of bounding modes ranges from 11 to 15. Approximately five scenarios must be analyzed for each bounding mode. The pilot NPPs and their respective analytical organizations now are drafting appropriate scenarios for the bounding modes. The scenarios will include equipment malfunctions, primary operator actions, and alternative operator actions that are specified in their site-specific EOIs. Thermal-hydraulic analysis then will be performed for the scenarios using the RELAP5 computer code. (Kent Faris, PNNL, 509-372-4068)

Task Order Signed for Code Validation Work. On September 7 and 8, a U.S. team member from DOE's Argonne National Laboratory (ANL) met with Russian specialists at the Russian International Nuclear Safety Center (RINSC) to review projects to validate computer codes for application to VVER and RBMK reactors. During the meeting, participants finalized the task order for the definition and analysis of the next two standard problems for the VVER reactor. They then signed the task order for the code configuration control and project management for Phase 3 and discussed the schedules for the configuration control training. The Russian specialists submitted several technical deliverables to the ANL representative. Representatives from RINSC, the Electrogorsk Research and Engineering Center, and the Kurchatov Institute participated in the meeting. (Jordi Roglans, ANL 630-252-3283)

Plans Made for 1999 Cooperative Work with Gosatomnadzor. At a mid-September meeting in Washington, D.C., representatives of the U.S. team and senior managers from Gosatomnadzor discussed plans for next year's cooperative projects. Participants also reviewed the past year's activities. Draft protocols outlining the plans for 1999 were exchanged during the meeting. After the protocols are reviewed and agreed to, specific activities for the coming year will be finalized and announced. (George Vargo, PNNL, 509-375-6836)



Contracts Awarded for Simulator Completion Work. Contract supplements were awarded to GSE Power Systems, Inc., on September 15 to provide the necessary system models, integration, and testing required to complete the full-scope simulators for Rivne Unit 3 and South Ukraine Unit 1. Project teams consisting of staff from GSE, the Engineering and Technology Center for the Training of Nuclear Industry Personnel (ETC), and LAKROM will develop the system models at the ETC offices in Kyiv, Ukraine. After approximately 15 months of development work in Kyiv, the projects, including both personnel and equipment, will be relocated to the respective plant sites. Both simulator projects are scheduled for completion in 2001. (Joe Cleary, PNNL, 509-372-4094)

Ukrainian Plant Simulators to Include Safety Parameter Display Systems. Since 1994, the U.S. team has been supporting the development of full-scope simulators for selected NPPs in Ukraine with VVER-1000 reactors. Full-scope simulators are full-size replicas of a nuclear power plant's control room panels, complete with switches, controllers, indicators, and recorders. The simulators are used in training control room operators. Plants at which full-scope simulator development or upgrade work is being done include Khmenlytskyy Unit 1, Rivne Unit 3, South Ukraine Units 1 and 3, and Zaporizhzhya Unit 5.

U.S. experts also are developing safety parameter display systems for Ukraine's VVER-1000 reactors. To date, systems have been installed at South Ukraine Unit 1, Khmelnytskyy Unit 1, and Zaporizhzhya Unit 5 (see "Monthly Highlight").

In a recently begun project, the U.S. team is equipping the full-scope simulators for Ukraine's plants with safety parameter display systems. This addition will ensure that the simulators accurately reflect all the equipment now in the plant control rooms. In mid-September, the team completed contract negotiations for the first two simulator upgrades with SPDSs--Khmelnytskyy Unit 1 and Zaporizhzhya Unit 5. Burns & Roe Enterprises, Inc., will oversee the manufacture of the systems. GSE Power Systems, Inc., will develop the software to provide the interface between the simulators and SPDSs. Installation for both plants is planned for 2000. (Kent Faris, PNNL, 509-372-4068)

Data Collection Task Order Signed with Rivne. During September, the U.S. team signed a new task order with Rivne NPP. Under the task order, Rivne specialists will complete data collection for the Rivne Unit 1 thermal-hydraulic calculations. They also will generate a verified and validated RELAP5 input deck for use in performing thermal-hydraulic calculations for the Rivne in-depth safety assessment. (Charles Dickerman, ANL, 603-252-4622)

Ukrainian Organizations to Participate in Validating Computer Codes for VVER Reactors. A U.S. technical specialist from DOE's ANL met in early September with Ukrainian representatives from Rivne NPP and the Nuclear Power Plant Operations Support Institute to discuss their participation in the code validation project for VVER reactors. The group reviewed and discussed data for defining a standard problem based on plant transient information. They also finalized the scope of work for the potential definition of a standard problem. (Jordi Roglans, ANL, 630-252-3283)

Rivne Specialists Complete Documentation of Previous Risk Assessment. During September, technical specialists from Rivne NPP submitted the last set of deliverables to document a Level 1 probabilistic risk assessment conducted for the plant's Unit 1 prior to U.S. team involvement in the current in-depth safety assessment activities. The documentation will provide a significant foundation for the U.S. team's safety assessment work at Rivne. (Charles Dickerman, ANL, 630-252-4622)



Equipment to Be Shipped for Armenia Spray Pond Cooling System. Progress is continuing on the construction of a spray pond cooling system at Armenia NPP. The system will function as the heat removal pathway for safety-related heat loads. During the week of August 26, the U.S. team held a second workshop to compare Russian and U.S. standards for the safety-related pump/motor assemblies the United States is providing for the cooling system. Representatives of Burns & Roe Enterprises, Inc., the Armenia Nuclear Regulatory Administration, Armenia NPP, and Atomenergoproekt participated in the evaluation at the Burns & Roe facility in New Jersey. Participants determined that the pump/motor assemblies satisfy relevant Russian requirements. On September 1, the first of the pump/motor assemblies, produced by Intersigma Industrial in the Czech Republic, were tested successfully. The commercial-grade certification process that qualifies the pump/motor assemblies for safety-grade application has been completed. The six pump/motor assemblies are scheduled to be shipped for arrival at the plant in early October. (Rich Denning, PNNL, 614-424-7412)



Organizational Culture Survey Administered at Kozloduy. A U.S. training expert assisted Kozloduy personnel administer an organizational culture survey to a random sample of the total plant employee population. After results from the survey are analyzed, U.S. experts and Kozloduy plant managers will discuss associations between the survey responses and topics taught in the management and supervisory skills and safety culture courses. (Peter Kohut, BNL, 516-344-4982)

Kozloduy Adopts Configuration Management. The plant manager at Kozloduy NPP recently announced that, based on the success and benefits obtained from the pilot project, the plant will fully implement configuration management at Units 5 and 6. These units were not covered in the pilot project supported by DOE. In addition to the operational configuration management program, plant management plans to implement two other configuration management programs--design reconstitution and material condition and aging management--at Units 5 and 6. (Donnie Draper, PNNL, 509-372-4079)



Training Course Under Development for Ignalina. On September 21, a training expert from Sonalysts, Inc., began working with training staff from Ignalina NPP to develop instructional materials in support of a pilot course for Ignalina control room reactor operators. DOE and the International Atomic Energy Agency are providing joint support for development of the course. (Peter Kohut, BNL, 516-344-4982)

Neutron Kinetics Computer Code to Be Assessed for Application to RBMK Reactors. A coordination meeting was held at the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) in Stockholm, Sweden, on September 3 and 4 to finalize the work plan for defining benchmark problems for an assessment of neutronics computer codes for RBMK reactors. The assessment is being conducted in support of Lithuania's participation in DOE's efforts to improve international nuclear safety. A U.S. team representative from ANL attended the meeting, in which specialists from Swedish International Projects, KTH, and a Lithuanian representative currently at KTH also participated. (Jordi Roglans, ANL, 630-252-3283)


Cross-Cutting Activities

Verification and Validation Workshop Proves Timely. During the week of September 14, the World Association of Nuclear Operators (WANO) presented a workshop on verification and validation of symptom-based EOIs. Held in Moscow, the workshop was intended for NPP specialists who already have developed their EOIs and now are verifying and validating them and conducting the thermal-hydraulic analyses needed to produce the EOI technical basis documents.

The U.S. team and WANO are cooperating in the development of EOIs at Soviet-designed reactors through separate but coordinated efforts. WANO's efforts are directed at EOI development, including verification and validation of the procedures, plus training NPP staff in their use. The U.S. team's work is focused on producing valid technical bases in support of the EOIs, ensuring regulatory agency endorsement, and implementing the EOIs at the NPPs.

From Russia, participants included several staff members from VNIIAES and Rosenergoatom (REA), as well as representatives from Novovoronezh, Balakovo, Kola, Smolensk, and Leningrad NPPs. Participants from Ukraine represented Energoatom (the national nuclear energy generating company) and Rivne, Chornobyl, and Zaporizhzhya NPPs. Staff from other NPPs with Soviet-designed reactors--Kozloduy (Bulgaria),Temelin and Dukovany (Czech Republic), Paks (Hungary), and Bohunice and Mohovce (Slovakia)--also took part in the workshop. U.S. participants were from Seabrook NPP, the Institute of Nuclear Power Operations, and the WANO-Atlanta Center, as well as SAIC and DOE's PNNL.

The workshop provided an opportunity for U.S. experts to share their experience and lessons learned on procedural verification and validation and the production of technical bases documents, as well as gather information on EOI-related activities ongoing at NPPs with Soviet-designed reactors. Technical staff from three of those plants--Temelin, Chornobyl, and Novovoronezh--described their experiences also. Because EOIs have been developed for most of the Soviet-designed NPPs and now are beginning to undergo the verification and validation process, the WANO workshop was very timely. (Larry Sherfey, PNNL, 509-372-4080)


Planned Activities

September 28-October 2 -- Balakovo, Russia.

Simulators. Specialists from Gosatomnadzor, VNIIAES, and DOE's Brookhaven National Laboratory will present a training course on plant simulator verification and validation. Course participants will include staff from Balakovo, Bilibino, and Ignalina NPPs who will be testing simulators at each of these plants. (Peter Kohut, BNL, 516-344-4982)

* September 28-October 9 -- Chornobyl NPP.

Training. A U.S. training specialist and Chornobyl NPP training staff will collaborate further on the radiation protection technician training course being developed for Chornobyl Shelter workers. (Peter Kohut, BNL, 516-344-4982)

* October 5-9 -- Kyiv, Ukraine.

Training. Training specialists from the U.S. Department of Energy, Sonalysts, Inc., PATH Training, and Susquehanna NPP, along with specialists from Ukraine's Engineering and Technical Center for the Training of Nuclear Industry Personnel (ETC), will conduct a training and qualification seminar. Expected attendees are training personnel from South Ukraine, Rivne, Zaporizhzhya, Khmelnytskyy, and Chornobyl NPPs. The seminar purpose is to share information regarding the issues and problems associated with licensing of nuclear power plant workers, in an effort to make this a more consistent process throughout Ukraine. (Peter Kohut, BNL, 516-344-4982)

* October 5-9 -- Sofia, Bulgaria.

Emergency Operating Instructions. Energoproekt will host a workshop on analysis of EOIs for VVER-1000 reactors. Representatives of Kozloduy NPP, Bulgaria's Institute of Nuclear Reactors and Nuclear Energy, Energoproekt, and the Bulgarian regulatory agency will describe their respective accomplishments related to EOI analysis and regulation over the past four months. U.S. specialists from PNNL and SAIC will provide comments and technical input and discuss future plans. (Kent Faris, PNNL, 509-372-4068; Larry Sherfey, PNNL, 509-372-4080)

* October 12-23 -- Novovoronezh NPP Training Center, Russia.

Russian Training Technology Transfer. U.S. training specialists, along with training specialists from the participating Russian NPPs, will continue collaboration on the development of training materials for two pilot courses--motor-operated valve maintenance and control room reactor operator. The courses are being developed for Kalinin, Kola, Kursk, Beloyarsk, Bilibino, Smolensk, Leningrad, and Novovoronezh NPPs. (Peter Kohut, BNL, 516-344-4982)

* October 13-15 -- Moscow, Russia.

Information Exchanges. A U.S.-sponsored Year 2000 (Y2K) Information Exchange will include a discussion of the general situation within the U.S. nuclear industry, detailed explanation of findings at U.S. plants and current Y2K-related activities, and discussion of possible concerns for Soviet-designed reactors. Representatives of various Russian, Ukrainian, and Lithuanian organizations, institutes, and nuclear power plants are expected to participate. (Tanya Colgan, PNNL, 509-375-2054)

* October 13-26 -- Khmelnytskyy NPP, Ukraine.

Plant Safety Assessment. Management and technical experts from Khmelnytskyy NPP and the plant's Ukrainian subcontractor will meet with their U.S. counterparts to agree on details of the Phase I project management and data collection tasks. (Charles Dickerman, ANL, 630-252-4622)

* October 19-30 -- Kyiv, Ukraine.

Ukraine Training Technology Transfer. U.S. training specialists, along with training specialists from Ukraine's Engineering and Technical Center and Khmelnytskyy, Rivne, South Ukraine, and Zaporizhzhya NPPs, will begin work in support of training course development for a unit shift supervisor pilot course. (Peter Kohut, BNL, 516-344-4982)

* October 20-24 -- Rivne NPP, Ukraine.

Plant Safety Assessment. Management and technical experts from Rivne NPP and the plant's Ukrainian subcontractor will meet with their U.S. counterparts to review accomplishments during the last 6 months on the Rivne in-depth safety assessment project, including the initial subtasks of the ongoing design-basis accident analysis. Participants will develop a common approach for new tasks. (Charles Dickerman, ANL, 630-252-4622)

October 23-November 9 -- Smolensk Training Center and Kursk NPP, Russia.

RBMK Safety Maintenance Technology Transfer and Training. U.S. specialists will conduct training for NPP maintenance staff in use of the thermographic imaging camera being provided by the U.S. team. (Ray Pugh, PNNL, 509-372-4103; Tom Vehec, PNNL, 509-372-4072)

December 5-15 -- Leningrad NPP, Russia.

RBMK Safety Maintenance Technology Transfer and Training. U.S. specialists will conduct training for NPP maintenance staff in use of the thermographic imaging camera being provided by the U.S. team. (Ray Pugh, PNNL, 509-372-4103; Tom Vehec, PNNL, 509-372-4072)


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