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December 1999
Czech Republic
United States
Cross-Cutting Activities
Planned Activities


Reactor module safety improvement work begins

The Russian nuclear regulatory agency Gosatomnadzor (GAN) requires that electronic systems be tested and their performance verified before being placed into operation at Russian nuclear power plants. The All-Russian Institute for Nuclear Power Plant Operations (VNIIAES) proposes to use an analytical simulator to test such systems. To support this concept, DOE initiated a project to improve the safety of the electronic modules used in the control systems of Russian reactors by transferring U.S. digital control technology to Russia's nuclear industry.

During the week of December 13, five Russian specialists toured various facilities in the United States to gather information on digital control technology and equipment applicable to nuclear power plants. The specialists represented VNIIAES, Atomenergoproekt (the architect/engineer firm for non-nuclear portions of nuclear power plants with RBMK and VVER reactors), and Kursk NPP. U.S. facilities visited included

  • the Foxboro Company in Foxboro, Massachusetts, to obtain information regarding Foxboro's Intelligent Automation series of control systems
  • the Westinghouse Nuclear Power Division, for a presentation on a Westinghouse-developed process control and information technology
  • Oconee NPP, where plant representatives presented design and testing details of the plant's new integrated control system and the simulator used for operational testing before placing the system into actual operation
  • the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, for discussions of how the commission reviews digital instrumentation control systems for use in nuclear power plants.

U.S. team members from Oak Ridge and Pacific Northwest national laboratories accompanied the Russian specialists during their visit. (Richard Reister, DOE, 301-903-0234; Ronald Wright, PNNL, 509-372-4076)*

Third safety parameter display system planned for Novovoronezh

U.S. and Russian specialists met in December to define the requirements for the safety parameter display system planned for Novovoronezh Unit 5. Participating in the discussions were representatives of Rosenergoatom, Novovoronezh NPP, the Russian design organization ConSyst, and U.S. contractor Burns & Roe Enterprises, Inc. Specialists from Pacific Northwest National Laboratory also were present.

Unit 5, a VVER-1000 reactor, will be the third unit at Novovoronezh to be outfitted with this safety-enhancing system. In 1999, Science Applications International Corporation and ConSyst completed work on safety parameter display systems installed in Novovoronezh Units 3 and 4 (VVER-440 reactors). Now in the pilot operation mode, those systems are functioning exactly as intended. On the Unit 5 project, ConSyst again will be the primary Russian contractor, working in collaboration with Burns & Roe. (Richard Reister, DOE, 301-903-0234; Rich Denning, PNNL, 614-424-7412; Frank Panisko, PNNL, 509-372-4472)*


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