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March 2000
Czech Republic
United States
Cross-Cutting Activities
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Full-scope simulator completed for Kola

Russian and U.S. technical specialists completed work during March to build and install a state-of-the-art full-scope simulator at Russia's Kola nuclear power plant (NPP). The simulator will be used to train control room operators for Kola's Unit 4, a VVER-440/213 reactor.

A full-scope simulator provides hands-on training by replicating the control room of a nuclear power plant. A computer links an instructor station with a full-size physical replica of the control panels. As reactor operators manipulate controls, the simulator responds by displaying the changes in conditions that would occur in the plant. The instructor can select the initial plant state, introduce malfunctions and failures, freeze the exercise, and enable retrospective viewing. Full-scope simulators have proven to be a very effective tool for preparing reactor operators to respond appropriately to actual emergency situations.

 Panels and other components for the Kola Unit 4 full-scope simulator are shown in this 1998 photo.  Electronics experts from VNIIAES completed assembly of the simulator prior to delivery to Kola NPP for installation.
Panels and other components for the Kola Unit 4 full-scope simulator are shown in this 1998 photo. Electronics experts from VNIIAES completed assembly of the simulator prior to delivery to Kola NPP for installation.

Completion of the site acceptance testing at the plant in mid-March represents the culmination of a jointly funded Russian/U.S. project that began in May 1995. Through the U.S. Department of Energy's cooperative program to improve the safety of Soviet-designed reactors, the United States purchased the computer hardware, software, input/output system, power supplies, and control panels. Kola NPP funded development of the system software, as well as the modeling and testing, through the Moscow-based General Energy Technologies, a joint venture between the All-Russian Institute for Nuclear Power Plant Operations (VNIIAES) and GSE Power Systems, Inc., a U.S. contractor.

Official turnover of the new full-scope simulator to the plant is scheduled for mid-April (see Planned Activities). (John Yoder, DOE, 301-903-5650; Joe Cleary, PNNL, 509-372-4094)*

Energoatom issues nuclear industry training standards

In March, Ukraine's national nuclear energy generating company, Energoatom, issued three new standards for training personnel for work in Ukraine's nuclear power plants:

  • Statute of Nuclear Power Plant Training Center
  • Standard Terms and Definitions in the Training Field
  • Requirements for Training Materials for NPP Personnel Training.

The new standards will ensure institutionalization and maintenance of the Systematic Approach to Training (SAT) methodology within Ukraine's nuclear power industry. The SAT methodology was transfered to Ukraine under the U.S. program to improve safety at Soviet-designed nuclear power plants.

Regulations related to training and qualification of nuclear industry personnel had been developed previously and issued by the State Nuclear Regulatory Administration. However, industry-specific training standards to support these regulations were needed. Industry training standards and guidelines are critical to successful implementation of training and qualification programs at the operating level.

Ukraine also has developed a draft guide on SAT and draft standard procedures for implementing SAT. A similar regulation and standard for simulators is currently under development.

A critical aspect in the drafting and subsequent finalization of all three standards and support procedures was the high level of involvement of key Ukrainian agencies and entities: Energoatom, the Main State Inspectorate, the Engineering and Technical Center for the Training of Nuclear Industry Personnel, and the State Scientific and Technical Center. Ukraine's nuclear power plants also had a high level of involvement through participation in working meetings to discuss and review the standards as well as provide input into their development.

The standards grew out of an October 1999 workshop, which involved participants from all Ukrainian organizations mentioned above, as well as representatives of Lithuania's Ignalina NPP and Bulgaria's Kozloduy NPP. U.S. technical specialists from Sonalysts, Inc., Human Performance Analysis Corporation, and commercial utilities also participated in this work to provide perspective on commonly accepted U.S. industry standards and practices. As part of the process of developing the standards, the U.S. team provided detailed information on modern regulations, standards, and practices related to nuclear power plant simulators and training.

The cooperative efforts to provide simulators and training to Ukraine's nuclear power plants enabled participating organizations to support this change in safety culture for Ukraine's nuclear industry. (John Yoder, DOE, 301-903-5650; Don Draper, PNNL, 509-372-4079)*


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