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April 2000
Czech Republic
United States
Cross-Cutting Activities
Planned Activities

Cross-Cutting Activities

Host-country nuclear specialists prepare for plant decontamination and decommissioning

In March 2000, Lithuania's parliament gave final approval for the early closure of Ignalina Unit 1. Decommissioning the reactor is scheduled for completion in 2005. The closure date for Ignalina Unit 2 is to be determined in 2004. And, although a specific date has not yet been set for decommissioning Armenia NPP, its Unit 1 was shut down permanently in 1990; Unit 2 permanent shutdown is expected in 2005. Specialists in both countries are developing decommissioning plans for their respective nuclear power plant sites.

Lithuanian and Armenian nuclear personnel pose with hosts in front of spent fuel dry storage area at Trojan NPP in Oregon.
Lithuanian and Armenian nuclear personnel pose with hosts in front of spent fuel dry storage area at Trojan NPP in Oregon. Touring the shutdown plant are (left to right) Genadij Negrivoda, technical director, Ignalina NPP; Saulius Urbonavicius, head of production, Ignalina NPP; Chuck White, senior planner/scheduler, Portland General Electric; Hakob Malkhasyan, head of technical department, Atomservice (Armenia); Alma Machshanova, interpreter; Bruce Wallis, project manager, Decommissioning and Spent Fuel Management, Portland General Electric; Aram Gevorgyan, Head, Department of Atomic Energy, Armenia Ministry of Energy; and Mark Bierschbach, development engineer, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.

In preparation for the upcoming decontamination and decommissioning (D&D) activities, two nuclear specialists from Ignalina NPP and one from Armenia NPP toured three nuclear power plant sites in the United States to gather information specific to nuclear power plant D&D. They participated in technical discussions onsite with D&D personnel from Trojan NPP (Oregon), the Hanford reactors (Washington State), and Connecticut Yankee NPP (Connecticut).

U.S. team members from Sonalysts, Inc., and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory accompanied the group to facilitate discussions and provide additional technical information on D&D-related activities. The tour and discussions provided the host-country specialists with opportunities to interact and establish contacts with counterparts at U.S. facilities with D&D experience. Also participating was the head of the Armenian Department of Atomic Energy, who toured the first two sites with the group. He then flew to Washington, D.C., for additional discussions with U.S. Department of Energy officials.

The Lithuanian experts ended their U.S. visit in Waterford, Connecticut, at the training facilities of Sonalysts, Inc., for a tour and additional technical discussions regarding training activities associated with D&D. The Armenian expert spend the week following the tour at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory where he and U.S. technical specialists discussed preparation of a preliminary decommissioning plan for Armenia NPP. (John Yoder, DOE, 301-903-5650; Dennis Meyers, DOE, 301-903-1418; Steve Short, PNNL, 509-375-2868; Don Draper, PNNL, 509-372-4079)*

Multinational stakeholders involved in neutron kinetics code assessment for RBMKs

The Lithuanian Energy Institute (LEI) is developing neutron physics and coupled computer code RELAP5-3D models for analysis of RBMK transients. The models will be verified with analysis of benchmarks being defined by specialists at Russia's Kurchatov Institute. LEI analysts also plan to use the verified models in other projects, such as participation in the safety analysis for Ignalina Unit 2 and review of the safety analysis of the second shutdown system under the sponsorship of the Swedish International Project (SiP) in coordination with a project sponsored by the European Union.

To help coordinate the activities sponsored by the United States and Sweden, a U.S. specialist from Argonne National Laboratory participated in late-March meetings in Stockholm, Sweden. Also at the meeting were representatives of SiP, the Kurchatov Institute, and Sweden's Royal Institute of Technology (KTH).

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and SiP activities were summarized and discussed for potential areas of common interest. Discussion participants identified several areas in which the two programs can collaborate for maximum benefits:

  1. evaluation of the cross section libraries at KTH (sponsored by SiP)
  2. definition of coupled code benchmarks by the Kurchatov Institute (sponsored by DOE)
  3. development of a safety analysis capability at LEI (sponsored by DOE and SiP)
  4. analysis of the benchmarks and comparison of results at LEI and Kurchatov (sponsored by DOE) and at KTH (sponsored by SiP).

Analysts at KTH and LEI are encountering questions about detailed modeling of RBMK control assemblies, control logic, and cross section libraries. Kurchatov analysts believe that the code cannot model the RBMK logic without additional source code changes. This issue is important, as it would affect the specifications of the benchmarks and, ultimately, the analysis capabilities of LEI. A followup meeting will be held in a few months, when additional modeling is complete, to review the technical issues in detail. Close coordination among all stakeholders in the code assessment will facilitate the technical communications needed to resolve these questions. (Walter Pasedag, DOE, 301-903-3628; Jordi Roglans, ANL, 630-252-3283)*


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