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Nuclear Safety Cooperation

CIS3.01/11 Support to the Armenian and Ukrainian Regulatory Authorities

  • Closed
Miscellaneous Countries
Benefitting Zone
€ 2,698,923.63
EU Contribution
Contracted in 2012
Instrument for Nuclear Safety Cooperation


Type of activity

Regulatory Authorities



Contracting authority

European Commission

Method of Procurement

(FR2007) Negotiated Procedure - External Actions


14/11/2012 - 13/01/2017



Project / Budget year
  • INSC 2011 PART II Armenia - Regulatory Authority / 2011
  • INSC part II - Ukraine 1 project / 2011


Component A: Background

Currently Ukraine has 15 nuclear power plant units in operation at 4 sites: Khmelnitsky NPP (2 units), Rivne NPP (4 units), South Ukraine NPP (3 units) and Zaporizhzhya NPP (6 units). In addition, there are several other nuclear installations in the country, including the shut-down RBMK reactors at the Chernobyl site. The original design of these power reactors was from the former Soviet Union and the NPPs were designed and constructed according to the standards of the 1970s and 1980s.

Ukraine aims reaching the same level of nuclear safety for its reactors as achieved in the EU. In 2010 Energoatom, the Ukrainian NPP operator proposed a comprehensive safety upgrade package together with the “Safety Improvement Concept for NPP Power Units”, which were later approved by the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine. The proposed Comprehensive (Complex) Safety Upgrading Program (CCSUP) is an ambitious safety engineering project, requiring large efforts and resources from both the Ukrainian operator and the regulator.

The safety upgrade package aims to achieve a safety level in all operating NPPs equivalent to the required EU safety standards. It also incorporates all relevant recommendations which have been made by EU regulatory experts in previous TACIS and INSC projects and fulfils new Ukrainian guidelines and requirements.

When the Ukrainian NPPs were designed in the 70s and 80s of the 20th century, their seismic resistance was assessed according to the regulations in force at that time. During the site selections there were no special instrumental investigations exploring geological and tectonic conditions and characterizing the seismic hazards at the NPP sites. Input data to justify design seismic resistance of structures, systems and components (SSCs) assumed 0.05g – 0.06 g peak ground acceleration (PGA) for the safe shutdown earthquake (SSE). However, according to current IAEA recommendations, the minimal PGA to be assumed for NPP sites during the SSE assessment should be at least 0.1g.

Based on the EU stress test criteria, which were defined following the Fukushima Daiichi accident of March 2011, the effects of even larger seismic activities should be considered in assessing the safety or the necessity of safety upgrades for nuclear power plants. In this respect the seismic safety of all operating Ukrainian NPP units was reassessed using up-to-date international standards and EU experience. The current INSC project supported SNRIU to review the results of this seismic reassessment. The joint review and analysis – performed by SNRIU in cooperation with the EU experts – allowed a comprehensive assessment of the acceptability of the seismic analyses provided and determined their compliance with the Ukrainian requirements in force, as well as with the state-of-the art international (e.g. EU and IAEA) approaches.
The present INSC project U3.01/11A (UK/TS/47) was launched to support SNRIU during the regulatory assessment of the implementation of the modernisation plan as a whole, focusing on those areas where relevant EU expertise can potentially provide the largest benefits to the safety improvement in Ukrainian nuclear power plants, including seismic analysis. Activities were aimed at transferring EU knowledge to further enhance the safety assessment skills of SNRIU. The project considerably strengthened the capabilities of SNRIU in the licensing of new safety improvements and other plant modifications.

Component B: Background

A comprehensive re-assessment of plant vulnerabilities associated with fire hazards was performed for the ANPP by preparing a revised fire probabilistic safety analysis (fire PSA). This fire PSA study was submitted to ANRA for review and ANRA needed expert support during this assessment work. The assistance focused on selected topics such as definition of fire compartments, fire analysis and modelling methods, uncertainty and sensitivity analysis. The Severe Accident Management Guidelines (SAMGs) and the background (analytical justification) documents were developed by the ANPP with external support. The first SAMG set corresponded to those accident scenarios that started from "full power" reactor states; the SAMGs corresponding to "low-power" and "shutdown" reactor states were to be prepared in the next phase. The ANRA required support in reviewing the SAMGs and their background documents according to the latest EU practice and guidance. The IAEA Operational Safety Review Team (OSART) conducted a mission to the ANPP in May 2011 and evaluated the plant's operational safety. The corresponding follow-up mission was performed in May 2013. The OSART mission formulated its recommendations and findings in a comprehensive report and afterwards the ANPP prepared an Action Plan containing the plant's planned actions to eliminate the discovered deficiencies and to take into account the OSART recommendations. The ANRA required support in reviewing the above Action Plan and in assessing the appropriateness of the measures planned by ANPP. The decommissioning plans for ANPP Unit 1 and 2 are still to be developed. Several pilot decommissioning activities were going on at the plant and the results of these activities were to be used as basis for the Unit 1 and 2 decommissioning plans. ANRA needed expert support in the review and assessment of the decommissioning plans, including the plans corresponding to pilot decommissioning projects. These reviews focused on the assessment of the completeness of the related documentation; the quality assurance procedures, the approaches used for decontamination and dismantling; radioactive waste and radiation protection aspects related to decommissioning; application of the ALARA principle and final storage of decommissioned components. In order to improve its internal quality assurance and knowledge management procedures, the ANRA and its TSO started a development project that had achieved certain goals: e.g. the quality management system of ANRA – developed by NRSC – went into operation and its handbook had been issued. This work was performed with INSC support in the frame of the AR/TS/06 project and ANRA requested the continuation of these activities. The continuation focused on the improved implementation of the quality management system at ANRA, with particular focus on modules and procedures related to project and knowledge management. The assistance also transferred relevant knowledge accumulated at similar partner organisations working in EU Member States. Following the Fukushima accident, the EU Member States performed a comprehensive safety re-assessment (often called "stress tests") of their nuclear power plants according a specification prepared by ENSREG and endorsed by the WENRA. Several non-EU countries (e.g. Switzerland, Ukraine, Turkey, etc.) voluntarily joined this exercise and Armenia also decided to carry out the stress tests for Unit 2 of the ANPP. In connection with these actions ANRA required support in the review of the ANPP Self-Assessment Report and during the preparation of the Armenian National Stress Test Report to achieve full compliance with the WENRA/ENSREG specifications. In connection with the above listed issues in nuclear and radiation safety in Armenia, the AR/TS/09 project was initiated to support the Armenian nuclear safety regulator (ANRA) to enhance its regulation making procedures and safety assessment practices.


The main objective of the project was to strengthen the capabilities of the nuclear safety regulator of Ukraine (SNRIU) in regulatory activities related to the implementation of safety improvements at all operating Ukrainian NPPs. The project was also aimed to perform a review of a new seismic analysis – taking into account requirements resulting from the EU stress-tests and related EU experience – carried out for all operating Ukrainian NPPs. The project also provided training to the staff of SNRIU and its TSO (SSTC NRS).

The above goals were to be achieved by performing the following project activities:

  • Project inception and coordination (component management);
  • Development of a system to monitor the progress of CCSUP implementation;
  • Selection of CCSUP and stress test priority measures for regulatory cooperation;
  • Monitoring the implementation of CCSUP and measures resulting from the stress test;
  • Performing a regulatory assessment of the analysis on design basis seismic resistance of the Ukrainian NPPs;

The work in the project was carried out by a consortium led by RISKAUDIT with IRSN, GRS and ITER-Consult as members. The contract was signed in November 2012; the original duration of the project was 36 months, but it was extended to 49 months. The project was officially closed on the 13th of December, 2016.

Component B: Objectives

The main objective of the project was to improve the Armenian regulatory infrastructure on nuclear safety, as well as the safety assessment capabilities of ANRA and its TSO (NRSC) by transferring EU nuclear safety regulatory practices and know-how. It was aimed that the ANRA and its TSO acquire additional competence and experience in the technical domains covered by the project. The specific objectives of this project were as follows:

  • Assisting the ANRA to carry out safety assessment of the Armenian NPP, equivalent to the European risk and safety assessment procedures.
  • Enhancing the regulatory and safety assessment capabilities of ANRA in licensing related activities.
  • Supporting the promotion of an effective nuclear safety culture in Armenia in line with the principles of the Convention on Nuclear Safety, in particular through continuous support to regulatory bodies.

The transfer of best European practice and the enhancement of the capabilities of the ANRA and its TSO constituted an essential part of the regulatory assistance activities.


The actions performed and results achieved in each of the four technical tasks since the start of the project are briefly summarised below.

  • Task 1: System for monitoring of the progress of the implementation of the Complex Consolidated Safety Program (CCSUP)

Task 1 provided support to SNRIU and its TSO to design and develop a system applicable to monitor the progress of CCSUP implementation. First, in June 2013 the Technical Specifications for the structure and content of the monitoring system were defined and approved; then in August 2013 a trial version was set up on the RegNet NNRP network, which is hosted and maintained by the IAEA Headquarters in Vienna (Austria). The final version of the CCSUP monitoring system was put into operation in November 2013. Since then the system is regularly updated and used by SNRIU, SSTC NRS and EU experts to monitor the CCSUP implementation.

  • Task 2: Selection of priority measures within CCSUP and stress test results for regulatory cooperation

Task 2 started with the definition of the criteria to be used for selecting those CCSUP measures – including measures resulting from the performed EU stress tests – that will be subject for the detailed assessment to be carried out in the frame of Task 3. The first proposal for the criteria was made in April 2013; they were then discussed and agreed in July 2013. On this basis a first selection of measures was performed; then a final list of measures and installations to be monitored in depth was compiled in October 2013.

  • Task 3: Monitoring of implementation of CCSUP and stress test based measures

Task 3 carried out the in-depth assessment of the real implementation status of the measures selected within Task 2. It also assessed the effectiveness of the technical solutions for the various measures and their implementation. Moreover, an overall monitoring of the CCSUP implementation as a whole was carried out for all operating Ukrainian NPPs. Five comprehensive site visits and inspections were carried out at three Ukrainian NPPs. The corresponding reports described the implementation status and review results of selected measures. Three yearly reports for the years 2013, 2014 and 2015 were produced, describing the implementation status of the CCSUP, based on the information collected during the site visits / inspections. These reports were finalized by SNRIU and SSTC. The reports include not only terms of the implementation of the measures but also technical changes of measures. Since the CCSUP is a living document the number and the technical content of the measures, documented in the measures cards may change. Such changes are accompanied by Technical Decisions and agreements with the Regulator SNRIU.

During the course of the work, RISKAUDIT provided the Ukrainian regulator with skills and technologies to assess the implementation of modernization measures. An additional site visit had been organized at Civaux NPP (France) in order to familiarize the involved Ukrainian experts with European experience in the review of safety upgrade measures with the focus on implementation of the outcomes from the EU stress tests.

Generally, the Ukrainian approach to carry out the modernization measures was considered similar to the approach adopted in EU countries. The proposed modernization measures reflect international experience, as well as national “good” practice for a continuous improvement of safety levels, as they originate in international documents produced by such organizations as IAEA, WENRA and ENSREG.

  • Task 4: Regulatory assessment of analysis of design basis seismic resistance of Ukrainian NPPs

The activities of Task 4 consisted of two parts: the review of a new national regulation on seismic requirements and the joint review and evaluation of a seismic safety analysis provided by a Ukrainian Operator.

The review of the new regulatory document dealing with seismic safety of NPPs led to improvement of its technical content and prescriptions, in order to harmonize this regulation to the EU best practice and IAEA standards.

RISKAUDIT and SSTC experts reviewed the PSHA (Probabilistic Seismic Hazard Analysis) study of the Zaporizhzhya NPP and a large part of their comments were taken into consideration during the revision of the study. After the revision only a few pending issues remained and consequently an “interim” acceptance of the PSHA report had been issued, subject to final completion in accordance with the formulated recommendations. RISKAUDIT and SSTC NRS experts also reviewed the Technical Guidelines developed by NAEK “Energoatom" for the implementation of the PSA EEI (External Event Initiators) for seismic initiating events.

The final project meeting was held on the 1st of December 2016 in Kiev. According to the evaluation presented in the Final Report and discussed at the final meeting, the main project objectives were achieved and all project tasks were successfully finished.

As for the prolongation of the project, it has to be noted that the CCSUP implementation had been temporarily suspended in 2015 due to financial considerations at the Ukrainian nuclear operator. The planned site visits in the project could be completed only in 2016, during the project extension. By the end of 2016 altogether 660 safety improvement measures (around 50% of the total 1275) were fully implemented in the frame of CCSUP. According to the current schedule, the implementation of the measures continues until 2020 when 100% of the planned safety improvement measures should be in place.

The support provided in the frame of this INSC project helped the SNRIU and SSTC NRS to strengthen their capabilities in the area of safety assessments related to licensing of safety enhancement measures. RISKAUDIT, SSTC and SNRIU noted that during project implementation a very effective knowledge- and methodology transfer took place between the EU and Ukrainian experts. The common safety reviews of the CCSUP implementation – performed within Tasks 2, 3 and 4 – contributed to a good mutual understanding between all project participants.
As for the continuation of project activities, the project team (RISKAUDIT, SNRIU and SSTC NRS experts) strongly recommends to continue the monitoring of CCSUP implementation in the frame of a follow-up INSC project.

Component B

The project consisted of six technical tasks as follows:

  • Task 1 – Technical support to ANRA for the review of fire probabilistic safety analysis Within this task EU experts helped ANRA to perform the review of the ANPP fire PSA study.

The large document was available in Russian; therefore NRSC developed a Fire PSA Summary Report in English containing the concise summary of the original document. The review was carried out on the English summary during an iterative process. Training was also provided to NRSC experts at IRSN (France); later it was continued by external training and tutoring sessions on fire simulation. Using knowledge obtained in these trainings, NRSC experts were then able to perform fire modelling and fire frequency sensitivity studies independently. An NRSC report on sensitivity calculations (both for heat release rates and fire barriers) was issued and attached to the Task 1 report.

  • Task 2 – Technical support to ANRA for the review of severe accident analyses and available components of severe accidents management guidelines

This task provided technical support to ANRA during the review of ANPP severe accident analyses and the draft severe accidents management guidelines (SAMGs). The review included the assessment of SAMG analytical justifications. The reviewed SAMG set deals with those accident scenarios that start from an initial condition when the reactor is at nominal power. The review work performed by EU experts focused on the questions listed in the Appendix “Review procedure for severe accident management guidance (SAMG)” of the relevant ETSON assessment guide. In addition, safety issues derived by IAEA from the lessons learnt from the Fukushima accident and the results of the EU stress tests were taken into account during the review process. As a result of the review work performed by EU experts, ANRA was given a systematic SAMG review approach that could be applied for reviewing SAMG documents still to be delivered by ANPP.

  • Task 3 – Operational safety This task provided technical support to ANRA on issues related to ANPP operational safety.

Two workshops were held and the actions to deal with the recommendations of the IAEA Operational Safety Review Team (OSART) Mission of 2011 were discussed in detail. The main purpose of the work was to assist ANRA during the review of the ANPP Action Plan aimed to address findings and recommendations formulated by the OSART mission to Unit 2 of the ANPP. The plant's response to the OSART findings was assessed and documents that were prepared for the OSART follow-up mission in May 2013 were reviewed (these documents contained detailed descriptions how the IAEA recommendations were going to be addressed by the ANPP). A third workshop was organized in October 2015 to review the first available ANPP Emergency Operating Procedures (EOPs) corresponding to low-power and shutdown reactor states. The EOP set corresponding to full power reactor state is still under preparation. As a result of the review work performed by EU experts, ANRA was given a systematic review approach that could be applied for reviewing the EOP documents still to be delivered by ANPP.

  • Task 4 – Decommissioning issues

Within Task 4 technical assistance was provided in reviewing documents related to existing Armenian regulatory framework in the field of radioactive waste (RAW) management, RAW storage facilities, as well as decommissioning. Documents related to waste processing and RAW disposal facilities were also reviewed. The related industrial project was A1.01/09 C&D on the preliminary decommissioning of ANPP Unit 1. The industrial project handed over the related documentation for review at the end of 2015 and afterwards all necessary reviews were performed. All review results were submitted to ANRA for consideration.

  • Task 5 – Assistance in Quality, Project and Knowledge Management

Work in this task was performed through independent work carried out by the ANRA, as well as through technical meetings organised in Armenia, Germany and Finland. These meetings aimed to discuss and agree upon the newly developed and revised quality management documentation of ANRA, and to present the relevant situation in the corresponding organisations of the EU partners. All subtasks were successfully completed and the new Quality and Knowledge Management systems are now in operation at ANRA.

  • Task 6 – Regulatory assessment of the execution of the stress test for NPPs

This task provided technical assistance to ANRA during the "stress test". EU experts assisted ANRA in the review of the ANPP Self-Assessment Report; then support was provided during the preparation of the Armenian National Stress Test Report to achieve full compliance with the WENRA/ENSREG specifications. As a result of the activities carried out in Task 6, the final draft of the Armenian National Report was submitted to the European Commission in August 2015. The final meeting of AR/TS/09 was held on the 2nd of June 2016, in Yerevan. According to the evaluation presented at the final meeting, all project tasks were completed and all activities were finished before the end of the extended project schedule. The work carried out in the project helped the Beneficiary to strengthen the regulatory assessment capabilities of ANRA and its TSO in performing safety assessments for the ANPP. It also enhanced regulatory and safety assessment capabilities in ANRA's licensing related activities. The project supported the promotion of an effective nuclear safety culture in Armenia, in line with the principles of the Convention on Nuclear Safety.