PROJECT DESCRIPTION AND OBJECTIVES
Dosimetric control for workers and visitors to the Chornobyl Exclusion Zone (ChEZ) is an important activity that helps to ensure that radiation dose levels are kept within the prescribed limits. Separate systems exist for the Chornobyl Nuclear Power Plant (ChNPP) and for the ChEZ in general. The existing systems are obsolete/obsolescent with some components missing altogether, which makes it necessary to design and install replacements that meet national standards and best international practice.
Environmental monitoring within the ChEZ aims to measure and locate radioactivity existing within the zone and, in relation to key facilities, is used to assess the impact of any releases or leakages of radioactive material so that, if needed, remedial action can be taken. In the case of the environmental radiation monitoring systems at Vektor Complex and Buriakivka disposal facility, the existing equipment and systems are, at best, obsolescent, incomplete and in need of modernization.
This project produced designs to implement the “system improvement measures” i.e. equipment and systems to replace or otherwise improve the existing systems for:
a) dosimetric control for workers and visitors at ChNPP and the ChEZ generally and
b) environmental radiation monitoring at two facilities within the ChEZ, namely, the Vektor Complex and the Buriakivka near-surface disposal facility.
The system improvement measures were designed to satisfy Ukrainian regulations, to meet international best practice and be practicable. They included (but not be limited to) improvements to (or replacement of) equipment, equipment and data collection locations, data transmission networks, structure of data collection stations and the systems at large. Specific equipment and systems will be procured under separate contracts with the Science and Technology Center in Ukraine (STCU).
The Contractor developed twelve technical specifications for the supply of equipment and systems to enable the priority system improvement measures to be implemented.
The overall objective of the project is to improve radiation safety within the Chornobyl Exclusion Zone by upgrading the environmental monitoring around the Vektor Complex and the Buriakivka near-surface disposal facility and dosimetric control within the ChEZ and ChNPP. This is through preparation of the necessary design documents and corresponding technical specifications in view of the actual procurement and implementation (next phase and different budget).
The Project was implemented through six tasks of which both content and timing had to be adapted due to the invasion of Russian Forces in Ukraine and more specifically in the ChEZ which took place during the preparation of Task 3. The Contractor has achieved the following results:
- TASK 1: Project preparation and inception phase. The Contractor successfully prepared all the necessary documents related to this task.
- TASK 2: Analysis of current systems and proposals for their improvement. The Contractor prepared five reports for this task addressing a gap analysis of the existing systems in comparison with Ukraine safety standards and international standards to enable the best analysis of the systems improvement recommendations with a classification according to the urgency and the estimated costs.
- TASK 3: Development of the design documentation for environmental monitoring at the Vector and Buriakivka (Design A, two parts) and for dosimetric control at ChNPP and in the ChEZ generally (Design B, two parts). This task was successfully completed with a delay of one year due to the Russian invasion, which had a major impact on the availability of involved stakeholders (Beneficiary, End User, Contractor and Safety Authorities). Four design documents (including cost estimates) were successfully finalised and endorsed after three revisions.
- TASK 4: Development of technical specifications for the designs to implement the priority system improvement measures. Based on the developed designs and priority settings as discussed during the project workgroup meetings, the contractor prepared the technical specifications for 12 different lots. This task was also completed with a delay of about one year due to the Russian invasion which significantly affected the final approval by the Ukrainian Safety Authorities.
- TASK 5: Support to the tendering process. This task has been removed from the initial scope due to Russian invasion. STCU initiated the procurement process and will advance lot by lot depending on the priority settings and funding. For technical issues, STCU will involve the End User and the Joint Support Office as well as the expert who wrote the technical specifications for which the Contractor declared its availability.
- TASK 6: Project dissemination and final report. The Contractor organised a dissemination meeting where the project performance results, the Contractor experience, and lessons learned were presented as well as recommendations for similar future Projects within the INSC program.
CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
The contractor has completed all tasks as required by the Terms of Reference (ToR). Only the support to the tendering process could not be delivered due to force majeure. The principal objective of the project was to improve radiation safety within the ChEZ by upgrading environmental (radiation) monitoring around the Vektor Complex and the Buriakivka near-surface disposal facility and dosimetric control within the ChEZ and ChNPP. This objective has been achieved through the assessment of the current system, submission of the designs and technical specifications for their improvement and will be further developed in a next phase.
It has been acknowledged that this project would not have been successful without the exceptional flexibility demonstrated by all the Ukrainian stakeholders.
Based on the experience gained in the project implementation, the contractor suggested the following modifications concerning the INSC project management:
-the status/stage of the design documentation (Feasibility study, Conceptual Design, Basic Design and Detailed design documentation) should be clearly defined in the ToR as this has a significant impact on the duration of the documentation development and activity related to the level of State documentation examination/review by a different national (local) authorities
-the duration of the review by the safety authorities was not considered in the Project duration presented in ToR
-the input data collection takes much more time than is foreseen in the Project schedule in ToR which should also provide enough margin for documentation translation