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Nuclear Safety Cooperation

Establishing Russian methodology and training centre, Phase 1

Status
Closed
All Countries
Benefitting Zone
Worldwide
€ 311,723.71
EU Contribution
Contracted in 1995
TACIS
Programme
Technical Assistance to the Commonwealth of Independent States

Details

Type of activity

Safeguards

Nature

Services

Contracting authority

European Commission

Method of Procurement

Direct Agreement & AV DA

Duration

11/10/1995 - 11/04/1997

Partner

MINATOM RF, later ROSATOM (since 12/2007)

Contractor

JOINT RESEARCH CENTER (JRC) - SAFETY TECHNOLOGY

Project / Budget year

WW9406 Nuclear Safety 1994 / 1994

Background

At the time of the implementation of this project, a number of foreign states and the EU were involved in collaborative projects with the Russian Federation aimed at allowing the Russian authorities to make the best use of international experience in implementing nuclear material accounting and control (NMA & C) in the new national legislative framework. The evolution of Russian legislation on NMA & C was a national initiative based on a variety of national contingencies (new economic conditions, public acceptance of nuclear energy, ecology etc.). Within this general framework, the implementation of the new legislation was expected to make a contribution to the effective management of state information used in the implementation of international agreements on nuclear material management. The implementation of the new Russian legislation would require a significant increase in the number of personnel involved in all kinds of NMA & C activities as well as new roles and job specifications for a substantial part of the existing personnel. The new orientation would affect jobs in nuclear fuel cycle facilities of all kinds as well as personnel in the state organisations responsible for auditing material accounting in the facilities. The supervisory management of the major part of the nuclear facilities came under the Ministry of Atomic Energy (MINATOM). The responsibility for monitoring nuclear material control in the civilian sector was under the Federal Authority of Russia for Nuclear and Radiation Safety (Gosatomnadzor of Russia or GAN). The complex of measures (legislation, rules, equipment, manpower planning) needed to create, implement and operate the new system of NMA & C were being drawn up jointly by Gosatomnadzor and Minatom collaborating with other appropriate Ministries and technical agencies.

In this perspective, the Russian authorities had identified training of personnel as an important vehicle for the effective introduction of the new requirements. It was decided to set up a training centre specifically for NMA & C at the Institute of Physics and Power Engineering (IPPE) in the State Scientific Centre in Obninsk (100 km south-west of Moscow). This centre is called the Russian Methodology and Training Centre (RMTC). In the general framework of EU support to the Russian Federation, the JRC was accepted as a partner to provide guidance and transfer of methodology to help in the establishment of the Obninsk Training Centre. The JRC had the experience to contribute to this task because of the long experience of the JRC in providing development and training facilities for the EURATOM inspectorate of the Commission and for the IAEA.

In order to give operational impetus to the JRC collaboration, a TACIS project was programmed. The first phase of the project was to identify both the types of training which needed to be carried out in the Obninsk training centre and the means needed to provide this training. This first phase was designed to identify the support which the TACIS project can give to the RMTC. The second phase of the TACIS project was intended to provide the support identified in the first phase. This would take the form of provision of specialised instrumentation, software, training of Obninsk trainers, training manuals and nuclear material standards needed for training courses.

Objectives

The project was launched to provide assistance to Minatom in setting up the Russian Methodology and Training Centre for Safeguards and Nuclear Material Control and Accountancy (NMC&A), located in Obninsk at the State Scientific Centre, Institute of Physics and Power Engineering (IPPE).

This project is the first phase of the global project and aimed to elaborate the detailed specifications for the whole project, starting with the study of the fuel cycle and safeguards needs, deciding and designing the courses, the hardware structures (instruments and material standards) and writing reports. The duration of the global project was planned for several years and was then split into annual Administrative Agreements with JRC Ispra.

Results

  1. Analysis of the Russian fuel cycle type and number of facilities, SNM flow, number of inspectors and operators to be trained. Facility models have been described for enrichment plants, fabrication, power reactor plants, reprocessing plants and spent fuel storage areas.
  2. Analysis of the elements of the Russian SSAC that are relevant for training purposes as well as acquisition of the relevant aspects of the NMC&A implementation regime. This point is of particular relevance since a training programme must always be closely linked to the practical NMC&A and safeguards verification practices in the field. Instruments, methods, techniques, procedures and finally fuel samples used in the training process, must be as close as possible to those actually encountered in the fuel cycle.
  3. As output of the above steps, course contents, instruments and SNM standards have been defined. The final report closed the first of the project RMTC.

Four measurement stations were set up at the IPPE, provided on temporary loan by the JRC, namely:

  • One passive neutron device for a training/calibration module;
  • One active neutron device;
  • One computerised NMA module;
  • One weight calibration module with certified weights.
  • The software for these systems was as well provided by JRC.

This allowed the RMTC to become operational and start practical as well as theoretical training in early 1997.

The next phases of the project will allow the RMTC to be equipped with all the above-mentioned tools, equipment, training and methodology capacities. The Technical Specifications for these tools and equipment were prepared by the Contractor during this Phase 1 contract.

The specific objectives as stated specifically in the TOR, were achieved:

  • Analysis part, which is concluded by the distribution of the final report covering the activities 1-3;
  • Adaptation part, which concentrated on the fuel cycle;
  • The NPPs as well as enrichment plants (which are problematic for all) were postponed;
  • Procurement and adaptation of computer codes;
  • Two codes from JRC were acquired for material balance evaluation and weight calibration;
  • Analysis of the needs of the nuclear material standards and instrumentation is concluded and the first batch of the instruments was made ready for contracting;
  • Training was given as per TOR;
  • Preparation of the documentation for the state authorities approval was concluded, approved and will be further revised in the course of the future project parts have been achieved.

A remarkable component during the first phase was the training of about 25 specialists in various NMC & A fields.

The equipment procurement and installation follow-up were performed under Phase 2 of the project (see R5.01/94 Ph. 2 - contract 23498).