Novovoronezh NPP (NvNPP), located in the Voronezh region of Russia, comprised 5 power units. Units 1 and 2 were VVER-210 and VVER-365 respectively. These were prototype VVER reactors and they operated from 1964 and 1969 until they were shutdown in 1984 and 1990, respectively. Units 3 and 4 were VVER-440, model 179 reactors. These were the first-of-a-kind VVER-440 reactors and were forerunners of the standard series VVER-440 model 230. They started operation in 1971 and 1972, respectively. Unit 5 was a VVER-1000 model 187, which again was the prototype VVER-1000. It started operation in 1980. Units 3, 4 and 5 were still in operation at the time of this contract.
The On-Site Assistance (OSA) programmes were a corner stone of the TACIS nuclear safety co-operation with the Russian Federation. Companies or consortia with experience of NPP operation in the EU were contracted by the EC to work on site at nuclear power plants of the Beneficiary country. The aims were to provide the transfer of know-how, in particular through soft assistance, which addressed the human element of safety (i.e. safety culture, quality assurance, maintenance, management and training,…), and to upgrade the safety of the plant through the supply of equipment. Through the TACIS programme, OSA projects were implemented at seven NPPs in Russia (Kola, Balakovo, Kalinin, Leningrad, Smolensk, Beloyarsk and Novovoronezh).
In the framework of the “INSC 2010 Nuclear Safety Programme” the European Commission (EC) signed a consulting contract with the consortium Iberdrola/TVO to continue on-site assistance and safety improvement of the operation of NvNPP.
The aim of the On-Site Assistance programme at NvNPP was to transfer operational safety culture and to support the implementation of nuclear safety improvement projects. This was to be achieved by combining the experience of the OSA Consultant with the experience and needs of the Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) operator in order to:
- improve the operational safety of the NvNPP through the transfer of know-how and operational best practice (soft OSA). A number of topics continued from the previous contract for OSA to NvNPP (see contract 99262) and some new topics were added;
- carry out specific safety related projects which include the supply of equipment required to improve the safety of the power plant (hard OSA).
The activities to be implemented under the 'soft' and 'hard' OSA headings were:
- Soft On-Site Assistance
- Human Factors.
- Radioactive waste management.
- Risk Monitor implementation.
- Foreign material exclusion.
- Safety Management improvement.
- Cleaning of fuel assembly sediment deposits.
- OSART Mission preparation.
- Hard On-Site Assistance
Follow-up the implementation of the large-scale equipment supply project R1.07/04D "Emergency Feedwater System for Unit 5" comprising four lots of equipment:
- R1.07/04D, Lot 1: Motor pump sets.
- R1.07/04D, Lot 2: Stop, check and control valves.
- R1.07/04D, Lot 3: Pipelines and associated equipment.
- R1.07/04D, Lot 4: Electrical and I & C equipment.
Follow-up the implementation of the other remaining equipment supply project started under a previous OSA contract:
- R1.07/03B: Replacement of feedwater control valves, Unit 5.
The contract with Iberdrola/TVO was signed on 31 August 2010 and ended on 30 September 2010.
Soft On-Site Assistance
Soft On-Site Assistance in the present contract comprised the transfer of experience and know-how on a significant number of issues through workshops, presentations, preparation of technical documents, visits to nuclear plant and facilities, training courses and on-the-job training.
The previous OSA Contract included a task “Human Factors/Human Error Prevention”. Within the current task a structured and systematic process for review of the past significant events involving human factor was provided, human error analysis methodology and human error prevention tools and techniques were further developed and finally enhancement of Safety Culture and the Safety Culture Self-Assessment initiated under the previous contract were supported. Three workshops were held during task development in which there were extensive discussions on the various tools and techniques offered to the plant to enhance their Safety Culture aims, and agreements made on those that appeared to best fit the needs of the plant.
Radioactive waste management
As a result of the activity on Radioactive Waste Management (RWM) in the previous OSA Contract a conceptual proposal for modernisation of the NvNPP waste management was developed considering best international practices, waste management practices at NvNPP and the feedback from NvNPP on specific areas of interest. The following three main subjects of interest for NvNPP to move forward from the conceptual proposal to the development stage were agreed: Volume reduction techniques, Dose minimization measures, Integrated characterization and tracking system. Three workshops took place under the scope of this activity. As a result of the task, reports providing general characteristics, potential suppliers and approximate costs of various waste volume reduction equipment and dose minimisation measures have been provided as well as a report on the seminar on waste characterisation methodologies held in Belgium.
Risk Monitor implementation
This task was a continuation of an activity of the previous OSA contract. However, since the development of Risk Monitor technology for all Russian NPPs has been taken over to be handled centrally by Rosenergoatom HQ, the activity under this contract was restricted to improving the existing system for data collection and analysis of operational events. To achieve this objective information on NvNPP practices was collected and a seminar on Data Collection was held. During this seminar the Consultant provided guidance for reliability data collection, definition of component boundaries, reliability criteria establishment and international reports about this issue were handed over in electronic format to NvNPP experts.
Foreign material exclusion
The main goal of the activity was to improve nuclear and radiological safety by reducing the amount and size of foreign material that could enter the reactor vessel and the primary circuit. To achieve this goal a Seminar on Foreign Material Exclusion (FME) was held at Cofrentes NPP (Spain) during the refuelling outage of 2011. The main objective of this seminar was to share opinions and discuss between relevant experts from Novovoronezh and some Spanish NPPs about the practical difficulties of program implementation and specific experiences.
Safety Management Improvement
The main goal of the activity was to increase Operational Safety level, including proper defence of the facility. This task was divided in three main tasks regarding different aspects of Safety Management improvement:
- Quality Assurance Management: The objective of this task was to provide assistance in developing quality management policy and practices at NvNPP units. This objective was achieved through scientific visits, workshops and meetings held in Spain.
- Organizational Matters: The principal objective of this subtask was to share opinions and discuss between relevant experts from NvNPP and Iberdrola about the practical experiences regarding Organizational Matters. To achieve this goal a Seminar on Organizational Matters was held at Iberdrola premises. During the seminar the procedures and methods on several aspects such as logistics, purchasing, quality, system modernization processes, documentation management, and so on, used at Iberdrola were shown to the participants that attended the seminar.
Cleaning of fuel assembly sediment deposits (CRUD)
The objective of this task was to analyze the problem of sediment deposition on fuel assemblies and to perform an exchange of experience in Ultrasonic Fuel Cleaning between Spanish plants and NvNPP in order to mitigate significant problems. To achieve the goal a seminar was held in Vandellós.
OSART Mission preparation
The objective of the activity was to transfer to NvNPP management and experts the best knowledge available to focus preparation for an OSART mission in the following matters: Maintenance, Operating experience, Accident Management, Training and Qualification and Safety Culture and Human Factors. The activity was developed in a practical manner and comprised a two-week workshop at NvNPP, transferring real experience and knowledge between peers and providing recommendations.
Hard On-Site Assistance
Concerning the different Lots of the large-scale project (R1.07/04D), these had been contracted at the beginning of the previous OSA contract and significant progress in their implementation had been made. At the start of the present contract the equipment had been installed and tested and Provisional Acceptance Certificates had been issued for all but Lot 2. Lot 2 equipment still had to be tested on site following installation performed during the previous OSA contract.
The only other remaining equipment supply project was R1.07/03B. The equipment had been installed and tested and the Provisional Acceptance Certificate had been issued. The project was in the warranty phase at the start of the present contract.
The status of the different equipment supply projects at the end of the present contract was as follows:
- R1.07/04D "Emergency Feedwater System (EFWS) for Unit 5":
- R1.07/04D, Lot 1: Motor pump sets: Individual pump tests performed, due to a long time delay since the site acceptance tests were completed. Integral EFWS system tests performed in September 2011. Final Acceptance certificate issued in November 2011. Project completed. See contract 99580.
- R1.07/04D, Lot 2: Stop, check and control valves. Functional tests performed prior to performance of EFWS system integral tests in September 2011. Provisional Acceptance certificate issued September 2011. Final Acceptance certificate issued September 2012. Project completed. See contract 129848.
- R1.07/04D, Lot 3: Pipelines and associated equipment. Integral EFWS system tests performed in September 2011. Final Acceptance certificate issued in November 2011. Project completed. See contract 129486.
- R1.07/04D, Lot 4: Electrical and I & C equipment. FAT of advanced automatic Steam Generator (SG) level controllers performed in November 2010 and equipment delivered in January 2011. Advanced automatic SG level controllers installed along with I & C sensors and tested. Integral EFWS system tests performed in September 2011. Provisional Acceptance Certificate issued in September 2011. Final Acceptance certificate issued in September 2012. Project completed. See contract 129486.
- R1.07/03B: Replacement of feedwater control valves, Unit 5. Final Acceptance certificate issued October 2010 following successful completion of warranty period. Project completed. See contract 76768.
With the end of the present project all contracts for OSA and equipment supply to Novovoronezh NPP are completed and an approximately 20 year history of TACIS and INSC collaboration with Novovoronezh NPP has come to an end.