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Nuclear Safety Cooperation

Extension of the on-site co-operation to Beloyarsk NPP (project N° R1.06/09) Russian Federation.

  • Closed
Benefitting Zone
Eastern Europe / North Asia
€ 1,000,000.00
EU Contribution
Contracted in 2009
Instrument for Nuclear Safety Cooperation


Type of activity

On Site Assistance



Contracting authority

European Commission

Method of Procurement

(FR2007) Negotiated Procedure - External Actions


12/10/2009 - 12/10/2011



Project / Budget year

Action Programme Nuclear Safety 2009 - part I / 2009


Beloyarsk NPP is situated in Sverdlovsk region of Russia, in the town of Zarechny, approximately 60 km east of Ekaterinburg and close to the Ural mountain range. It is one of the oldest commercial nuclear power plants in Russia and started operations in 1964. The first 2 units constructed at the site were AMB100 and AMB200 prototype units, which were forerunners of the RBMK reactors. These 2 units were shut down in 1981 and 1989 respectively. Unit 3 is a 600MWe sodium-cooled fast breeder reactor (FBR) known as BN-600, which started operation in 1980. In addition to the electrical production, the unit produces district heating for the town of Zarechny. Unit 3 is the only unit to have been involved in the TACIS On-Site Assistance. A fourth Unit, also a sodium-cooled FBR (BN-800) has been under construction since 1987, but has suffered many delays, mainly due to the financial difficulties in Russia in the 1990s.

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. At Beloyarsk NPP, the soft assistance also included technical exchanges on topics specific to the operation of sodium-cooled FBRs. Through the TACIS programme, OSA projects were implemented at seven NPPs in Russia (Kola, Balakovo, Kalinin, Leningrad, Smolensk, Beloyarsk and Novovoronezh).

The present contract provided extension of the On-Site Assistance services that had been provided by the same Contractor under a previous OSA contract (see contract 116627).


The aim of the On-Site Assistance programme at Beloyarsk NPP was to combine 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 Beloyarsk NPP through the transfer of know-how and operational best practice;
implement safety related specific projects which include the procurement and installation of equipment required to improve the safety of the power plant.
The activities to be implemented were organised under three general areas:

General Operational Assistance

General management and coordination of the contract;
Support and advice to the NPP in licensing problems;
Exchange of experience on NPP management or modernisation, including short term training, in agreement with the End User;
Experience feedback on completed TACIS projects.
Soft On-Site Assistance

Improvement of Safety Organization: the main areas were: Human and organizational factors, Error Prevention, Incident and accident management, Main components failures/damage accountancy;
Improvement of Inspection and Instrumentation: the main areas were: Inspection of safety related structures, Safety instrumentation;
Improvement of Safety Systems: the main areas were: Decay heat removal system implementation, Protection against sodium fires, Steam / water circuit safety.
Hard On-Site Assistance

This activity involved follow-up of the implementation of equipment supply contracts of the Plant Improvement Project (PIP) that had started under the previous contract (contract 116627):

R1.06/05A, Lot 1A: Replacement of safety-related steam/water valves;
R1.06/05A, Lot 1B: Supply of tools for the valves replacement project (follow-up during warranty period only);
R1.06/05A, Lot 2: Supply of emergency circuit breakers.
The Contractor was required to assist the EC in contract management of all lots of the project, including follow-up of manufacturing and factory tests, documentation approval, licensing support, delivery & customs clearance, assistance during installation, site testing & commissioning, follow-up of the warranty period, etc.


General Operational Assistance

The General On-Site Assistance was performed in accordance with the requirements of the contract but was focussed only general project management activities.

Soft On-Site Assistance

Soft On-Site Assistance in the present contract comprised the transfer of experience and know-how on a number of issues through workshops, presentations, preparation of technical documents, visits to nuclear plant and facilities, training courses and on-the-job training.

Improvement of Safety Organization

1. Human and organisational factors, error prevention: The Consultant shared its experience and approaches concentrating on two aspects of the topic:

Motivation of personnel to work safely;
Feedback of French experience in human error prevention.
The activity was covered in a workshop held in France from 28 June to 2 July 2010.

2. Incident and accident management: The Consultant shared with BNPP its long experience in the operation of FBR in France concerning incident and accident management. The activity was covered in the same workshop in France mentioned above, from 28 June to 2 July 2010.

3. Damage accountancy of components: This was a continuation of the similar activity included in the previous OSA contract (contract 116627). The Consultant provided information on the methodology, developed by the Consultant, for Events Accounting. This methodology consists of identifying the significant events (in terms of fatigue and creep damage to the critical components of the reactor) that have occurred during the lifetime of the reactor in order to create and maintain a real time, up-to-date damage assessment and residual lifetime evaluation of these critical components. The further exchanges on the topic were performed in a workshop organised in France from 4-8 July 2011.

Improvement of Inspection and Instrumentation

1. Inspection of safety-related structures: The Consultant shared its experience with BNPP in this area in the workshop of 4-8 July in France. The exchanges included information on methodologies for calculating sodium pipeline structural integrity as well as on improved ultrasonic inspection instruments. In addition a Technical Training session was organised covering ultrasonic and radiographic inspection of welded joints of selected equipment and pipelines of the sodium circuits.

2. Safety instrumentation: The Consultant provided information on the instrumentation employed in French FBR for monitoring such parameters as displacements of reactor primary circuit components (reactor vessel and internal equipment), diagnostics of reactor equipment for evaluating their technical condition and equipment for detection of sodium-water. The exchanges were performed in a workshop organised in France from 21 to 25 March 2011.

Improvement of Safety Systems

1. Decay heat removal system implementation: Further to exchanges on the topic of decay heat removal (DHR) during the previous OSA contract, Beloyarsk NPP had decided to implement further DHR circuits on BN600 and these were under design. The objective of the exchanges was to take advantage of the French experience in the design of the new DHR provisions for BN600. The exchanges were performed in two workshops held at Beloyarsk NPP from 15-18 September 2009 and from 14-15 September 2010. The Russian party presented the proposed DHR system design and the Consultant presented experience from operation and testing of the French DHR systems as well as recommendations following analysis of the proposed design of the Russian system.

2. Protection against sodium fires: The Consultant's experience with sodium fire detection instrumentation and protection systems was provided to the End User during a workshop organised in France from 21 to 25 March 2011.

3. Steam / water circuit safety: The Consultant presented its experience on:

Forecasting, and related inspection, for erosive wear of pipelines of the steam/water circuit;
Protection means against pressure increase in the steam/water circuit.
The exchanges were performed in two workshops held in Beloyarsk from 14-15 September 2010 and in France from 4-8 July 2011.

Hard On-Site Assistance

Concerning the different Lots of the PIP project, the Technical Specifications, evaluation criteria and Tender Dossiers had been prepared in the framework of previous OSA contracts (R1.06/02 and R1.06/05 – contracts 61875 and 116627) and tendering of all lots had been successfully carried out.

The status of the PIP project at the end of the present OSA contract was as follows:

R1.06/05A, Lot 1A: Replacement of safety-related steam/water valves. The project comprises the supply of 231 valves for the water/steam circuit. These are supplied in three identical sets of 77 valves, one set for each of the three water/steam circuits of the NPP. The first set was delivered and installed under the previous OSA contract and was under the warranty period at the beginning of the present contract. The installation of the second set of valves took place in April - June 2010 and the Provisional Acceptance Certificate (PAC) was signed in July 2010. The third set of valves was installed during the period May - June 2011 and the PAC was signed in August 2011. Final Acceptance Certificates were signed at the end of the warranty period (outside the period of the present contract for some lots).
R1.06/05A, Lot 1B: Supply of tools for the valves replacement project. This project comprises the supply of four cutting and bevelling machines for preparing the pipes where the valves will be installed, four automatic welding machines for welding the valves in place and two induction heating machine for thermal treatment of the welds. All tools have been delivered and used for the installation of the valves. The warranty period has been completed.
R1.06/05A, Lot 2: Supply of emergency circuit breakers. This project comprises the supply of around 400 circuit breakers for the low voltage power supply system of the NPP. All breakers had been delivered to the NPP and by the end of the previous OSA contract a small number had been installed. Installation of the remaining breakers was not fully implemented by the end of the present contract. The remaining breakers would be installed by the Beloyarsk NPP personnel with assistance from the supplier after completion of the present contract.
For further information on the above equipment supply projects see contract 116765 (R1.06/05A Lots 1A and 1B) and contract 131693 (R1.06/05A Lot 2).