On site assistance to the Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) of Aktau (Mangistauskaya Region) began with the 1992 TACIS budget. The main goal of the funds made available was to provide the NPP with pieces of equipment aimed at improving the safety of the plant. The 1994,1995,1996,and 1998 budgets provided funds to finance safety related pieces of equipment.
On February 1999 the Government announced its decision to shut down definitely the BN350 NPP. This decision was confirmed by the Parliament in April of the same year. It led to several amendments to the initial contract. New terms of reference were approved in amendment 4; this amendment also extended the contract until the end of 2000.
The official partner is MAEC, the Mangyshlak Atomic Energy Complex, situated on the shore of the Caspian Sea. MAEC includes thirteen different plants, among them the NPP. The end user is the NPP.
The Government commissioned KATEP, a governmental organisation, to submit a decommissioning plan for BN350 by September 2001. It is likely that the plan will not be ready before of 2001. It is noteworthy here the owner of the plant is MAEC, not KATEP. In the West the owner of a plant is responsible for the preparation and the submission to the relevant authorities of the decommissioning plan of its property; it clarifies responsibilities.
The other donor is the US Government. The US aid is provided to the Kazak Government as a component of the non - proliferation policy of the United States. For administrative convenience, most of this assistance is going through the ISTC (International Science and Technology Centre).
This project is the first phase of a two phase project. The second phase project, which started in spring 2000, has been monitored (see NK0001M3) at the same time as the first phase project. The specific activities included in the first phase but that have not been completed during this first phase were included in the second phase.
K1.01/96: general On-Site Assistance
- Coordinating On-Site Assistance activity
This is the daily activity of the resident. As aforementioned, It has been completed very satisfactorily.
- Programming future steps towards a safe de-commissioning
The Part time on site resident expert had a defining role in identifying the specific project of the second phase project, thanks to his understanding of the needs of the partner.
- Part time on site resident expert reporting
Reporting was accurate and well done.
R1.07/94 A: Sodium fire protective clothing.
Initial objective : Final reception after warranty period.
Completed in December 1999 after a one year warranty period.
R1.07/94 B: Personnel training and equipment.
- Equipment procurement and delivery
Initial objective : procurement training, delivery and commissioning, up to provisional acceptance.
Status as of December 2000 : the equipment are on site since October after two months wasted at the customs. It was immediately installed and has already, among others, been used for training purposes. Provisional acceptance was achieved before the end of the contract.
R1.07/94 F: Safety related valves repair
- Spare and complementary equipment procurement and delivery
Initial objective : delivery and commissioning up to provisional and final acceptance.
Status as of December 2000 : equipment was delivered in November 1998. Preliminary acceptance was given in March 1999. This equipment is now being used for the global needs of MAEC (that runs several plants, namely a desalinisation plant and a thermal power plant).
The supplementary list of equipment was received in November. One of the pieces of equipment, a welding machine, is quite complex and plant’s experts need training before they can use it efficiently. But training was not included in the project and could not be financed
R1.07/95 G: Metallurgical testing equipment . Initially four lots.
- Equipment procurement and delivery
Initial objective: delivery, commissioning, up to the provisional acceptance.
February 2000: the specific project was on hold, pending a decision concerning the procedure ( inadequacy of the fund earmarked for the four lots, lack of interest of potential suppliers etc).
Status as of December 2000 : a contract for lots 1 and 2 (exhausting the money available) was endorsed by the EC in November and, after the required local signatures, sent back to the supplier for signature by December.
- Operators training
Will not begin before the delivery of the relevant pieces of equipment
R1.05/95/H: Emergency batteries replacement
- Equipment procurement contracting
Initial objective : equipment purchased.
Status as of December 2000. The ITT was launched in July and two offers had been received by October 18. Then, after the reception of the offers but before the meeting of the Technical Committee, a staff of BN350 took the initiative to call one of the two companies that made offers (a break of the procurement rules). The TC took place as anticipated. But, by the end 2000, 95 H was on hold.
R1.05/95 J: Fire risk analysis and fire protection improvement
Initial objective: ITT launched.
- Fire analysis report
This report was issued by the end of August.
- Project scope definition
Status as of December 2000 : draft technical specifications were prepared by mid October. By the end 2000, the plant was still preparing its request for modifications.
K1.01/96 A&B: Spent fuel pool leakage localisation and liner preparation for repairing works (96A) and drafting of technical Specifications for liner repair works (96 B). (Euro 800,000).
Initial objective: Leak(s) localised and tender ready to be launched for leak(s) repair work.
- Leak(s) localisation.
Status as of December 2000 : The relevant material and equipment are on site but actual work to repair the gates tightness has not begun (gates have to be repaired before leaks can be localised and, see below, repaired).
- Liner repair specification
Status as of December 2000: The contractor is still waiting for comments on the draft technical specifications he prepared.
K1.01/98 C Liquid waste and sludge urgent treatment
- Project scope definition
Initial objective : Scoping of the project and drawing up technical specifications for a service contract.
Status as of December 2000 : The feasibility study has been issued in July 2000.
- Technical specification for liquid waste urgent treatment
Status as of the end of December 2000 : The preparation of the technical specifications are on hold, pending a decision of the Kazak administration concerning its environment policy (The Kazak administration has recently adopted a “zero release” policy, which does not allow even for the release of minimal quantities of radioactivity in the Caspian sea). Indeed, the technical specifications shall take into account the way BN350 intends to dispose of the very low level (concentration rate is expected to be 3,500) liquid that will result from the treatment of the liquid waste.
- Sludge extraction feasibility study
Initial objective : feasibility study of an extraction process
Status as of end of December : The feasibility study has been issued in September 2000.
(from MONIS database - END OF PROJECT ASSESSMENT REPORT No.3)