In the framework of the “TACIS Nuclear Safety Programme” it was decided to improve the safety of the Aktau NPP (BN-350, fast breeder) in Kazakhstan. For this purpose the European Commission (EC) signed a consulting contract with the company NERSA (100% daughter of EDF). According to this contract NERSA had to provide the EC with the following consulting services:
- Selecting new safety related projects around and in agreement with the Aktau NPP. Assessing their technical and economic feasibility.
- Identifying potential qualified suppliers for standard equipment.
- Issuing of technical specifications for call for tenders on larger equipment deliveries and on-site service works. This also included contract specifications and necessary engineering studies, even on-site.
- Definition of criteria for bids evaluation and evaluation of bids itself.
- Propose possible subcontractors to suppliers if needed. If subcontracting became necessary, NERSA provided terms of reference and commercial conditions for the subcontracts and administered them until completion.
- Follow-up of on-site construction and installation work when a contract was awarded to a supplier. This also included witnessing of acceptance tests and assistance in commissioning of installations. In case of equipment delivery this also included assistance in training of personnel on the usage and operation of the equipment.
- Checking of invoices from the supplier and awarding a statement of conformity of payment.
On behalf of the EC NERSA administered and completed successfully the following on-site assistance projects for the Aktau NPP: Supply of sodium fire protective clothing (R1.07/94A), supply of personnel training equipment (R1.07/94B), supply of equipment for the in-situ repair of safety related valves (R1.07/94F), supply of metallurgical testing equipment (R1.07/95G), spent fuel pool leakage localisation & liner preparation for repairing works (K1.01/96A), supply of equipment for liner repair (K1.01/96B), emergency batteries replacement (R1.05/95H) and fire risk analysis and fire protection improvement (R1.05/95J). In addition NERSA successfully performed two feasibility studies and issued corresponding technical specifications, one on the supply of electromagnetic pumps for emergency core cooling (R1.07/94C) and one on the supply of sodium level indicators (R1.07/94E).
In 2000 a new consulting contract was signed between the EC and EDF for a new round of consulting services related to the Aktau NPP (K01.01/98). Within the consulting agreement EDF provided the services 1-7 as listed above. Subject of this contract were services related to the decommissioning of the Aktau NPP and treatment of nuclear wastes. The new contract encompassed the following three specific sub-projects:
- Elaboration of a decommissioning plan (K1.01/98A);
- Plant radiological characterisation and monitoring (K01.01/98B) and
- Liquid waste and sludge treatment (K01.01/98C)
The aim of sub-project K1.01/98A was to produce a decommissioning plan for the Aktau NPP complying with Kazakhstan nuclear safety regulations and internationally accepted rules and practices. The developed decommissioning plan covered the following fields:
- Regulatory system,
- Basic data collection,
- Quality assurance,
- Plant inventory,
- Waste processing and disposal routes,
- Safety and protection of the environment,
- Document archival and exchange and
- Cost assessment.
Parts 1, 3, 5, 6 and 9 were finalised one year after the start of the project (17th April 2000) and its results were presented in an IAEA expert meeting in June 2001. The remaining parts were finished off in November 2001 completing the whole sub-project K1.01/98A. The decommissioning plan served as a basis for the sub-projects K01.01/98B and K01.01/98C that are subject to separate summaries.
The consulting contract with EDF on the project K1.01/98 officially started on 17th April 2000. Within that contract EDF issued a complete decommissioning plan for the Aktau NPP (sub-project K1.01/98A), which served as basis for two other more specific sub-projects under that contract, plant radiological characterisation and monitoring (K01.01/98B) and liquid waste and sludge treatment (K01.01/98C). Project K1.01/98 ended officially on the 17th April 2004 with successful completion of the sub-projects K1.01/98A and K1.01/98B. Sub-project K1.01/98C was cancelled (one offer only with price demand exceeding the assigned budget) and was planned for re-publishing under a different program.