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Nuclear Safety Cooperation

Mod. of TBMK Training Centre-Desnogorsk

  • Closed
All Countries
Benefitting Zone
€ 293,002.48
EU Contribution
Contracted in 1999
Technical Assistance to the Commonwealth of Independent States


Type of activity




Contracting authority

European Commission

Method of Procurement

(FR2007) Restricted Call for Tender - External Actions


06/09/1999 - 06/08/2001



Project / Budget year

WW9608 Nuclear Safety 1996 / 1996


The project was aimed to increase the operational safety of Russian nuclear power plants with RBMK type reactors by a fundamental technical modernisation of the RBMK training simulator in Desnogorsk (Smolensk NPP). This project formed the first phase of simulator modernisation programme. According to the Project Partner this was the key step, because it focuses on the global modernisation of the existing technical platform, still based on the old ES-1066 and SM-1420 computers. Therefore, the replacement of the computer hardware and software was the most important precondition for further modernisation of the simulator.

The project comprised the following steps:

  • Drawing up of an agreed list of hardware and software to be installed. Off the shelf materials should be chosen for preference.
  • Procurement and installation of new equipment.
  • Conversion, porting and adaptation of the process models and related software in accordance with the agreed plan.
  • Installation and test of the complete system according to a predefined test plan, culminating in a real training session where all aspects of the simulation are exercised.

Since this project addressed a major upgrade of computers and software and since it benefited from previous efforts in converting, porting and adapting simulator software, it was expected that approximately 50-60% of the project budget was used for procurements.

All equipment procured under this contract carry an easily visible self-adhesive sticker stating that the equipment was procured under a TACIS (Technical Aid to the Commonwealth of Independent States) project of the European Commission. All procurements were done according to EU rules.


The project objective was to provide the Beneficiary with all the support needed for the modernisation of the full scope simulator in the Training Centre for staff of RBMK nuclear power plants which exists at Desnogorsk, located near Smolensk nuclear power plant.

The training of operators and of managerial staff on simulators is standard procedure in Russia as in the West, and the key role of the Smolensk Training Centre in the promulgation of safety culture was clearly recognised in the RBMK Safety Review. It was agreed within the Master Plan of the TACIS-94 programme that support for this Training Centre for operational staff training should be extended. An acknowledged weakness in the equipment of the Training Centre is the quality of the simulators.
The previous simulator computers (Soviet design EVM-ES-1066 and EVM-SM-1420) were obsolete and had to be replaced by modern high-performance computers. The previous ones were designed at the beginning of the 1980s, and by modern standards they were too slow and limited in the scope of their modelling.

Under a continuing programme of modernisation, supported by the TACIS project R1.05/94F and indirectly by project U2.02/95, it was planned to replace the simulator computers by a more modern system offering full scope simulation in real time, oriented to the design, operation and safety requirements of nuclear power plant Units 1 and 2 at Smolensk.

Under TACIS-94, R1.05 it was established that the simulator systems need a significant upgrade to comply with the requirements the Training Centre was intended to meet. The specific software and hardware requirements were identified.

It was further intended under this project not only to replace the hardware and operating software, but also to transfer existing models and software to the new system based on new computing platforms. Existing models and software implemented in FORTRAN for EVM-ES-1066 and EVM-SM-1420 had to be converted, ported, adapted to and recompiled on the new platform and integrated in the US-3 simulation design and control environment.

This modernisation and the new equipment would allow considerable extensions in the modelling in possible future projects.


The project was completed successfully, although it took 23 months instead of 9, as initially scheduled. The planned activities were implemented in accordance with the terms of reference requirements. The objectives were well achieved.

The training simulator received a “new life”. It was put into operation with the significantly improved technical characteristics and good potential for further modernisation. According to the Project Partner, the outputs produced by the participants during the project, form a sound basis for further actions/activities.

The overall performance of Contractor was considered as good, despite the significant project delay, that was mostly beyond Contractor’s control and responsibility.

The Russian project participants made an essential contribution to the results of the project. This was an important precondition for the achievement of objectives.

The main project achievements can be structured as:

  • Basic technical platform (hardware and software) of the simulator was defined, procured and installed.
  • Training of local specialists in the US3 simulation environment was done.
  • Porting/development of software (simulator models, instructor station and I/O subsystem) were performed.

According to the partner the project achievements had a good quality, some of them were even better than expected (e.g. the technical characteristics of five PC’s were above planned).
Some indirect useful results were achieved as consequences of the replacement of simulator’s hardware (e.g. the saving of about 100 kW of electricity power and more than 500 m2 of premises for training).