The On-Site Assistance (OSA) programmes are 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 are contracted by the EC to work on site at a nuclear power plant of the Benficiary country.The aims are to provide the transfer of know-how, in particular through soft assistance, which addresses 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 the time of this contract, OSA contracts were in place at seven NPPs in Russia (Kola, Balakovo, Kalinin, Leningrad, Smolensk, Beloyarsk and Novovoronezh).
The aim of the On-Site Assistance programme at Kalinin 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 Kalinin NPP through the transfer of know-how and operational best practice;
identify, prepare and implement safety related specific projects which include the tendering and procurement of equipment required to improve the safety of the power plant.
This contract was a continuation of the previous contract for OSA to Kalinin NPP (R1.03/00).
The activities to be implemented were organised under three general areas:
General Operational Assistance activities
General management of the project
General Operational Assistance in any safety related topic, on request of the End User
General training and transfer of experience
Training topics to be mutually agreed between the OSA Consultant and the End User, with approval of the EC Project Manager.
Assistance with licensing issues, including licensing related to the 'soft' assistance topics, where applicable.
Experience feedback on completed TACIS projects.
Specific ('soft') activities for the transfer of safety culture
Severe Accident Management Guidelines (SAMG):
This was a continuation of the work started in the frame of the previous OSA contract (R1.03/00).Based on shortcomings, existing at that time, in certain installed equipment that would be used in severe accident management at KNPP, it was agreed to divide the work into two stages:
In the first stage, to prepare and issue a handbook for Severe Accident Management dedicated to the management team of the Crisis Centre and taking into account all the results incorporated into the 'strategy document', which had been developed under project R1.03/00.
In the second stage, when more information is available and when complementary equipment is installed at the NPP, to start the development of Severe Accident Management Guidelines for the operators.
Core Refuelling Automatic Planning System (CORAPS):
The goal was to adapt CORAPS software, developed for Belgian NPPs, to Kalinin NPP. This would increase the safety of fuel reshuffling by generating an optimal sequence of operations and by increasing the reliability and quality assurance of those operations. Training of Kalinin experts in the use of the software was also included.
Human Factor Approach in the frame of Safety Culture:
At Tihange NPP, a human factors approach in the feedback of operational experience had been developed in the frame of the enhancement of safety culture. The goal of the present project was to share with Kalinin NPP the experience gained at Tihange NPP in order to give the KNPP team the possibility to adapt this approach to the Russian culture, with the aim of improving safety culture.
Management of the implementation of ongoing specific equipment supply projects from the TACIS 93/94, 95, 96 and 97 programmes
Follow-up of the supply project implementation of all ongoing supply projects until the end of the equipment warranty period, including (depending on the existing status of project implementation) follow-up of manufacturing and related tests, assistance during installation, site testing & commissioning, assistance to the NPP in licensing of the equipment project and follow-up of the warranty period.
Follow-up of the supply part of the Design Safety project R2.11/94 "Fatigue Monitoring System", including support to the End-User in the licensing process, the installation works, SAT and monitoring up to the end of the warranty period.
Implementation of the Plant Improvement Project
Assist the EC in the preparation and the implementation of the call for tender and tender evaluation for the two parts of the PIP:
Supply of a new KTZ (Protection System of the Reactor Coolant System, Turbine and Feedwater pumps) for Unit 1 & 2 of KNPP,
Supply of a Computerized Information / Safety Panel (CI/SP) System for Unit 1, based on the Technical Specifications, evaluation criteria and Tender Dossiers prepared in the framework of the previous OSA contract (R1.03/00).
Assist in contracting and contract management of the 2 projects, including manufacturing, factory tests, documentation approval, licensing support, delivery, installation, commissioning, testing and acceptance activities, etc.
General Operational Assistance activities
The General On-Site Assistance was performed in accordance with the requirements of the contract.
Under the topic of general operational assistance, it is important to foster a constructive dialogue and good working relations between the OSA Consultant and the NPP operational staff in order to achieve a good mutual understanding of plant operational organisation in Russia and the EU. The OSA Consultant Team Leader regularly participated in KNPP operation review committees and held regular meetings with the NPP Chief Engineer and heads of several operational departments at the plant.
The Team Leader was also invited by the Director of KNPP to be observer in the Self Evaluation conducted by KNPP staff according to WANO methodology. This Self Evaluation was organized in preparation for a WANO Peer Review at Unit 3, as a follow-up to the Peer Review organized prior to start up of the unit. About 20 specialists of KNPP took part in the review, covering 9 areas (Organisation & Administration, Operations, Maintenance, Engineering Support, Radiological Protection, Operating Experience, Chemistry, Training & Qualification and Fire Protection).
The following specific training activities were organised and implemented by the OSA Consultant:
Two workshops on Modification Management were organised at KNPP and Tihange NPP to provide detailed and comprehensive presentations of how Modification Management is implemented at Tihange. In the 2nd workshop at Tihange, four representatives of KNPP had the opportunity to exchange on this topic with representatives of Tihange NPP as well as with representatives of the Safety Authorities and of Suez-Tractebel. The head of the modification management group of Tihange NPP later visited KNPP in order to consolidate the information received during the workshops and to allow KNPP to finalise its own QA programme for Modification Management.
An expert of KNPP visited Belgium to exchange with experts regarding the type of thermal insulation installed at Belgian NPPs and other actions implemented following the Barsebk incident. The expert made the following visits and was able to compare the Belgian and Russian approaches:
A Belgian NPP, in outage for refuelling, where the different kinds of thermal insulation installed in the reactor building could be seen
The factory of a main supplier of thermal insulation
The OSA Consultant’s premises, where a presentation on all corrective actions taken in Belgium was given
A training session (further to the training on the same topic performed in the framework of the previous OSA contract) related to the software for follow-up of erosion-corrosion in NPPs was organised at KNPP in order to complete the training and exchange of operational experience about Erosion-Corrosion and the associated ultrasonic techniques for thickness measurements.
A technical visit to Belgium was organized in order to allow 4 Russian experts to become acquainted with the way the SAP software has been implemented by the Belgian Electricity Producer ELECTRABEL and adapted to the specificities of Nuclear Power Plants.
Training on the development of Alarm Sheets was organized at KNPP, in which the OSA Consultant expert explained in detail the way alarm sheets have been developed and are used in Belgian NPPs. Training was provided to KNPP experts on the preparation of example alarm sheets for KNPP.
Other training sessions were organised to provide information on the implementation of the following at Belgian NPPs:
Plant Lifetime Management
A training course on EC Procurement rules was delivered to trainees from Kalinin, Kola and Smolensk NPPs as well as from Rosenergoatom HQ, JMU and the TACIS Monitoring Unit.
Specific ('soft') activities for the transfer of safety culture
Severe accident management guidelines (SAMG)
In the framework of the operational safety activities of the previous contracts for OSA to Kalinin NPP, the OSA Consultant and the End-User had collaborated on the topic of Severe Accident Management Guidelines for Kalinin NPP and had prepared a methodology report, with a detailed description of the tasks required, and a 'strategy document' for the development of SAMGs. The OSA Consultant had also provided training to Russian experts for writing SAM Guidelines. A draft first guideline on Severe Accident Management was also prepared by the OSA Consultant and submitted to KNPP for completion according to plant specificities.
For the present contract, it was intended, in the first stage of work, to prepare and issue a handbook for Severe Accident Management dedicated to the management team of the Crisis Centre. Later, when more information would be available and when complementary equipment would be installed at the plant, it was intended to start the development of SAM guidelines for operators. This second stage could be outside the framework of the present contract, as it depended on progress of independent KNPP activities.
With a regular dialogue between the OSA Consultant and the End User, OSA Consultant experts prepared a draft version of the handbook, which was then completed by KNPP, with the assistance of local experts, taking into account the data specific to the plant. The completed handbook, which took into account Russian rules and standards, was then checked by OSA Consultant experts.
Additional information regarding the SAMG validation methodology and the training programme, as developed for Belgian NPPs, was provided by the OSA Consultant to KNPP experts. A training session on the SAM Handbook was also organised for KNPP operators.
The final version of the handbook for SAM, prepared by the OSA Consultant, was taken into account by KNPP for the final version of its handbook for the Crisis Centre.
Core Refuelling Automatic Planning System (CORAPS)
Following a visit to KNPP to become acquainted with the specificities of the refuelling management at KNPP, a document was prepared, describing the KNPP refuelling as well as the required modifications to the CORAPS software for application to KNPP.
On the basis of virtual refuelling sequences, covering all potential situations, OSA Consultant experts adapted the CORAPS software, developed an optimisation module for KNPP, and performed preliminary software validation.
A visit to KNPP was required to obtain complementary information and to perform first tests of the software with KNPP specialists. The first conclusion was that CORAPS adaptation to KNPP for core refueling was successfully achieved and allows an optimization of the refueling sequence, reducing the refueling duration by about 10%.
Two specialists from KNPP visited the OSA Consultant to agree on the final version of the software and to follow a specific training course.
The final version of the software was delivered to KNPP.
Human Factor Approach in the frame of Safety Culture
At Tihange NPP, a human factors approach in the feedback of operational experience has been developed in the frame of the enhancement of safety culture. This approach gives the operator or worker an important role in safety improvement, but it also recognizes the possibility for human error. The goal is to provide the opportunity to all personnel to declare any mistakes or dangerous situations experienced, in order to allow a trained team to perform a detailed analysis, in collaboration with the initiator, and to disseminate and feed back the lessons learned. Such an approach needs a fundamental change in the assessment of human behaviour and in the attitudes of personnel. It is also necessary to develop a working environment in which personnel feel free to declare these kinds of incidents without fear of recriminations. The approach must therefore be organized with the complete support of the top management, on a step by step basis.
The aim of the present project was to adapt the Human Factor approach developed at Tihange and to introduce this approach at Kalinin NPP by implementing an 'event' reporting and in-depth analysis system that takes into account human factors.
The work involved:
The transfer of competencies and experience acquired at Tihange NPP, taking into account the required adaptation to the local constraints and specifics of the local culture,
Setting-up a local HF Unit or expertise centre,
Developing a local HF Network to disseminate and feed back the HF experience.
The work was implemented by a team of specialists from the OSA Consultant and experts from KNPP. Ownership and active participation was sought throughout the project from the Plant Director and Chief Engineer and technical support for the implementation was provided by the laboratory of Psycho-Physiological Sciences of the Training Centre of KNPP.
The following activities were performed:
Detailed presentation of the HF topic, including the experience feedback from in-depth analysis of events, based on the experience at Tihange NPP
Training of a core team of KNPP experts with a view to setting up the local HF Unit
Presentation of the approach and the conditions for its implementation to the top and middle management and to plant personnel
Joint drafting of an event analysis methodology
A comprehensive series of training actions and joint work:
Training of KNPP experts at initial and advanced residential training courses at MITINO (Russian Federation) for event analysis methodology and HF concepts.
A workshop organized for training the members of the HF group in techniques for the collection of information through interview.
Visits to Tihange NPP where KNPP HF experts could meet with their counterparts to discuss and exchange on difficulties encountered and solutions found, etc
Joint event analysis and support to the KNPP HF Unit during implementation of the analysis methodology to real events (investigative interviews, information collection, determination of the real scenario of the event, identification and deep explanation of the deviations, determination of the real and potential consequences, proposal of corrective action, writing of the final report)
Analysis of several real incidents, applying the acquired principles, proposal of corrective action and dissemination of experience feedback
The work was closely coordinated with the similar project implemented by the same OSA Consultant at South Ukraine NPP, which also allowed experience exchanges between the KNPP, SUNPP and OSA Consultant experts.
The project generated considerable interest within the Rosenergoatom HQ and the OSA Consultant was invited to make a presentation at the quarterly meeting of all Chief Engineers of Rosenergoatom. The presentation included a general part, on the importance of human behaviour in high-tech industries and the importance of learning from mistakes instead of punishing those responsible, and a specific part, about the Human Factor approach in event analysis as it has been introduced at Kalinin NPP. The KNPP Chief Engineer confirmed that KNPP had adopted the approach and started a trial process of its implementation.
Management of the ongoing specific equipment supply projects
The management and follow-up of ongoing specific equipment supply projects was performed in accordance with the requirements of the contract. The status of the ongoing projects at the time of completion of the present OSA contract is given below (all completed).
R1.03/94G: Safety valves: Installation, Site Acceptance Testing (SAT), commissioning, signature of Provisional Acceptance Certificate (PAC), warranty repairs and signature of Final Acceptance Certificate (FAC) have been followed-up in the framework of the present contract. The project is completed.
R1.03/94J: Hydrogen recombiners and monitoring: Installation of some specific software for the monitoring system and related SAT plus warranty follow-up and FAC have been performed in the framework of the present contract. The project is completed.
R1.03/95B: 6kV breakers: Delivery, installation, PAC, warranty follow-up and FAC have been performed in the framework of the present contract. The project is completed.
R1.03/95C: Leak detection systems: Manufacturing, licensing, FAT, delivery, installation, SAT, PAC, warranty follow-up and FAC have been performed in the framework of the present contract. The project is completed.
R1.03/96C1&2: CAD Configuration & Main Computer System: Manufacturing, licensing, FAT, delivery, installation, SAT, PAC, warranty follow-up and FAC have been performed in the framework of the present contract. The project is completed.
R1.03/96E: CIS/SPDS: Installation, SAT, PAC, warranty follow-up and FAC have been performed in the framework of the present contract. The project is completed.
R1.03/97A: Neutron Noise Monitoring System: Manufacturing, licensing, FAT, delivery, installation, SAT, PAC, warranty follow-up and FAC have been performed in the framework of the present contract. The project is completed.
R1.03/97B: SG Feedwater Control Valves: Manufacturing, licensing, FAT, delivery, installation, SAT, PAC, warranty follow-up and FAC have been performed in the framework of the present contract. The project is completed.
Follow-up of the supply part of the Design Safety project R2.11/94 "Fatigue Monitoring System" was performed in accordance with the requirements of the contract. The installation, SAT, PAC, warranty follow-up and FAC were performed in the framework of the present contract, and the project is completed.
Implementation of the Plant Improvement Project
Concerning the two parts of the PIP project, R1.03/02 A (KTZ for unit 1 & 2) and R1.03/02 B (CIS for Unit 1), the Technical Specifications, tender evaluation criteria and the Tender Dossiers were prepared in the frame of the previous OSA contract.
In the framework of the present contract, the call for tender, tender evaluation and contracting were successfully performed.
R1.03/02A: KTZ. The first of 3 sub-systems of the Reactor Control System (RCS) protection was installed and put into operation at both units (1 & 2) during the present contract. The other RCS protection systems as well as the Turbine & Turbine driven Feedwater Pumps (T&TFP) protection system have been manufactured and tested at the factory. Installation will be performed in the framework of the follow-on contract for OSA to Kalinin NPP.
R1.03/02B: CIS/SPDS for Unit 1. This project had to be re-tendered due to failure of the first call for tender. Additionally, the project suffered several delays during implementation. By the end of the present contract, the manufacturing, documentation approval and licensing stages were still ongoing. The next activity would be Factory Acceptance Testing followed by delivery, installation, site testing and commissioning. These activities will be performed in the framework of the follow-on contract for OSA to Kalinin NPP.
4.Comments (Quality of the results, Lesson learnt, Recommendations for follow-up)
In the final report the OSA Consultant noted some experiences during project implementation from which lessons could be learned and for which recommendations were made. These were related to the need for equipment suppliers to correctly follow the sequence of document approval before starting manufacturing or software development activities and to the need for coordination of the equipment supply and related licensing processes, both of which are provided with TACIS funded EU support (the so-called '2+2' approach).