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Nuclear Safety Cooperation

R1.05/04 A - Lot 1 - Supply of a Supercompactor and Associated Equipment for the New Radwaste Treatment Facility at Smolensk NPP

  • Closed
Benefitting Zone
Eastern Europe / North Asia
€ 3,885,000.00
EU Contribution
Contracted in 2007
Technical Assistance to the Commonwealth of Independent States


Type of activity

On Site Assistance



Contracting authority


Method of Procurement

(FR2007) (Ext. act) Supply - International Open Procedure after publication of a contract notice - Art. 243.1(a) IR


09/08/2007 - 09/08/2010



Project / Budget year

TACIS 2004 - Nuclear Safety Action Programme / 2004


Smolensk NPP (SmNPP), located in the Smolensk region of Russia, comprises 3 power units. The site lies 3 km away from the nearby town of Desnogorsk on the bank of an artificial lake situated on the river Desna. Unit 1 was commissioned in 1982, Unit 2 in 1985 and Unit 3 in 1990. All three units have reactors of the RBMK-1000 type and were still in operation at the time of this contract.
The existing radioactive waste treatment facility at Smolensk NPP had several safety deficiencies. The waste was not sorted in line with international practice and it was not leak tight. Thus there was the potential for leakage of radioactive material into the surroundings. The methodologies employed for solid waste reduction and disposal lagged behind those employed in similar facilities in western European nuclear establishments. For these reasons Smolensk NPP had decided to construct a new Radioactive Waste Treatment Facility (RWTF) at the NPP site.
The RWTF is a component of the plant radioactive waste treatment system, used for acceptance, sorting and processing of liquid and solid radioactive waste generated during operation and maintenance as well as during future decommissioning of the reactor units. It is also used for interim storage of processed waste. Radwaste processing is carried out to reduce the volume of waste arisings and condition the waste such that they can be safely stored, transported and disposed of.
The design of the Smolensk NPP RWTF includes the following units:

A liquid radwaste (LRW) processing facility (using ion exchange);

Two grouting (cementation) lines for liquid radwaste (LRW);

A sorting unit;

An incinerator for low-level solid and liquid radioactive waste;

A 950kN force waste compaction unit for low-level solid radwaste (SRW);

A supercompactor unit;

A low level metal decontamination facility;

A smelter for thermal decontamination and scrap metal processing.
Liquid radwaste may be first processed in the ion exchange units or fed directly to one of the two grouting lines. The output from the ion exchange units (liquid and sludge) is also processed in the grouting lines. In these lines, all types of LRW are processed. These wastes are supplied via an overhead pipe gantry from the LRW storage tanks and other LRW processing installations located in the RWTF. The mixtures are combined with cement in the grouting line. Only decanted still-residue sludge is processed in the LRW line.
Low-level solid radwaste (SRW) is received in the RWTF and sorted in the sorting unit according to whether the material is to be incinerated, compacted or decontaminated. Combustible waste will be directed to the Incinerator. During incineration of the SRW, the volume can be reduced by up to 50 times. Waste is loaded into the furnace via the interlocked gate. Gases generated during this process go to an off-gas treatment system whilst proportioned ash is discharged from the furnace into a drum located in a shielded container fitted with exhaust ventilation. The ash is watered and the drum in the shielded container is transported to the grouting lines when required.
The gases discharged from the incinerator are purified and discharged into a duct. Following purification, the gases are analysed by an Automated Off Gas Analyser System.
Non-combustible wastes are loaded, after additional check sorting, into a 200 l drum. Dependent upon the decision of the operator, a drum containing SRW may then be either:

Compacted, in-drum, in the 950kN press and sent directly into the storage system

supercompacted (15 000 kN minimum) and sent into the storage system

compacted and then supercompacted and sent into the storage system
For waste compacted 'in-drum', after several cycles of “filling – compaction” (3-4 times) the drum is capped and transported to a weight measurement unit and radiometric analysis unit. Following radiometric assaying, the drum is transported from the RWTF for storage or supercompaction.
Waste volumes can be reduced to 3-5 times by in-drum compaction, using a 950KN compactor. A further reduction will be achieved by supercompaction of the drums. Several supercompacted drums can be further enclosed in concrete overpack containers.
In the framework of the TACIS 2004 Nuclear Safety Programme, the Rosenergoatom/Smolensk NPP agreed with the European Commission a project to improve the nuclear safety associated with the treatment of radioactive waste arising at the site through the supply of equipment for the intended new RWTF.
The general purpose of the intended TACIS equipment supply projects was to:

Eliminate the deviations from the State safety regulations and rules.

Allow the operation of the new Radwaste Facility to be on a level comparable with similar western European Radwaste facilities

Permit the use of equipment and monitoring systems, which were not available in Russia at that time.

Enable the application of state-of-the-art testing methods and thus the exclusion of potentially dangerous and inaccurate testing methods.
The subject of the TACIS equipment supply contracts was the design, manufacture, delivery, including any documentation required, certification, acceptance tests, supervision of the installation and supervision of commissioning, support to licensing, after-sales services (maintenance support) and training by the Contractor of the following goods:LOT 1 (Contract 99577): Supply of a Supercompactor and Associated Equipment
Lot 1 was to provide the Supercompactor and Ancillary Equipment. The equipment was intended to facilitate reduction of solid radioactive waste volumes by supercompaction, giving increased safety during storage, transportation and disposal.LOT 2 (Contract 140193): Monitoring and Analysis Equipment
Lot 2 was the provision of three distinct sets of equipment for the Radwaste Treatment Facility (RWTF):

Fixed Segmented Gamma Spectrometers and associated drum handling equipment. These were to be installed in each grouting line of the RWTF and used to conduct radiological assays of drums after being filled with radwaste.

Miscellaneous equipment for the Radiochemical Laboratory of the (RWTF). This equipment was intended for off-line monitoring of the processes involved in radwaste treatment by carrying out chemical, physical-chemical and radionuclide analyses.

An Automated Incinerator Off-Gas Analyser System. This equipment was for continuous automated gas-analysis of the incinerator exhaust gases.
LOT 3 (Contract 140194): Automatic Control and Monitoring for the Grouting Lines
Lot 3 was the provision of an Automatic Control and Monitoring System for the grouting lines of the RWTF. This equipment was intended for high level surveillance, monitoring and on-line control of the process parameters of the grouting lines in the Central Control Room of the RWTF.LOT 4 (Contract 140196): Process Control Equipment for the Grouting Lines
Lot 4 was to provide three separate devices to be installed, along with equipment provided under SmNPP responsibility, in the grouting lines of the RWTF. The Process Control Equipment (PCE) was intended to provide Smolensk NPP with enhanced control facilities for the quality control of the Grouting Lines process in three distinct operations:

A proportioning mechanism for the dry cement/bentonite that is used to combine with the pulp/LRW into a concrete mix,

A two-phase level monitoring of the pulp/liquid radwaste inlet tank, and

A flow control (or proportioning) of the pulp LRW flow from this tank.
The result will be enhanced quality of the resulting concrete mix.


This contract was for Lot 1: Supply of a Supercompactor and Associated Equipment.
The scope of the supply included a complete supercompaction facility comprising:

A supercompactor machine with minimum 15 000 kN pressing force and with integrated piercing unit for piercing drums prior to compaction;

A feed conveyor with 6 drum capacity and drum loading device for automatically feeding drums into the supercompactor;

An unloading device for transferring pressed drums (pucks) from the supercompactor to the weight measurement unit;

A weight measurement unit for determining the weight of the pucks;

An indexing table, with capacity for 8 pucks, where pucks are stored after pressing and prior to loading in a concrete overpack container;

An overpack loader: A mechanical handling device for transferring pucks from the weight measurement unit to an empty position on the indexing table and from the indexing table to the concrete overpack containers. During transfer of pucks from the weight measurement unit to the indexing table, this device also measures the height of the pucks using a measurement device integrated into the puck grip.

An automatic control system for the whole supercompactor facility. Among other control functions, this system uses the stored weight and height information related to the pucks stored on the indexing table to optimally fill the concrete overpack containers with pucks.

A remote video surveillance system.

All hydraulic units, electrical cabinets, control panels and other equipment required for the operation of the system, as well as recommended spare parts.
The supercompaction cycle is as follows: The drum is loaded onto the feed conveyor of the Supercompactor using equipment supplied by Smolensk NPP. The feed conveyor transports the drum to the loading device of the Supercompactor. Once located in the supercompactor, an external mould is lowered over the drum. The drum is pierced with three holes to allow gas to escape during compaction. The hydraulic ram of the supercompactor then presses the drum to the desired height or pressing force. After the compaction cycle has been completed and the main hydraulic ram has been retracted to its initial position, the unloading device will remove the resulting puck onto a weight measurement unit. It is then transported to a vacant cell of the indexing selection table, during which process the puck height is measured and registered. From the selection table the pucks are to be loaded, by means of the overpack-loader, into a reinforced concrete waste disposal overpack container. The cross-sectional area of this container is sufficient to take 4 pucks (2 pucks x 2 pucks). The height of the container is sufficient for pucks to be stacked several high, depending on the final pressed height of individual pucks.
The automatic control system calculates the optimal filling of the overpack containers depending on the weight and height of the pucks on the indexing table. The overpack or encapsulation container is transported by the overpack transporter (Smolensk NPP supply) into position for sealing. The remaining operations are carried out by equipment supplied under Smolensk NPP responsibility: Encapsulation is carried out by inclusion of material into the waste disposal overpack container. When the encapsulation process is complete, the overpack container is transported by the overpack transport conveyor to the certification position where documentation of conditioned SRW is carried out in accordance with the quality assurance programme according to the requirements NP-020-2000.
The containers, which have passed certification, are transported to the on-site storage area or to the external transportation to be taken off site.


The contract was signed in August 2007. The Factory Acceptance Tests were performed satisfactorily in June 2009. The equipment was packed in January, shipped in May and delivered to Smolensk NPP in June 2010. Customs clearance was completed in September 2010. Installation and assembly of the equipment was delayed due to readiness of the building and was completed in January-February 2012. A campaign of site acceptance testing and commissioning took place in June 2012 and the Provisional Acceptance Certificates were signed.