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Nuclear Safety Cooperation

R1.05/04 A - Lot 2 - Equipment for Monitoring and Analysis for the New Radwaste Treatment Facility at Smolensk NPP

  • Closed
Benefitting Zone
Eastern Europe / North Asia
€ 1,954,899.33
EU Contribution
Contracted in 2007
Instrument for Nuclear Safety Cooperation


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


11/08/2007 - 10/02/2009



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 2: Supply of Monitoring and Analysis Equipment.
In addition to the facilities described above, the Radwaste Treatment Facility also includes an Integrated Radiochemical Laboratory. The laboratory is required to carry out all types of analyses (chemical, physical - chemical, radionuclide). The analysis includes inspection of incoming initial materials and control of end products of radwaste processing at the RWTF.

Miscellaneous equipment for analysis and monitoring of the radwastes is required in the Radiochemistry Laboratory. The equipment items supplied under this contract were either fixed items to be installed in the laboratory or portable hand held instruments used for general survey work or specific investigations.

The main objectives of the Radiochemical Laboratory are:

  • To carry out routine and investigative surveys of the RWTF to ensure that the processes and the operating areas are being maintained within the norms and standards for this type of facility in the Russian Federation;
  • To determine the chemical composition and physical characteristics of liquid and solid radwaste;
  • To determine the quality of gases;
  • To carry out spectrometric analysis: determination of the equipment and compartments’ contamination, determination of radionuclides in radwaste packages;
  • To determine the quality of the cement compound produced in the Grouting Complex.

In addition to the equipment for the radiochemical laboratory, 2 other items of equipment were provided under this contract:

An Automated Off Gas Analyser System: The gases discharged from the incinerator are purified and discharged into an exhaust duct before entering the stack. This equipment was for continuous automated gas-analysis of the purified gases from the incinerator of the RWTF. The automated gas-analysing system was to be designed for monitoring against the maximum permissible concentration of hazardous substances in the incinerator exhaust in accordance with the Russian norms.
Two Fixed Segmented Gamma Spectrometers: The Liquid Radwaste is converted into a cement compound in the two Grouting Lines of the RWTF. The final product is radiologically assayed using a fixed segmented gamma spectrometer installed at the end of each grouting line. These devices also include a measuring table, which manipulates the drum of cement compound to provide the radiological data to provide the fingerprint of the radiological assay of the drum.
The scope of the supply included the following equipment:

For the radiochemical laboratory:

  • 1 x Gamma Spectrometer with Two Semiconductor Detectors
  • 1 x Portable Gamma-Spectrometer with a Semiconductor Detector
  • 2 x Stationary Beta-Radiometers
  • 1 x Portable Alpha-Beta-Gamma Radiometer
  • 1 x Total Organic Carbon Analyser
  • 1 x Ion Chromatograph
  • 1 x Inductively Coupled Plasma Optical Emission Atomic Spectrometer
  • 1 x Gas Analyser
  • 1 x Microwave Dissolver
  • 1 x Demineralizer
  • 1 x Environmental Cabinet
  • 2 x Presses for Mechanical Strength Testing

For the grouting lines:

  • 2 x Fixed Segmented Gamma Spectrometers
  • For the incinerator off-gas duct:
    • 1 x Automated Gas-Analyser System


The contract was signed in August 2007. The Factory Acceptance Tests were performed satisfactorily in February 2009. The equipment was delivered to Smolensk NPP in July 2009. Site Acceptance Testing of the radiochemical laboratory equipment was completed in December 2010 followed by signature of the Provisional Acceptance Certificates. The gamma spectrometers of the grouting lines and the incinerator off-gas analyser were installed in time to perform the site acceptance testing and commissioning in December 2012. The Provisional Acceptance Certificates were also signed in December 2012.