The project purpose had been to ensure proper licensing of the TACIS funded plant improvement projects (PIP) for Balakovo NPP through the implementation of the 2+2 approach (EU utilities support Russian NPPS and EU TSOs the Russian regulator). The support provided the Russian regulator Gosatomnadzor (nowadays named Rostechnadzor) with a comprehensive safety assessment supporting its decision making.
The project’s objective was also to promote in Russia the implementation of a licensing process based on a technical dialogue between operator and regulator.
The project primarily supported licensing of the improvement project R1.02/01 titled “Supply of Computerised Information System and of Safety Parameter Display System (CIS/SPDS) for Balakovo unit 1/2, PIP”. Support included expert review of the design documentation by the RF/EU TSOs, harmonisation of review results in the frame of a “2+2” approach, presentation and detailed explanation of the results to the industrial side and issuing the conclusions in an EU/RF task report for the design documentation, including a set of recommendations to Rostechnadzor. The EU/RF TSO experts also reviewed “Engineering documentation for manufacturing of equipment” and issued harmonised conclusions in a common EU/RF TSO report. In addition the EU TSO reviewed results on the available factory acceptance tests (FAT) documentation. Finally the Russian TSOs had to agree on and confirm that the tests carried out were in accordance with the Russian regulations and norms, while the Western European TSOs had to confirm that the test procedures are also covering the state of the art concerning international regulations and standards (e.g. IEC, IAEA). Based on the results of the performed assessments it was concluded, that there are besides the Rosenergoatom findings during the commissioning test no additional impediments to Rostechnadzor to approve and formalise the decision on amending the license conditions related to the CIS/SPDS implementations in the unit 1 of the Balakovo NPP and later on in the unit 2.
The licensing assistance programme covered also the technical safety evaluation of the documentation of the plant’s improvement project “Replacement of Pilot Valves for Pressuriser Safety Valves (IPU KD)” in the units 1 to 3 of the Balakovo NPP. The EU/RF TSO findings and remarks demonstrated that the initially declared targets mentioned in the “Decision on upgrading for the units 1, 2, 3 and 4 Balakovo NPP” concerning the safety improvement of the Balakovo NPP in units 1, 2 and 3 have been only partially achieved. No impediments to the implementation of additional control lines for pressurised safety valves of the pressure compensation system of the primary circuit at the Balakovo NPP in the units 1, 2 and 3 have been found. Nevertheless the Russian regulatory authority Rostechnadzor was advised to issue the permission for operating those control lines only after the realisation of the necessary measures related to the elimination of the deficiencies mentioned in the presented task reports.