The Russian Beneficiary ROSENERGOATOM, organisation responsible for the operation of Russian nuclear power plants (NPP) proposed the European Commission to carry out a project to assist in the development of guidelines in the field of management of radioactive waste from Russian NPP. The project was considered as high priority in the Russian “Blue Book” published in 1994. The contract was awarded on 12/12/1996, but the implementation of the project suffered from several delays caused by the split of the functions of the Subcontractor and Counterpart in the Russian side, and by the bankruptcy of the leader of the Consortium (induced by its privatization ). The delay was also originating from the co-operation between the Consortium and the Russian counterparts. It has to be re-organised due to progress performed before the beginning of the project by Russian experts that had formed a better basis and starting point that the one described in the Terms of Reference.
The main objective of the project was to provide the Russian organisations responsible for the management of radioactive waste with appropriate practical guidelines which should facilitate the implementation of coherent and integrate practices in all stages of the management of NPP waste.
Specific objectives of the project were to support the Russian organisations in developing a list of necessary codes and standards for radioactive waste management ( description of their content and one example darfted).
The project was divided in five tasks:
- Task 1. Analysis and evaluation of the codes and standards concerning radioactive waste management used in Russia
- Task 2. Identification of reference documents and examples taken from the EU countries, which could be used as basis for the establishment of codes and standards for the management of NPP waste in Russia.
- Task 3. Definition of a system of codes and standards suitable for NPP waste management in the Russian Federation
- Task 4. Identification of a list, with a table of contents, of the proposed codes and standards for radioactive waste management
- Task 5. Drafting of one typical example of codes and standards.
The evaluation of the Russian codes and standards concerning waste management (task 1) showed the need to develop an integral and consistent set of Typical Organisational, Operational and Technological Documents (TOOTD) in correspondence with the organisational framework of the nuclear energy sector in the Russian Federation. The existing system presented shortcomings in the implementation, differences between requirements of existing codes and standards. Moreover, the system was incomplete.
The system of Russian TOOTD was developed in accordance with the existing and developing Federal Laws as much as high level codes and standards during task 3 of the project. The system was drafted after the requirements of the “Working Programme for NPP radwaste management”.
Taking into consideration the outcome of Task 2, in which the description of the international guidelines and some national system of codes and standards as well as the list of first priority TOOTD identified in task 3, the Table of Contents for the mentioned first priority documents was drafted in task 4.
Finally, one example of a TOOTD “Radiological Control of Nuclear Power Plant Waste for Discharging this Waste to Industrial Disposal Facilities” was developed under task 5.
Lessons learned and recommendations
The involvement of local TACIS representatives would have shortened the time required from the project definition to its actual start.
The creation of an international working group with the responsible team and/or task leaders of all the participants was a successful experience. This work organisation required bilingual experts (in English and in Russian) with appropriate knowledge and experience in the beneficiary country. In particular, it was very helpful that at least one of the Consortium experts had been involved and had experience in the usual practices of project management in the relevant fields in the beneficiary country.
After the successful completion of the project, it was recommended to create a specific plant related system of organisational, operational and technological documents of a level below the TOOTD, for one Russian NPP.