The overall purpose of the project was to:
Assess the effectiveness of the overall upgrade programme, providing input to the licensing process;
Provide general assistance in expediting licensing of the overall upgrade programme, bearing in mind the NSA assistance already being given under the EBRD RF agreement;
Transfer of know-how to Russian organisations.
The objective was broken down into 5 Tasks:
Task 1: Identify safety documentation.
Task 2: Assess adequacy of safety documentation for licensing process.
Task 3: Assess modernisation process.
Task 3.1: Identify systems or measures contributing to prevention and mitigation of accidents (to be assessed in Task 3.2).
Task 3.2: Assess defence in-depth provided by upgraded plant (by the Lines of Defence methodology).
Task 3.3: Consider (IAEA) INSAG 8 work.
Task 3.4: Assess requirements for safety assessment arising from the use of new fuel design (Uranium-Erbium fuel). (Task included at specific GAN request during the inception phase).
Task 3.5: Establish sufficiency of plant upgrades.
Task 3.6: Identify additional information needed to assess sufficiency of upgrades.
Task 4: Identify and perform in-depth analysis supplementary to parallel NSA-funded project.
Task 5: Provide specific assistance directly to GAN in licensing upgraded. Additional task identified in the inception phase and not included explicitly in the TOR.
Most of the technical work of the project was directed at the first objective.
In Task 1 the overall upgrade programme was described in some detail, and the availability of technical documentation relating to it was ascertained. In Task 3 an overall assessment of the adequacy of the upgrade programme was performed, using the Lines of Defence methodology. In addition, a more in-depth assessment was carried out for eight specific improvement measures, hereinafter referred to as upgrades, also using the Lines of Defence methodology.
Some of the technical work also contributed to the second objective. The sufficiency of the available documentation and analysis results from a licensing point of view was considered in a preliminary way in Task 2, as a prelude to the overall licensing assessment. It was considered again at the end of Task 3 in the light of the conclusions from the licensing assessment, and recommendations were made concerning the remedying of deficiencies.
At the request of the Beneficiary (Gosatomnadzor-RF), a technical submission in connection with the licensing of Uranium-Erbium fuel at Leningrad NPP was reviewed by AEA Technology specialists as part of Task 3.
The project terms of reference also required the identification of in-depth analysis required to supplement the work to be done on the NSA-funded project, and the performance of such analyses for some systems. In the end no such analysis was performed because none could be identified as being both necessary and achievable.
In fact by the start of the project there remained only one NSA-funded upgrade at LNPP for which analysis might be needed. This was the installation of a primary circuit leak detection system. The design documentation for that part of the system, which NSA is funding was made available to the West only in September 1998 (in fact after the original termination date of the current project), through the parallel NSA-funded licensing assistance project. AEA Technology reviewed the documentation as a part of that project, and concluded that a considerable amount of detailed analysis would be needed to establish whether the proposed system would contribute significantly to the leak-before-break detection capability of the plant.
Unfortunately, in order to carry out such analysis, technical details of the LNPP primary circuit would be needed. AEA Technology had been trying for some time to obtain this information, which was needed for other work undertaken by AEA Technology on behalf of UK government. For various reasons the data was not made available by LNPP. It was therefore not possible to carry out any in-depth analysis in support of LNPP licensing.
In the Inception Report an additional task (Task 5) was proposed by AEA Technology whose specific objective would be the identifying of non-technical means to expedite the licensing process. This was pursued as far as possible, but no actions were identified which could be performed from the Western side. Nevertheless, the attempt revealed some useful information about the licensing situation, which may be of use in any future work of this kind.
The project was successful in several respects in the transfer of technical know-how (its third objective), and indeed the project schedule was designed so as to maximise this. The starting point was a training course devised and carried out by AEA Technology to train Russian licensing experts in the Lines of Defence Methodology. The Russian experts then applied the methodology to the in-depth assessment of eight individual safety improvement measures.
The initial training involved only three Russian experts, but they in turn passed on the techniques to colleagues both in their own organisations and at LNPP, and in the end a total of nine experts were involved in the assessment process. Feedback from these was on the whole positive, and their comments (both good and bad) and recommendations are summarised in the final technical report.
The main achievements of the project can be summarized as follows:
The project has described the overall upgrade program at LNPP. It has assessed the effectiveness of the program, and of eight individual upgrades, using the Lines of defense methodology. It has commented on the sufficiency of the supporting documentation, and identified places where additional information or analysis is needed;
Nine staff from GAN, SEC NRS and LNPP have received training in the Lines of Defense methodology;
The project has commented on the IAEA methodology proposed following INSAG8, as it relates to the licensing of LNPP upgrades;
Of the LNPP upgrades funded through the Nuclear Safety Account of the European Bank, only one remains which needs to be supported by detailed analysis. The analysis cannot be started without data from LNPP which although requested (under other projects), has not been made available;
The project has investigated other ways of assisting the licensing process;
The final report draws conclusions and makes recommendations concerning the overall upgrade program, further technical analysis needed in support of the program and the licensing process in Russia and future Western support to the program.