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Nuclear Safety Cooperation

U3.02/99 UK/TS/24 TSO support R4K2 ph. 0

  • Closed
TACIS Region
Benefitting Zone
Eastern Europe and Central Asia
€ 991,308.86
EU Contribution
Contracted in 2001
Technical Assistance to the Commonwealth of Independent States


Type of activity

Technical Support Organisations



Contracting authority

European Commission

Method of Procurement

Direct Agreement & AV DA


01/06/2001 - 01/04/2003



Project / Budget year

WW9920 Tacis 1999 Nuclear Safety / 1999


As a continuation of the two previous TSO Tacis projects UK/TS/02 and UK/TS/02 A and B, the present project aimed at providing technical support by EU TSOs to the State Nuclear Regulatory Committee of Ukraine (SNRCU) in its licensing activities related to the completion and safety upgrading of Khmelnitsky unit 2 and Rovno unit 4.

At the time of the project definition (1997), at the sites of Rovno and Khmelnitsky, there were two WWER 1000/320 units under completion. Within the general framework of Chernobyl closure agreement, it was agreed with the Ukrainian Organisations that these two units should have been completed and modernised with support of financial loans from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the EC/Euratom.

However, before loan effectiveness, some conditions had to be fulfilled by the Borrower: some of them involving the participation of the State Nuclear Regulatory Committee of Ukraine (SNRCU). These conditions included:

  • The definition of a licensing procedure
  • The agreement on a licensing plan
  • The assessment of waste management, spent fuel management and decommissioning plans
  • The definition of work plan for TSO support
  • The follow-up of safety issues previously identified, including for example accidental qualification programme for plant equipment.

Another condition needed for before and after loan effectiveness was related to the establishment of an International Panel of Nuclear Regulators for assessing and monitoring the regulatory process.

For loan approval, EBRD and EC/Euratom requested that technical support be provided to the Ukrainian Safety Authorities for their licensing related activities of these two units. This support was necessary all along the implementation of completion and modernisation process of both units, i.e. from now up to the implementation of the last set of modernisation measures. Support had to be provided:

  • Before loan effectiveness (phase 0)
  • For issuance of Khmelnitsky 2 unit (K2) commissioning license (phase 1)
  • For issuance of Rovno 4 unit (R4) commissioning license (phase 2)
  • For issuance of K2 commercial license (phase 3)
  • For issuance of R4 commercial license (phase 4)

The present project was related to the phase 0 of this support.

The overall SNRCU support was planned to be financed and conducted under two independent sources of finance, two different contracting authorities (EU on one side, United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission (US NRC) on the other side) and two different contractors (European Union Technical Support Organisations (EU TSOs), and US TSOs). In order to avoid overlaps, inconsistencies between approach and results and in order to gain mutual benefit of the other part, a mechanism of technical coordination was planned to be performed regularly through meetings of the Steering Committee. The Steering Committee was planned to include members from EU/AIDCO, US NRC, Beneficiary and Contractors (EU and US).


The overall objective of the project was to improve the skill and the effectiveness of the State Nuclear Regulatory Committee of Ukraine (SNRCU) and its Technical Support Organisation (SSTC) as a whole.

The specific project objective was to provide technical support by EU TSOs to the SNRCU in its licensing related activities of Khmelnitsky 2 and Rovno 4 completion and safety upgrading.

Associated objective was the enhancement of technical competency of SSTC and broadening SNRCU capabilities, in particular through transfer of know-how and training. Last objective was related to the support to be provided to the International Panel of Nuclear Regulators.


The project was organised in the following activities:

Task 0. Project Management

  • Task 1. Assessment of the pre-loan effectiveness activities
  • Task 2. Secretariat of the International Panel of Nuclear Regulators.
  • Task 3. Review of the technical documentation
  • Task 4. Transfer of know-how and training.

The project planned output was:

In the frame of Task 1, evaluation report reflecting the assessment of the fulfilment of the pre-loan effectiveness conditions and preparation of a draft work plan of the next phase TSO support project, i.e. :

  • assistance to SNRCU for issuance of licensing procedure,
  • technical support to SNRCU for review of the licensing plans of Khmelnitsky 2 and Rovno 4,
  • assessment of waste, spent fuel and decommissioning plans,
  • assessment of equipment qualification program,
  • assessment of the acceptability of rules to be proposed by Energoatom NPPs to deviate from agreed time schedule,
  • follow-up of the safety issues already identified,
  • drafting of work plan for follow-up support.

Report on the work performed in the frame of the technical secretariat of the International Panel of Nuclear Regulators (Task 2), including a compilation of the minutes of the meetings and of the recommendations issued by the panel members.

In the frame of Task 3, technical evaluation report covering the assessment of all the technical areas (core, pressurized components, fluid systems, equipment qualification, status of the equipment, electrical supply, I&C, internal and external hazards, accident analysis, containment structure, radiation protection, operational safety) with emphasis on the methodology and scope of analysis of the safety case and on the design and technical specification of modernisation measures and their related schedule.

Technical report reflecting the relevant activities of know-how and training planned in the frame of the Task 4.
A description of the main activities carried out in every task and of the relevant results/deliverables is detailed in the following sections.

Task 1 – Assessment of the pre-loan activities

The following conclusions and recommendations were based on the documents provided by SNRCU and the Licensee (Energoatom) and on the discussion during the technical meetings held between Riskaudit, SNRCU, SSTC and Energoatom experts.

Licensing Procedure

Before loan effectiveness, it was recommended:

  • To review and finalize the LP in the short term taking into account the needs to integrate, to clarify and to modify in some parts the content and to harmonize it with the Licensing Plan in order to make it more sequentially logical.
  • To perform in a consistent and logical process the management of the overall modernization measures belonging to all envisaged upgrading programmes (Modernization Programme, Branch Programme, Operational Programme).
  • The measures to be implemented before and those to be implemented after the start up should be identified on the basis of a proposal from the Licensee to SNRCU and following review and approval from the Regulator at the beginning of the licensing process.
  • More explicit evidence in the procedure should be given to the licensing steps and requirements for construction activity not yet implemented, like for implementation of modernization measures.
  • That all the measures to be implemented before start up be integrated in the Safety Analysis Report going to be submitted to SNRCU.
  • The measures to be implemented after start-up, after being approved as design or operational changes should be included in the SAR by reviewing and updating the content according to the clear procedure.
  • To clarify the role of SNRCU in the co-ordination of activities of all involved Ukrainian Authorities (Ministry of health, fire supervision, etc...) in the licensing process. This role has to be clearly identified in the Licensing Procedure.
  • Not to have in the Licensing Procedure any statement about applicability of K2 SAR assessment to R4 licensing. This has to be considered as content of specific and justified request from the Licensee.
  • To have more explicit evidence in the procedure of the approval phases in the licensing process of the operational documentation needed for issuing the operation license and make explicit reference to other applicable normative.
  • To give more explicit evidence in the Licensing Procedure of SNRCU approval of NPP operating organization and safety aspects of management activity before commissioning license (i.e. in regard of definition of responsibilities, personnel qualification, administrative procedures in normal conditions and for emergencies).
  • To review the format, chapters and paragraphs of the SAR in terms of completeness of indicated content.

Licensing Plan

The draft Licensing Plan document submitted by Energoatom was in compliance with the Licensing procedure for Khmelnitsky 2 and Rovno 4 and consistent with the relevant Western practice. However, the following was recommended before the loan effectiveness:

  • For the licensing scheme, at least to define and to agree with the safety authority a procedure allowing the submission of the documentation in parallel to the safety authority and its technical support organizations. This procedure should be reflected in the licensing scheme.
  • For the licensing schedule and the documentation required for receiving license, to harmonise, taking into account the right references, between the document describing the Licensing Procedure and that. one providing the Licensing Plan.

Waste, Spent Fuel and Decommissioning Conceptual Plans

From the assessment, it was concluded that the Conceptual Plan for Waste Management complied for a large part with usual Western practices. The implementation of a "Programme for Radioactive Waste Management" constituted a substantial improvement that should progressively lead Energoatom to minimize its waste, identify it and keep trace of its characteristics.

The Conceptual Plan for Spent Fuel Management was less developed than the Plan for Waste Management. However, it was suggested to use the preliminary storage in the reactor cooling ponds (as described in the Safety Substantiation reports) and transportation to Russia.

Plans were under studied for development of new schemes (dry storage, centralized or not partial storage in Ukraine and transportation of the rest of the spent fuel to Russia, reprocessing). One of these management schemes could be implemented if required by the economical and political situation of Ukraine and it could then take place in the framework of a specific licensing procedure. But at the time of the project, there were no obvious discrepancies in this field with the Western practice.

Concerning the Decommissioning Plan, the following conclusions and recommendations were drawn:

Generally the proposed Conceptual Decommissioning Plans of K2 and R4 met the requirements, which have to be foreseen for the future decommissioning considering the recommendations of the International Atomic Energy Agency.
Not all requirements mentioned in the Ukrainian normative documents could be found in the Conceptual Decommissioning Plan. In the next documents related to K2R4 decommissioning, it was recommended to reflect all the relevant requirements. This action could be fulfilled after the loan effectiveness.
Decommissioning aspects during design and operation like the following ones were recommended to be presented at least in the 'Decommissioning Section' of the Safety Analysis Report considering the requirements of Ukrainian norms and regulations.

  • Design of compartments and rooms,
  • Selection of materials,
  • Design of cleaning systems and operational procedures
  • Maintenance procedures

It was recommended that the documentation related to K2R4 be periodically updated considering the optimization of radiation protection at the time of construction and operation and the current status of the plant (technical and radiological parameters which are relevant for decommissioning).

Equipment Qualification

The modernisation programme provided by Energoatom included 16 additional measures recommended by RISKAUDIT, in particular the equipment qualification. This was satisfactory.

The principle of the approach described in the equipment qualification programme was satisfactory. It answered the previous recommendations.

All the activities should have been directed to start up the Khmelnitsky 2 and Rovno 4 with fully qualified safety important equipment. If this objective could not be fulfilled, for starting of the plants, it was recommended:

  • To have identified the deficiencies,
  • To get justification of the acceptance of the situation due to some deficiencies for a limited time,
  • To solve the others for which the acceptability cannot be demonstrated.

Moreover, in order to allow Energoatom to be prepared for the next step of the equipment qualification file, the following items were recommended:

As soon as possible, it is needed to define in comparison to the western practice, the approach of the selection of the equipment important for safety (classification) needed to cope with:

  • internal and external hazards,
  • accidents occurring during shutdown conditions,
  • beyond design basis accidents (without core melt).

If a comparison had to be made between the loading spectrum proposal and the western practice, it had to be considered that:

  • the "soft" accidents conditions for western plants were assessed in spite of the envelop character of the "hard" ones. A different approach was submitted in the proposal. A justification of its consistency had to be provided,
  • the combination of loadings seismic and accident had to be taken into account,
  • the logical sequences to be performed during qualification test to simulate the different loadings were not clearly specified in the generic programme. A clear understanding of the planning of the sequences had to be provided to judge the representativeness of the tests,
  • additional loadings had to be assessed and introduced especially loaded water (water carrying a particle spectra), vibratory level, humidity level for ventilation system including iodine filters,
  • the closure of some valves had to be considered for the maximal value of the pressure difference according to the results of the studies,
  • the duration of the accidental situation used for qualification test had to be clearly defined.

For the western plants, the definition of the safety shutdown state was based on the assumption that the safety functions were fulfilled for a relatively long time. The corresponding definition had to be precise to be able to judge the global list of equipment needed to reach the safe state.
Concerning the list of the equipment to be qualified, it was necessary to have in mind what it was needed to define the global scope of the equipment used to fulfil a safety function. For example, for fire protection, it had to be considered fire detection, cable coating, fire segregation, fire requirements for cables or doors.

Moreover, a special attention had to be paid to specific equipment like paintings (in particular in the containment as possible sources of debris if they are not well qualified) and insulation. This equipment had to be introduced in the generic programme or reference to specific programme had to be provided.

A link had to be established between the new values of loadings and the existing structures. Depending on the results of the studies performed to define the loading values, a new examination of the structures could be, if necessary, performed.

Environmental Action Plan

The Environmental Action Plans for Khmelnitsky 2 and Rovno 4 were check lists of actions to be performed for identified issues. Almost all these actions had to be performed at least two months after loan effectiveness. Nevertheless, some actions (such as the OVNS (Environmental Impact Report) required by the Ukrainian regulation were completed or were under way, financed by Ukrainian funds.

Moreover, the Licensee committed himself to correct the Environmental Action Plans, in particular in order to harmonize them with the Licensing Plans of Khmelnitsky 2 and Rovno 4 and to take into account the work already fulfilled. Results of this correction should have been checked later on, but it was recommended that the Licensee fulfilled it before the loan effectiveness.

Taking into account that some actions specified in the Environmental Action Plans under the heading of nuclear safety were already performed or are under way and the commitment of the Licensee to correct the Environmental Action Plans after the signature of the loan agreement in order to comply with the licensing Plans, the situation was judged acceptable as far as nuclear safety issues was concerned.

Preparation of a Draft Work Plan of the Next Phase

A proposal for a work plan for the follow-up support to SNRCU was developed by Riskaudit. This proposal included short term actions and mid and long term actions. The short term actions aimed at providing support to SNRCU in order to check the acceptability of Riskaudit recommendations issued in its previous reports.

For the mid and long term actions for SNRCU support, it was recommended that Riskaudit and SSTC actions should be devoted:

  • To support SNRCU to ensure the follow-up of the recommendations issued in the frame of the Task 3 of the present project (UK/TS/24) and to assess the related Energoatm answers which would be ready by the time of the next TSO support project related to Khmelnitsky 2 and Rovno 4,
  • To support SNRCU to continue the follow-up of the safety issues previously identified by assessing the related Energoatom answers,
  • To review the technical documentation which would be ready by the time of the next phase of the TSO support,
  • To define training activities, in addition to the know-how transfer through the technical tasks, taking into account experience feedback from the present project and the real needs of SNRCU and its technical support SSTC.

Task 2 - Secretariat of the International Panel of Nuclear Regulators.

The result of this task was the drafting of the relevant TOR.

Task 3 - Review of the technical documentation

Task 3 was implemented according to the main objective of the project that is to assist the SNRCU and SSTC in their preparation for the future activities linked with the R4K2 commissioning.

Due to the fact that despite of the expectation, no documents were received from the Ukrainian Operating Organisation (e.g. Methodology and scope of analysis for safety case, Design and technical specification of modernisation measures, Status of equipment), IRSN presented the topics related to Systems, to Electrical Supply and to Hazards in the following way:

  • Know-how based on the French practice
  • Theoretical application of the French practice on the WER-1000 reality (especially focused on the containment by-pass risk, reactor cold shutdown state, power supply loos and internal hazards)

Such presentations and the followed discussions were a constructive way for the know-how transfer. The other EU TSOs (GRS, APAT) applied the same approach.

Task 4. Transfer of know-how and training

Within the framework of UK/TS/24 project task 4 was aimed at training SSTC experts in Western Europe on some specific technical areas, as defined in the contract.

This work was conducted in Western European offices, where co-operation between Ukrainian and EU experts was built. The training concerned the following areas.

  • Licensing PSAR and FSAR: familiarisation of one expert on the differences between regulatory requirements on the Preliminary Safety Report and the Final Safety Report, including scope, volume and depth of analysis (Duration: 3 months)
  • I & C Systems: Training of 2 experts on modern codes for instrumentation and control systems evaluation and their adaptation to WWER-1000 (Duration: 3 months)
  • Neutron Kinetics: Training of 2 experts on neutron kinetics calculations. This training was oriented to methodology and software for core physics calculation and conservative assumptions in reactivity accidents calculations (Duration: 3 months)
  • Licensing of Foreign Equipment: Training of one expert on the evaluation practice concerning the use of equipment and components delivered by foreign suppliers and designed and manufactured in compliance with norms, rules and standards different from Ukrainian ones. This training includes also seismic impact evaluation (Duration: 3 months)
  • Management: Training of one expert in project management for 7 months.



(Quality of the results, Lesson learnt, Recommendations for follow-up)

The project met the objectives stated in the TORs.

The main problems expected and met were mainly related to the availability of the required documentation in addition to the tough schedule for the assessment of the pre-loan effectiveness conditions. These problems were worsened by the necessity to translate the documents from Russian to English.

The Beneficiary had limited staff involved in the present project, due to other duties to be fulfilled. However, with the support of its Ukrainian TSO (SSTC), these difficulties were minimised.

Further Information

Further information on the project results could be sought from the beneficiary organizations.
The Project Final report is available at the JRC-IE archive.