The TACIS 93 annual programme for nuclear safety agreed between the EC and Ukraine contains provisions for projects devoted to training of Ukrainian specialists on methodology, organisation and execution of ISI on VVER RPVs. The ISI had always been implemented according Russian standards in Ukrainian NPPs. The basic procedures were first the PK-1514 inspection and qualification standard. Since 1990 the In-Service Inspection (ISI) at Ukrainian NPPs was performed according to Russian standard PNAE-G-7-010-89. The Russian based ISI standards differs from standards applied in western NPPs in ISI. In some cases the acceptance limits were stricter in the Russian standards, but, at the same time the inspection methods were not so accurate as regards defect detection. The aim of this project was to transfer information on Western European NDE methods, calibration and qualification, as well as comparing the Russian/Ukrainian standards with the western ones.
The main objectives of this TACIS program was to:
- Phase 1:
- Transfer information on all Non Destructive Examination (NDT) methods used in safety related parts of NPPs
- Providing rules for qualification and certification of the NDE personnel
- Providing training for all NDE methods
- Provide education for trainers for all NDE methods
- Analysing and comparing ISI rules in Russia, Ukraine and EC Countries
- Phase 2:
- Training and qualification of personnel for level II in ultrasonic inspection
- Training and qualification of personnel for level II in eddy current inspection
- Training in reactor pressure vessel (RPV) ISI to methodology, technique,
- organisation and implementation
- Technical assistance for RPV-ISI
The following Tasks were completed in this project:
- Task 1:List of necessary documents
- Task 2: Training in NDE methodologies
- Rules of qualification and certification of personnel
- Systematic approach for training
- Training programs
- Training sessions
- Providing NDE handbooks
- Education of trainers
- Transfer of information on advanced eddy current techniques (EC)
- Task 3: Comparison of western and Ukranian codes
- Task 4: Specific training on ISI of VVER RPVs
- Transfer of information on all NDE methods used in ISI of RPV
- Training and qualification of experts in UT
- Transfer of information on specific advanced ultrasonic testing techniques
- Training in analysis of NDE codes
- Task 5: Guidelines for systematic approach to ISI
- Task 6:On the job training
The task leaders of the Consortium issued a list of documents which would be necessary for the project. Many of these documents were standards issued by Regulatory Authorities of the former USSR. Some documents were not available even at Goskomatom. Most of the documents were translated and provided in English. It was decided to use the European standard EN 473 as a reference document and for the training to be delivered on NDE methods. All training courses under Task 2 were carried out as agreed. Attendants from Khmelnitsky NPP, Rowno NPP, South Ukraine NPP, Tshernobyl NPP, Zaporojhe NPP, Yuteploenergomontaj and Paton Electrical Institute. As a result 84 certificates for level 2 and 30 certificates for level 3 were issued during the project. All the agreed hand books were also issued according to contracts.
Specific training on ISI of RPVs in the west was given by French, German and Spanish specialists in a seminar in Kiev. Four Ukrainian experts took part in the On the job training (OJT) as defined in Task 6 of the project. They were selected from KNPP, SUNPP, RNPP and ZNPP. The OJB team started in France in the NPP Chinon during a scheduled outage in unit 2. They also followed the EC testing on the SG tubes carried out by an Intercontrole team. They also visited Intercontroles facilities in Cadarache where useful training and demonstrations were given. The experts visited also Tecnatom facilities in Spain where they took part in inspection exercises on a vessel nozzle mock-up using sophisticated methods and acquisition systems. Finally the OJT team visited Siemens/KWU facilities in Erlangen and in Karlstein, were the trainees could follow the preparation of mast manipulators for remote vessel inspections. A visit was also given to the NPP Grafenrheinfeldt, where an outage took place. They could follow UT inspections of ECCS nozzles and main coolant piping.
The project was successful and the objectives very well achieved.
Some recommendations could be mentioned:
In order to sustain the results of the training given in this project the trained experts should transfer the knowledge received to a larger number of NDE personnel in Ukrainian NPPs.
A real effort would still be necessary to promote EC testing. It has not been included in original inspection procedures.
Mechanised automatic UT methods for ISI of the RPV is strongly recommended in order to improve reliability, reproducibility and traceability properly.
There is a dramatic lack of modern equipment in Ukrainian NPPs. Future projects dealing with ISI should incorporate modernisation of NDE equipment in OSA activities.
Further information on the project results could be sought from the beneficiary organizations.