September 10, 2008
On 10 September, the workshop of Ukrainian and Russian nuclear men dealing with urgent issues of ChNPP power units decommissioning and radioactive waste management started in the Chornobyl Center (Slavutych).
The workshop was organized by NNEGC “Energoatom”, “Rosenergoatom” Concern FSUE and Chornobyl Center within the framework of the organizations’ cooperation programs.
This is already the third time that Ukrainian and Russian nuclear men gather at a joint workshop in order to share experience in planning and safe performance of nuclear power units decommissioning, preparation and implementation of comprehensive engineering and radiation surveys (CERS) of power units, management of radioactive waste and spent nuclear fuel. The workshop participants include representatives of all the Ukrainian NPPs, State Nuclear Regulatory Committee of Ukraine, Ukrainian Ministry for Emergencies, NNEGC “Energoatom”, “Rosenergoatom” Concern, Chornobyl Center, State Scientific and Technical Center for Nuclear and Radiation Safety.
Experience exchange in solving technical, ecological, economic, personnel, social, and other problems is surely important for those, who are engaged in decommissioning process in order to make this complex stage of a nuclear facility’s lifetime thoroughly prepared, professionally implemented and as safe for people and environment as it is maximum achievable.
Problems of financial provision for decommissioning process, development of a unified CERS database for the Ukrainian NPPs, dismantling options that will be applied to shutdown power units in future, etc. raised the most interest of the audience during the 10 th September ‘ s plenary meeting. The computer-based CERS support system that has been developed and implemented at the South Ukrainian NPP by Chornobyl Center ‘ s specialists was highly appraised by the NPP experts and recommended for use at other Ukrainian NPPs.
The second day of the plenary meetings will be dedicated to the issue of radioactive waste and spent nuclear fuel management. Totally, within the three days the workshop participants will listen to and discuss 18 reports, visit International Radioecology Laboratory, Chornobyl NPP and the town of Prypyat.
Nowadays, more than 350 nuclear facilities in the world (including nuclear units, experimental reactors and medical apparatus) are close to the end of their lifetime. Among the Ukrainian NPPs Chornobyl NPP Units 1-3 are at the stage of decommissioning. The design operation term of Rivne NPP Units 1 and 2 will expire in 2010-2011 and the one of South Ukrainian NPP Unit 1 will come to the end in 2012. Currently, Novovoronezh NPP Units 1 & 2 and Beloyarsk NPP Units 1 & 2 are at the stage of preparation to decommissioning in Russia. The thirty-year period of Bilibino NPP power units operation ended in 2004-2006.
The Chornobyl NPP decommissioning program specifies that a final state of the ChNPP site after decommissioning might be conventionally defined as “Brown spot”. This option presumes dismantling of equipment, emptying of the buildings and structures that are not required for further use, processing and removal of radioactive waste outside the territory, and conversion of the site into a state appropriate for nuclear power needs, for instance, for constructing radioactive waste storage facility or other economic activity. ChNPP power units decommissioning will be implemented in accordance with the “deferred dismantling” strategy (under international classification this refers to SAFSTOR method) that envisages long-term cooling of reactor structures and PC equipment (up to 50 years) within the existing engineering structures.
The option of eliminating a unit as a “radiation facility” after conservation under supervision is being implemented at Novovoronezh NPP Units 1, 2 and Beloyarsk NPP Units 1, 2. The option “Storage under supervision” means conservation of reactor facility, all its systems and equipment, their isolation from the environment and further maintenance of their safe condition. Therewith, inactive equipment is dismantled for subsequent use or utilization. Sub-active equipment is subject to gradual decontamination up to a level permitting its unlimited use or utilization. Released premises, buildings and structures may be dismantled or reused for an alternative business.
Information Department of Chornobyl Center