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Safety Evaluation of Ukrainian Nuclear Power Plants

The EC-IAEA-Ukraine Project ‘Safety Evaluation of Ukrainian Nuclear Power Plants” was launched in November 2007, in the frame of the Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation in the field of nuclear energy between the European Union and Ukraine and its Road Map for Nuclear Safety.

The main objective of the Memorandum is to extend the cooperation between Ukraine and EU in the energy field aimed at the energy markets integration. The Memorandum specifies how both parties are planning to organize activities to integrate energy markets, and establishes a common strategy for gradual integration of the energy market of Ukraine within the EU market.

The objective of the project was to perform an overall safety assessment of all operational Ukrainian nuclear power plants (NPPs), covering the areas of design safety, operational safety, waste management and decommissioning, and regulatory issues.

The Ukraine currently operates fifteen NPPs of three different designs, two WWER-440/213 units, one WWER-1000/302 unit, one WWER-1000/338 unit, and eleven WWER-1000/320 units.

The assessment was aimed at verifying the compliance of nuclear safety in the Ukraine with current IAEA Safety Standards, taking into account the improvements that were carried out so far or scheduled to be implemented under the ongoing Ukrainian safety upgrading programmes. The possible need for additional nuclear safety improvements were identified as appropriate.

The project was subdivided into four tasks that were conducted utilizing the existing format of the IAEA Safety Review Services i.e. Engineering Safety Review Services (ESRS), Operational Safety Review Team (OSART), Integrated Regulatory Review Services (IRRS) and Radioactive Waste Review Services (RWRS). Technical guidelines specifying the objectives and implementation details were specially developed for this project.

The work was carried out under a single project led by the IAEA as the implementing organization. A Steering Committee (SC) as the governing body for the Joint Project was established. The SC comprised 10 members representing the European Commission (five members) and Ukrainian institutions (five members), it was co-chaired by one representative from EC and one from Ukraine. The IAEA was the permanent Secretary of the SC.

In accordance with the overall objectives and evaluation areas mentioned, the Joint Project included four major tasks:

  • Task 1: NPP design safety;
  • Task 2: NPP operational safety;
  • Task 3: Waste management and decommissioning;
  • Task 4: Regulatory issues.

The scope of these tasks covered the Ukrainian regulatory body (SNRCU) and the 15 NPP units operated by the Utility Company Energoatom on four sites: Rivne (RNPP), South Ukraine (SUNPP), Khmelnitski (KhNPP), and Zaporozhe (ZNPP).

The general methodology for this project included:

  • A self-assessment performed by the Ukrainian counterpart, followed by
  • An independent safety review conducted by the IAEA staff with participation of external experts, including experts from EU-Joint Research Centre (JRC).

Fifteen review missions were conducted covering the four NPP sites and the State Nuclear Regulatory Committee of Ukraine (SNRCU). 62 external experts from 23 countries and international organizations, 52 participants from Ukraine and 32 IAEA staff members were involved in these missions.

A Report was issued after each mission and a Final Task Report was prepared for each of the four tasks indicated above.

The Final project Report was delivered, as scheduled, on 9 February 2010.

All project objectives were achieved and the project run on schedule, within estimated budget and with good interaction among all stakeholders.

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| Last update: Tuesday, 09 December, 2014.