IAEA Mission sees safety Commitment at Russia’s Leningrad Nuclear Power Plant
A team of experts from International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) visited the Russian Federation’s Leningrad Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) and said that it demonstrated a commitment to safety and is also taking many improvement initiatives.
The Operational Safety Review Team (OSART) concluded a 17-day mission to Unit 4, which was connected to the grid in 1981 and is one of four light water-cooled graphite-moderated reactors (RBMK-1000) located at the site 100 km west of St Petersburg.
The plant operator is Rosenergoatom.
Nuclear power generates 17 percent of electricity in Russia, which operates 35 power reactors and is constructing seven others, including two pressurized-water reactors (VVER-491) at the Leningrad site.
“The operator carried out thorough self-assessments against IAEA safety standards and has started many improvement initiatives, such as the introduction of an Integrated Management System, to further enhance plant performance,” said Deputy Team Leader Vesselina Ranguelova, a Senior Nuclear Safety Officer at the IAEA.
“Addressing the team’s findings will help further strengthen the plant’s operational safety, while good practices identified by the team will help enhance safety worldwide, if applied by other operators.”
The 12-member OSART team comprised experts from Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Czech Republic, France, Romania, Slovakia, South Africa, Sweden and two IAEA officials.
OSART missions aim to improve operational safety by objectively assessing safety performance using the IAEA’s safety standards and by proposing recommendations where appropriate.
The review covered the areas of leadership and management for safety; training and qualification; operations; maintenance; technical support; operating experience; radiation protection; chemistry; and accident management.
“The OSART mission is a unique opportunity for Leningrad NPP to have an independent review to help improve operational safety,” said Vladimir Pereguda, the plant’s director. “Leningrad is the sixth plant in Russia to undergo an OSART review in the past 12 years, and the inputs from this mission will be used in both operational units and units under construction to continue our journey in pursuit of excellence.”
The team provided a draft report to the plant’s management and the Federal Service for Environmental, Industrial and Nuclear Supervision (Rostechnadzor).
The final report will be submitted to the Russian Government within three months.
Good practices identified by IAEA
The team identified good practices that will be shared with the nuclear industry globally, including:
- The use of a full-scope simulator for emergency training drills.
- The development of an advanced system to effectively control corrosion processes in the generator’s stator winding.
- The use of comprehensive probabilistic safety assessment applications in the decision-making process and training of staff.
Suggestions for improving operational safety
The mission made suggestions for improving operational safety, including:
- The operator should consider the use of leading indicators to further improve its performance.
- The operator should consider strengthening its radiation protection programme.
- The operator should consider regularly reviewing its chemistry surveillance and control programme to ensure its continuous improvement.