Russian nuclear engineers invite foreign suppliers to plant projects

07 December 2015

ASE Group has outlined opportunities for foreign companies to participate in Russia's nuclear power plant projects. The group consolidates the engineering know-how of Russian state nuclear corporation Rosatom through the ongoing merger of NIAEP, ASE and Atomenergoproekt.

Kazarin at Atomexpo-Europe 2015 - 460
Atomproekt's Kazarin at Atomexpo-Europe 2015 (Image: World Nuclear News)

A number of representatives of ASE Group attended the Atomex-Europe 2015 conference in Budapest last week, where they explained the process of bidding for work to non-Russian suppliers of products and services.

Valeriy Zorya, head of department for nuclear power construction in Europe at ASE Group, noted that Rosatom currently has 30 VVER nuclear reactor units at the design or construction phase in nine countries - Bangladesh, Belarus, China, Hungary, India, Iran, Russia, Turkey and Vietnam. The Russian company's role in these projects ranges from the provision of services to complex turnkey contracts.

"Construction of a nuclear power plant brings numerous opportunities to the local industry. The typical CAPEX structure of a nuclear power plant construction project comprises 50% for engineering and construction work, 35-40% for balance of plant requirements and other equipment - which is open to local companies - and 10-15% for the nuclear steam supply system, provided by Rosatom." Zorya said.

The corporation uses an Equipment-Catalogue (E-Catalogue) system, he said, with functions serving the contractor/engineering company - such as with the selection of local producers and the availability and cost of equipment on the local market; the customer/generating company - such as with a standard description of all the products to be used and preliminary estimates of the plant construction costs; and suppliers/producers - such as with the ability to plan sales and to develop third markets beyond the given project.

VVER-1200 design

Alexander Kazarin, deputy CEO and VVER branch director at Atomproekt, outlined the stage of development of eight of its projects. Atomproekt accounts for 40% of Russia's nuclear reactor design work both in Russia and abroad.

BN-800 Beloyarsk 4, VVER-1000 Tianwan 3 & 4, VVER-1200 Leningrad 1 & 2, and VVER-1200 Belarus 1 & 2 are all at the construction stage, Kazarin said. The VVER-1200 Hanhikivi 1 project is at the design stage, while the VVER-1200 Paks project is at the pre-design stage. The company is in negotiations for the VVER-1200 Ninh Thuan and El Dabaa projects in Vietnam and Egypt, respectively.

The VVER-1200 is an evolution of the VVER-1000, Kazarin said. It has an installed nominal power output per unit of 1198 MWe, a design lifetime of 60 years, gross and net efficiency rates of 37.46% and 34.8%, an auxiliary power consumption of 7.48%, and an installed output utilization factor of 0.9.

Its main technical features include a double containment, four trains of active safety systems, beyond design-basis accident management engineering measures - a core catcher, hydrogen passive autocatalytic re-combiners and a passive heat removal system - based mainly on passive principles, he said.

Atomproekt's procurement activities overseas include the design of certain buildings and systems, such as security systems; the design of systems for which equipment is purchased from abroad, such as instrumentation and control (I&C), turbine island and diesel generator units; engineering surveys; as well as independent consultancy, authorisation and examination services.

At Tianwan in China, for example, local companies have been involved in providing I&C, emergency power supply, support hanger, and normal power supply systems, he said.

Sub-contractors performing work or rendering services for Rosatom are required to develop, introduce and maintain a quality management system in accordance with ISO 9001:2008 or its national equivalent, he said. When performing contractual work for the components important for plant safety, the sub-contractor must develop a quality assurance program that complies with the general design program. Detailed quality-related requirements for suppliers are provided in the quality assurance program for the plant design.

The use of Rosatom's "unique software and hardware system makes the design and application of 'virtual power generating units' possible for the comprehensive verification of all plant projects," Kazarin said.

Procurement plans

Elena Kazakova, head of procurement in ASE Group's methodology and organization unit, said that last year the company had procured equipment, works and services worth more than RUB 175 billion ($2.53 billion). Of that, Russia-based projects accounted for RUB 42.1 billion and those overseas for RUB 133.4 billion. This year that total is expected to be more than RUB 220 billion, with Russian and overseas projects accounting for RUB 77.75 billion and RUB 190.3 billion, respectively.

The procurement plan it projects for 2016 is currently worth more than RUB 100 billion, with the Ropoor, Kursk, Kundankulam, Belarus and Rostov plant projects accounting for, respectively, 48.39%, 26.27%, 16.51%, 8.67% and 0.16%. That plan, by equipment type, can be divided into long-lead items 72%, heat machinery equipment 14%, electrical equipment 8% and valves 6%.

To date, the ASE Group has procured equipment manufactured in 33 countries. For example, Austria has supplied emergency shutdown systems, and Hungary has provided centrifugal pumps.

ASE details its procurement opportunities at and Its electronic trading platforms are at, and

Vitaly Karmalyugin, head of procurement at Atomproekt, noted that Russia's July 2011 law 'On procurement of the goods, works and services by legal entities of certain types' and Rosatom's Uniform Procurement Standard are the main legal regulations potential suppliers to Russian nuclear projects need to familiarise themselves with.

Participation in the corporation's procurement activities is through tender, auction, a request for proposals, a request for prices, or competitive negotiations, Karmalyugin said. Most are through the request for proposals, a process that takes, on average, 40 days before contract signing, he said. Procurement by tender takes about 65 days.

"A request for proposals and a tender follow a points system, according to the following criteria - price, terms of payment, timing of delivery, functional or qualitative characteristics of the goods or services being offered, the quality of the technical procedure, and the qualification and experience of the participant," Karmalyugin said. "As one of the leaders in Russia's power sector, Atomproekt is continuously aiming to increase the efficiency of its procurement activities. Participation in Atomproekt procurement is not only beneficial cooperation with one of the sector leaders, it is also an opportunity to take part in the development of the nuclear power engineering."

Artem Martyanov, head of the E-Catalogue department at ASE Group, said the database includes nuclear power plant product classifications, a directory of specimen products, a documentation library and a registry of industry suppliers.

"The main purposes of the E-Catalogue are the simplification of the design technologies and procurement activities, and the creation of a centralized database for equipment and materials. It covers the entire range and nomenclature of products procured for a nuclear power plant; a common unified approach to the formation of templates for the description of any given product; and it provides a complete, standardized description of each product applied at any stage of the plant life cycle," Martyanov said.

The E-Catalogue electronic database - which can be found at - can assist, for example, with 3D modelling of engineering facilities. For the Belarus project alone, the E-Catalogue has been used to generate 15,586 of the 15,933 3D models of the required items of equipment, he said. At the contract development stage, it can provide the terms of reference and specification for the product or service, he said.

Rosatom's so-called Multi-D technology is a set of interconnected solutions used to create a system to manage the lifecycle of nuclear power plants starting with the design of a future reactor unit and ending with its decommissioning. The technology implements 3D modelling features to visualize construction and installation operations even before the construction phase begins. The corporation says the Multi-D technology can reduce construction time and costs while improving labour productivity, quality and safety of operations.

Foreign experience

Frantíšek Fiedler, technical director at EGP Invest LLC, described the Czech engineering and design company's experience of working with Atomproekt on the multipurpose sodium-cooled fast neutron research reactor, or MBIR by its Russian acronym.

EGP Invest is part of ÚJV Řež a. s. - the former Nuclear Research Institute Řež. It has worked with a number of design companies in the Czech Republic and Russia. Its project partners have included Swedish engineering company AF Consult, Czech companies FANS, Skoda JS, BHM, as well as Atomproekt. It has also worked with Russian design companies on the construction of VVER reactors in Jaslovske, Bohunice, Mochovce, Dukovany and Temelin.

Its role as a sub-contractor in the MBIR project involves working with the Saint Petersburg branch of Atomproekt on design documentation for the turbine hall of the reactor complex - to be located at the site of the Research Institute of Atomic Reactors, in Dimitrovgrad.

"From the technical point of view, the process of preparing design documentation in accordance with Russian norms and standards was rather complicated and required additional skills and knowledge," Fiedler said.

"Accordingly, we can say that at present the experience gained during the project's implementation, is something our company can use both for future activities in Russia and also in cooperation with other Czech companies working in Russia. I should emphasise that our design specialists worked out the necessary structure and stages of preparation of the Russian design documents and found technical differences in several design stages and functions. We believe we were successful in the coordination and regulation of 3D modelling software and both companies have had the opportunity to exchange information online by means of this design model."

The two companies have also held workshops, during which cooperation in decommissioning and nuclear waste management were also discussed, he said.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News