Leningrad operator shows commitment to safety, says IAEA

30 November 2017

The operator of the Leningrad Nuclear Power Plant in Russia has demonstrated a commitment to safety and is taking many improvement initiatives, an Operational Safety Review Team (Osart) team from the International Atomic Energy Agency has concluded.

Leningrad NPP - 460 (Rosenergoatom)
The Leningrad plant (Image: Rosenergoatom)

The 17-day mission was completed today on 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, a subsidiary of Russian state nuclear corporation Rosatom.

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 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," she added.

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; and the use of comprehensive probabilistic safety assessment applications in the decision-making process and training of staff.

The mission made suggestions for improving operational safety, including: the use of leading indicators to further improve its performance; strengthening the radiation protection programme; and regular reviews of chemistry surveillance and control programme to ensure its continuous improvement.

Vladimir Pereguda, the Leningrad plant's director, noted that it is the sixth plant in Russia to undergo an Osart review in the past 12 years.

The 12-member OSART team comprised experts from Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Czech Republic, France, Romania, Slovakia, South Africa, Sweden and two IAEA officials. It will submit its final report to the Russian government within three months.

Nuclear power generates 17% of electricity in Russia, which operates 35 power reactors and is constructing seven others, including two pressurised-water reactors (VVER-491) at the Leningrad site.

Osart missions aim to improve operational safety by objectively assessing safety performance using the IAEA’s safety standards and by proposing recommendations where appropriate.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News