Ukraine & Energoatom joins EPRI program for engineering support of NPPs

The move will allow Energoatom to use the best international practices and modern engineering support methods for nuclear power plants. Photo from Energoatom

Ukraine’s national nuclear energy generating company Energoatom has joined the program of the Electric Power Research Institute, Inc., (EPRI), an American independent, nonprofit organization, for engineering support of nuclear power plants (NPPs) operation. The relevant agreement was signed by acting President of Energoatom Pavlo Pavlyshyn and Vice President of Nuclear and Chief Nuclear Officer for EPRI Neil Wilmshurst at Energoatom’s central office in Kyiv on December 13.

Read also Ukraine’s nuclear power giant generates more electricity than planned in 11 months Welcoming the participants of the meeting, Pavlyshyn noted that Energoatom had developed its own powerful system of scientific, technical and engineering support for the NPPs operation. “Ten of the fifteen operating units at Ukrainian nuclear power plants are now operating in the mode exceeding the designed lifespan, having received relevant licenses from the regulatory body, which was preceded by large-scale work to upgrade and replace equipment at the units,” he said. Pavlyshyn stressed that the Engineering Support Program was selected as the first stage of cooperation with EPRI, being the most relevant for the company and corresponding to its almost all current tasks. The cooperation will be expanded, the official assured.

“I believe that the signing of an agreement with EPRI will allow Energoatom to use the best international practices and modern engineering support methods for nuclear power plants.

This will further improve their safety and efficiency, as well as reduce operating and maintenance costs,” he said. “I am confident of our long and fruitful cooperation to ensure the reliable operation of the Ukrainian NPPs, which stably ensure electricity generation, accounting for about 55% of the country’s total power output.”

In turn, Wilmshurst noted that the signing of the agreement was preceded by about a year of working contacts and meetings between Ukrainian and American experts. He said he was pleased to welcome Ukraine’s accession to the Institute’s programs. According to Wilmshurst, NPP operators from Slovakia, Hungary and the Czech Republic that operate VVER-type reactors have already became EPRI members.

About 80% of all NPPs in the world enjoy EPRI’s support, which proves that it is truly a global scientific organization.

He added that the agreement with Energoatom would give impetus to paying even more attention to and focusing efforts on VVER reactors operated by the Ukrainian company. Wilmshurst says this is the first step in this long-term partnership. EPRI’s Mark Woodby presented an overview of the Engineering Support Program for NPPs operation.

In particular, he said that guidelines and methodologies are being developed within the Program based on engineering solutions that can improve the reliability of NPP equipment.

Woodby also noted that program participants would have access to research results and recommendations on the following issues: technical condition assessment, development and implementation of reliability programs, assessment of resources and their life extension, long-term planning and optimization of assets, diagnostic methods, approaches to mitigating the effects of material degradation, methods of repairing and replacing equipment, development of professional skills, and advanced training. EPRI’s representative emphasized that program participants are also provided with software to mitigate and control the effects of equipment material degradation based on the CHECWORKSTM and BPWORKSTM risk ranking, integrated life cycle management programs, and interactive training modules.

(c)UNIAN 2019

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