Rivne NPP Tests Procedure for Spent Fuel Unloading and Transport to Centralized SFSF

Preparation for transport of spent fuel assemblies to the centralized spent fuel storage facility is underway at Rivne NPP.

Rivne NPP, which is operated by the Energoatom Company, started testing of the  procedure for spent fuel unloading from NPP reactors, further transfer to railways and transport to the centralized spent fuel storage facility (centralized SFSF) in Kyiv oblast.

The Press Service of the Energoatom Company informed of this.

“Preparation for transport of spent fuel assemblies to the centralized spent fuel storage facility (centralized SFSF) is underway at Rivne NPP. Optimal process of spent fuel loading into containers and movement at the industrial site is being determined using transport container simulators”.

The Press Service informed that the work should be performed exceptionally during pre-commissioning activities.

It was emphasized that “the whole way of container transfer from reactor to railway platform is tracked”.

According to Pavlo Kovtoniuk, RNPP Executive Director General, work at power unit 3 was completed and work at power unit 1 was started; at the same time, completion of all activities is planned until early 2018.

“All preparatory activities at RNPP from inspection of buildings and structures to loading of spent nuclear fuel on railway platforms, including preparation and agreement of documentation, are divided into separate blocks that will optimize both performance and control of all activities”, Kovtoniuk said and added that performance of all activities is coordinated during weekly meetings with participation of the technology owner Holtec International Company, Energoatom Company, Kyiv Research and Design Institute Energoproect, State Nuclear Regulatory Inspectorate of Ukraine and expert organizations.

The Agreement for construction of the centralized SFSF between the Energoatom Company and the winner of appropriate tender Holtec International Company was signed at the end of 2004, but due to several reasons including changes in the political situation and the economic crisis in 2008, the project was actually frozen.

In April 2016, the postponement of centralized SFSF launch to the end of 2018 was announced due to the absence of funds for the project and problems related to land plot allocation for the storage facility.

According to Serhii Bozhko, the Chairperson of the State Nuclear Regulatory Inspectorate of Ukraine, the storage facility will be constructed in compliance with the international nuclear safety standards.

On 12 October 2016, the Cabinet made a decision to allocate land plots with the total area of 45.2 ha in the exclusion area (Kyiv oblast) for construction of the centralized SFSF.

In early November 2016, the SNRIU approved the conclusion of the State NRS review based on the previous safety analysis of the centralized SFSF.

According to the information submitted by Energoatom Company, due to the absence of own storage facility, Ukraine spends annually 200 million dollars for services of the Russian Federation national nuclear corporation ROSATOM related to spent fuel transport and processing on the territory of the Russian Federation.

According to Energoatom Company, the main components of Holtec technology are: multipurpose container with sealed case providing safe confinement and ideal conditions for spent fuel storage; HI–STAR container for spent fuel transport from nuclear power plants designed for radiation protection and protection of multipurpose container against external impact during transport and storage; HI–STORM reinforced concrete storage container for biological protection and passive heat removal from spent nuclear fuel stored in multipurpose container. Multipurpose containers from Rivne, Khmelnitsky and South Ukraine NPPs using HI– TAR transport containers will be transported to the territory of the centralized SFSF through public railway.

UNIAN Information Agency