- studying of international approaches, standards, rules and advanced practice in the sphere of nuclear and radiation safety regulation to provide support to the nuclear regulatory authority in the development of the national regulatory system and implementation of international standards on nuclear and radiation safety in Ukraine taking into account the best international experience
- familiarization with principles of activities and experience of technical support organizations (TSO) in countries with developed nuclear and energy infrastructure and practice of providing support to the national regulatory authority by the TSO
- development of expert, scientific and technical potential of the SSTC NRS through the participation in international events on personnel training and experience exchange, projects
- development of SSTC NRS international partnership to participate in programs, tenders, projects, joint activities
Basic Areas, Instruments and Formats of SSTC NRS International Cooperation on Nuclear and Radiation Safety
Cooperation instruments are as follows: international technical assistance to Ukraine and other countries; international scientific and technical cooperation; activities within international organizations; information exchange, transfer of experience and technologies, personnel training.
International Technical Assistance
During the development of nuclear regulatory system in Ukraine, EU/EC, Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and U.S. Department of Energy (DoE) (together with subordinated national laboratories), EBRD, IAEA, NRS Regulatory Agencies and technical support organizations of EU countries are the main partners of the SNRIU and the SSTC NRS within the international technical assistance to Ukraine in the sphere of nuclear and radiation safety.
Cooperation with the European Commission within EU-INSC technical assistance programs (Instrument for Nuclear Safety Cooperation, 2007-2017) is one of the main areas of SSTC NRS international cooperation. Provision of services to the SNRIU by both the European TSOs and the SSTC NRS contributes to the efficient combination of international and national experience in assessing nuclear and radiation safety.
Under INSC program, EU provides technical assistance to many countries in the world. In recent years, the SSTC NRS has taken active steps to enter the international market of expert services in the sphere of nuclear and radiation safety and jointly with the European partners participated in tenders conducted by the EC. Within INSC program, the SSTC NRS provided beneficiaries in Belarus, Armenia, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan with expert services. The provision of assistance to beneficiaries in Morocco began in 2018.
The projects cover: expert support to licensing of lifecycle stages of operating Ukrainian NPPs; technical assessment of NPP safety measures; severe accident management and analysis; independent radiation monitoring; improvement of the national radioactive waste management system, etc.
U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (U.S. NRC)
Cooperation between the regulatory authorities of Ukraine and the USA in the field of nuclear and radiation safety has been efficiently developing since 1992. The parties annually agree on the program of further cooperation. The assistance to Ukraine from NRC and Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL) subordinated to it is financially supported by the United States Government. On the Ukrainian side, the SSTC NRS is the main executor of activities and provider of expert services, the beneficiary of which is the SNRIU. Each year, the topics of partnership cooperation are expanding, which enable the SSTC NRS to receive up-to-date versions of computer codes and master advanced safety analysis technologies using these codes.
The following projects are implemented jointly with the BNL: development of the regulatory framework, regulatory review and oversight activities; risk-informed regulatory activities; embrittlement of WWER reactor pressure vessel; emergency response; system of accounting and control of nuclear materials; physical protection.
European Bank for Reconstruction and Development
Since 1997, EBRD has provided assistance to the SNRIU through the administration of funds from international donor funds: Chornobyl Shelter Fund and Nuclear Safety Fund. Under EBRD support, the following construction projects have been implemented: New Safe Confinement (SIP) for ChNPP-4 destroyed during a nuclear accident in 1986, radioactive waste management facilities and facilities for long-term storage of spent nuclear fuel during ChNPP decommissioning. At the beginning of 2018, most of the planned activities have been completed. The SSTC NRS carried out a series of activities related to the licensing of measures in SIP implementation and licensing of ISF-2 and liquid radioactive waste treatment plant.
U.S. Department of Energy
The U.S. Department of Energy provides support to the implementation of joint programs of the SSTC NRS and organizations subordinated to DoE (Idaho National Laboratory and Oak Ridge National Laboratory). Therefore, in recent years, the SSTC NRS performs expert assessment of project documents and technical documents in the licensing of activities on the construction and commission of the nuclear subcritical assembly Neutron Source in the NSC Kharkiv Institute of Physics and Technologies (Kharkiv), and participates in the project “Public Outreach on the Amnesty Program of Orphan Radiation Sources”.
Norwegian Radiation Protection Regulatory Authority (NRPA), Kingdom of Norway
The cooperation of the SNRIU and NRPA (Norwegian Radiation Protection Authority) started in 2014 with the SNRIU and SSTC NRS experts assessing main threats in the regulation of nuclear and radiation safety in Ukraine. It resulted in the development of the Cooperation Roadmap for 2016-2017 and further implementation of priority projects under financial and expert support by NRPA. Such an effective approach to the joint planning of cooperation was used in 2017: the SNRIU with the involvement of the SSTC NRS developed a new Roadmap for 2018-2020, which envisages new joint projects of regulatory authorities of Norway and Ukraine on the improvement of national regulatory framework in the following areas: radioactive waste management; radiation protection; radiation safety in uranium mining industry; transport of radioactive materials; decommissioning; emergency preparedness and response; improvement of NPP emergency documents; oversight of ensuring an acceptable level of safety culture.
Swedish Radiation Safety Authority (SSM)
Within partnership with SSM, the SSTC NRS ensures support to SNRIU information website on safety issues, radiation protection and non-proliferation of nuclear weapons in Ukraine (Uatom.org); access of the regulatory authority and regional inspections to the Internet and e-mail service; functioning of a virtual corporate network. SSTC NRS experts are trained in the practical application of obtained codes for probabilistic safety analysis.
EU Technical Safety Organizations
The Federal Ministry of Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMUB), Gesellschaft für Anlagen- und Reaktorsicherheit (GRS) in Germany and the Institute for Radiological Protection and Nuclear Safety (IRSN) in France are partners in scientific and technical cooperation with the SNRIU and the SSTC NRS for many years. BMUB/GRS provide assistance to the SSTC NRS in the implementation of agreed technical projects in order to solve safety issues, which are relevant for the regulator; carry out training of Ukrainian experts in using up-to-date versions of computer codes, which GRS has transferred to the SSTC NRS.
IRSN as the most experienced, powerful and influential TSO in Europe contributes to the exchange of experience with Ukrainian experts on up-to-date methods of safety assessment, SSTC NRS involvement into joint European projects.
The IAEA technical assistance was provided by the SNRIU in the frameworks of the project on strengthening the nuclear and radiation safety infrastructure through the provision of the radiological mobile laboratory “RanidSonni” based on radiation reconnaissance vehicle. The SSTC NRS has a trained crew of experts to perform independent radiation monitoring of territories and objet that pose a potential threat to the radiation contamination of the environment and irradiation of personnel and the public.
Scientific and Technical Cooperation
Integration into European Research Area
The process of approaching and cooperation with scientific and technical community of the EU through the attraction of the SSTC NRS into the projects of Euratom framework research programs began in 2002 and continues to this day. The participation of the SSTC NRS in the projects of the Seventh Framework Program of Euratom for Research and Technological Development (2007-2013) has expanded the knowledge of Ukrainian experts in such spheres and emergency preparedness and response in case of a radiological situation (PREPARE Project), advanced probabilistic safety analysis (ASAMPSA_E) and spent fuel pool behavior during the loss of coolant or loss of water accident (AIR-SFP) (2013-2016).
The SSTC NRS is currently actively involved into the preparation of the European Joint Research Program in the Management and Disposal of Radioactive Waste, whose implementation in 2019-2023 is envisaged by the Euratom Research and Training Program for 2018.
Within the coordination project “Fuel Modeling in Accident Conditions” (FUMAC), the SSTC NRS carries numerical simulation studies using TRANSURANUS code related to experimental activities performed by other project participants. Since 2017, the SSTC NRS has participated in the project on increasing capabilities of member countries in the diversification of nuclear fuel supplies for NPPs.
In 2016, the SSTC NRS started cooperation with Qingdao Xianchu Mechanical Equipment Co. Ltd enterprise to establish a joint scientific and technical institute in China on decommissioning of NPP units. There are also intentions to define possible areas of mutually beneficial cooperation with Nuclear Power Institute of China (NPIC) with priority for activities related to nuclear and radiation safety improvement.
Cooperation within International Organizations
The SSTC NRS is an active partner of the IAEA that participates in the work of the three Standards Committees: Nuclear Safety Standards Committee (NUSSC), Emergency Preparedness and Response Standards Committee (EPReSC) and Transport Safety Standards Committee (TRANSSC). The SSTC NRS, as a national coordinator from Ukraine, provides functioning of the incident reporting system for research reactors (IRSRR), functioning of the international reporting system for operating experience (IRS) and international nuclear and radiological event scale (INES).
Since 2010, the SSTC NRS is an associate member of the European Network of Technical Safety and Support Organizations (ETSON). Experts of the Center work in expert groups of the Association, participate in joint activities and initiatives of ETSON (definition of priorities for joint research, technical and training workshops, competitions of junior researchers, joint scientific project MITHYGENE, etc.). The SSTC NRS is a co-organizer and participant of the annual EUROSAFE forums.
Since 2015, the SSTC NRS has participated in the activities of NUGENIA Association that is a European Platform, which coordinates scientific research to support safe nuclear generation II and III. Annual forums and Association Open Innovation Platform provide opportunities for finding of project ideas and partners to participate in competitions under the Euratom program.
The SSTC NRS provides support to SNRIU activities related to the participation in the Western European Nuclear Regulators Association (WENRA).
Since January 2017, the SSTC NRS has joined the Technical Council of the European Regional Network of Nuclear Regulatory Authorities and Technical Safety Organizations to use the NPP operating experience of the European Clearinghouse.
After the accident at Fukushima-1 NPP in 2011, the SSTC NRS performed the technical assessment of results of the in-depth safety review (stress tests) of NPP units and other nuclear installations operated in Ukraine and participated in the development of the National Report of Ukraine on stress tests results under the proposal and according to recommendations of the organization that unites European nuclear regulatory authorities ENSREG.
Information Exchange, Transfer of Experience and Technologies
Over the years, the SSTC NRS has built up the expert potential required to provide efficient support to the regulatory authority of Ukraine on the safety assessment in all types of nuclear activities. Many years of SSTC NRS experience in assessing safety of WWER technologies may be the largest among TSOs in Eastern Europe. The professional level and available technical resources provide the Center with the opportunity to train experts from other countries that develop nuclear industry and use nuclear technologies. The SSTC NRS has the experience in conducting training workshops of the IAEA, European Nuclear Safety Training and Tutoring Institute (ENSTTI) under the INSC program, arrangement of internships for representatives of the regulatory authorities, TSO and/or educational institutions of other countries.
SSTC NRS experts participate in IAEA events on professional training and skill improvement of personnel (technical workshops, scientific and technical conferences, internships) and in events arranged by European TSO and NRC.