At the International Conference “Ukrainian Nuclear Forum 2019: Nuclear Energy – State and Trends of Development” conducted on 3-4 July 2019 in Kyiv, Ihor Shevchenko, Director of the State Scientific and Technical Center for Nuclear and Radiation Safety, presented the presentation “Preparation of the regulatory framework for implementation of a small modular reactors”.
The event was dedicated to 10th university of creation of Association “Ukrainian Nuclear Forum”.
The topicality of the issue is conditioned by that technology of small modular reactor (SMR), in particular SMR-160, is currently considered as upcoming trend of further nuclear energy development. Prior to start his speech Mr. Shevchenko mentioned that presentation contains the data not only on SMR advantages but also on possible challenges to be met by the regulator in the nearest months or even weeks.
Among main SMR-160 advantages there were listed the following: modular principle, high self-protection level, power tracing operation and more high level of protection from external hazards. However, the following disadvantages were pointed out: absence of technology reference and testing, high regulatory risks, economic benefits are possible only in case of serial construction and necessity of research to confirm the efficiency of technical decisions.
Currently there are risks of implementation of technology for small modular reactor construction in Ukraine. These risks are conditioned by the absence of experience on implementation of such projects. Besides, safety and reliability issues require social study, in particular, availability of required experimental, design and analytical research.
“Use of new technologies significantly affects licensing conditions. To start the licensing process for such reactors in Ukraine it is necessary to analyze current national regulatory framework with regard to its applicability to SMR considering design peculiarities and "differential approach". Therefore, currently we analyze NRC, СNSС, IAEA, WENRA regulatory framework used in SMR-160 development and try to define the relationship of selected documents with current regulatory framework of Ukraine. In addition, international experience shows positive practice of early involvement of the regulator in licensing process”, - mentioned Ihor Shevchenko.
For effective implementation of nuclear energy innovations, it is necessary to ensure early involvement of all parties of this process. "Of course, there is a perspective to use SMR-160 technology in Ukraine for light-water (evolutionary) design. However, technical solutions in part of small modular reactor passive systems require experimental and analytical confirmation of their efficiency and existing safety analysis methods - adaptation and further development ", - summarized SSTC NRS Director.