Russia’s domestic nuclear agency Atomenergoprom will establish a training facility in Bulgaria to train foreign specialists to work at Russian-design NPPs.

An affiliate company, OJSC Atomtekhenergo, will conduct a set of operations to design the Belene training facility (TF) under CJSC Atomstroyeksport’s order. This will be the first TF built for a foreign NPP as part of a start-up facility, according to Atomenergoprom.

The project provides for a ready-to-operate TF focused on simultaneous training of all the Belene NPP operational personnel (not less than 670 specialists). A training system with specifically designed organizational, methodological and training materials, TF’s highly experienced teaching staff, required auditoriums, and equipment, including a full-scale simulator will be established at the Belene NPP’s TF.

According to OJSC Atomtekhenergo’s director Eduard Saakov, Russian and Bulgarian instructors will work in association to train operational staff for the Belene NPP. This approach with respect to the best world experience is guaranteed to be implemented at the highest level which will contribute to excluding human factor risks.

OJSC Atomtekhenergo’s specialists have now started to develop technical requirements for the training facility, engineering design, and to choose the equipment. At the same time designing full-scale simulator has been started. After the design works the training facility’s construction, necessary equipment mounting and tooling will be performed.

With a long-term experience in training personnel at training facilities OJSC Atomtekhenergo’s specialists consider advanced requirements for personnel’s knowledge and skills required for operation at contemporary nuclear units while elaborating the Belene TF project. The mandatory elements at the training facility are a full-scale module and classrooms for practical training of electric engineering, automatic training process control system, equipment, rotary mechanisms, reservoirs and heat exchangers’ maintenance. Particularly OJSC Atomtekhenergo is planning to use a vast amount of computer training systems, thus planning to elaborate training programs and educational and methodical material for these computer training systems at the new training facility.

Personnel for operation and maintenance of VVER and RBMK reactor units are currently being trained at OJSC Atomtekhenergo’s two affiliates – the Novovoronezh and Smolensk training facilities.

The Novovoronezh TF specializes in training operational personnel for VVER NPPs and has all the necessary full-scale simulators, required classrooms and auditoriums, and highly-qualified training staff. The Smolensk TF specializes in training operational staff for RBMK NPPs. OJSC Atomtekhenergo’s training facilities have trained 5,397 specialists for foreign NPPs, including specialists for the Tianwan NPP (China), the Kudankulam NPP (India), and the Busher NPP (Iran). More than 4,900 specialists for the Russian NPPs were trained in 2008.

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