A group of international experts from the World Association of Nuclear Power Plant Operators (WANO), led by Maxim Dyrovaty, Peer Review Team Leader from the WANO Moscow Centre, conducted an operational peer review at Russia’s Novovoronezh nuclear plant from 13 to 27 August.
The work of the plant personnel was monitored by 12 WANO experts, at all operating power units of the plant and general plant systems. For two weeks, the experts reviewed the production activities of the Novovoronezh NPP in 12 functional and inter-functional areas: from repair and engineering support to radiation protection and personnel training.
The main goal of the peer review is to improve the safety and reliability of NPPs by comparing operation with global best practices and criteria set out in WANO documents. The total experience of WANO experts in the nuclear power industry was 390 years and 335 peer reviews.
“I am glad that the long-awaited partner audit of the Novovoronezh NPP took place in person. The work was carried out in the spirit of openness and cooperation, which contributed to obtaining reliable and objective results of the review of the nuclear power plant's activities,” said Dyrovaty at the final meeting.
Anatoly Kirichenko, First Deputy Director of the WANO Moscow Center, emphasised that the “spirit of WANO” is present at Novovoronezh NPP - over the past 10 years of cooperation, 47 different events have been held at the plant, and technical support missions are regularly undertaken. All this helps the staff to view the operation process with fresh eyes, to see their strengths and weaknesses.
Kirichenko presented Anatoly Fedorov, First Deputy Chief Engineer of Novovoronezh NPP, with a certificate confirming that the peer review was successful, without violations, in accordance with the rules and regulations. At the final meeting, WANO experts noted the openness of the Novovoronezh plant employees, prompt and complete provision of the necessary information, interest in cooperation and constructive interaction. Based on the results of the peer review, a detailed report will be drawn up, which will be submitted to the management of nuclear utility Rosenergoatom.
Novovoronezh NPP was the first nuclear plant in Russia to host VVER-type reactors (light water-cooled pressurised reactors) and its reactors are leading VVER prototypes. The first power unit at the site was commissioned in 1964 (VVER-210), the second in 1969 (VVER 365), the third in 1971 (VVER-440), the fourth in 1972 (VVER-440), and the fifth in 1980 (VVER-1000). Units 1&2 were shut down in 1984 and 1990 and unit 3 in 2016. Unit four was shut down for modernisation work and has since resumed operation, while unit 5 recently underwent an upgrade and is licensed to operate until 2035. Unit 1 of the
Novovoronezh II (a VVER-1200, also known as Novovoronezh 6) began commercial operation in February 2017 and unit 2 Novovoronezh 7) in November 2019.