Sweden will allocate SEK4m ($464,635) to finance the cooperation programme between Russian nuclear utility Rosenergoatom and the Swedish Radiation Safety Authority (SSM) in 2016, Rosenergoatom said on 3 March. The funds will be used for safety improvement at the Leningrad and Kola NPPs. Russia and Sweden have been co-operating on safety for more than 20 years, and many of projects are co-funded.

SSM representative Tor Andreas Stenberg said, the cooperation programme this year will be focused on exchange of experience in safety improvement and physical protection, radwaste management and decommissioning. Equipment supplies for upgrades at the plants are also planned. Under discussion are the details of new generation video endoscope supplies for technical diagnostics of parts of the equipment which are difficult to access.

The 2016 maintenance and repair campaign at Kola NPP began on 1 March. The first outage will be at unit 3. Kola NPP’s four VVER-440 reactors were commissioned in 1973, 1974, 1981 and 1984. Lifetime performance of all four has been extended for different periods beyond 30-year design lifetime: till 2018 for unit 1, till 2019 for unit 2, till 2026 for unit 3 and till 2039 for unit 4.

"The total duration of the scheduled preventive repair of all four power units will be 259 days," the plant said. During the repair campaign, in addition to the routine maintenance and diagnostics of the essential and auxiliary equipment, "29 measures will be carried out to enhance safety and reconstruction and modernization projects will be conducted". At units 1 and 2 metal samples will taken from the reactor vessel to be sent to NRC Kurchatov Institute for testing. Repairs at unit 2 will include annealing of the reactor vessel "to restore metal parameters and continue safe operation of the reactor plant".