Nuclear Energy in Ukraine

South Ukrainian nuclear power plants – not ready for a safe operation in over-design period

On October 14, 2013 the State Nuclear Regulatory Inspectorate of Ukraine (SNRIU) published a draft decision on the possibility of lifetime extension for the unit 1 of the South Ukrainian nuclear power plant (SUNPP-1) beyond its technical design life time up to December 2, 2023.

SUNPP-1’s license is going to expire on December 2nd 2013. The unit has been stopped already in March 2013 for necessary maintenance and safety upgrade works. SNRIU conditioned the possibility of the unit’s re-start and lifetime extension to a list of measures that needs to be implemented, including the list of measures from the Complex (Consolidated) Safety Upgrade Program for Ukrainian NPPs.

In October 2013, NECU commissioned an analysis from a technical expert on nuclear power plants with the task to assess whether the technical state of SUNPP-1 is proved to be sufficient to allow for safe operations for an extra 10 years and whether the necessary safety upgrades have been fully implemented.

Out amalysis shows that out of the measures that were named by SNRIU as obligatory for the unit’s lifetime extension consideration, 38 measures have not been completed (as of October 10th) and for 13 of them neither the status of implementation nor the expected implementation timing was specified in the report. Hovewer, the majority of them are crucial for ensuring safety in case of emergency situations. Severe accidents guidelines are not developed, as well as still not taken measures on the increase of reliability of power supply and provisions for long-term residual heat removal from the active zone, as well as from cooling ponds for spent nuclear fuel.

More details on other findings and our recommendations are available in our briefing.

Download “SouthUkrainian NPP – not ready for a safe operation in over-design period“.