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Board of the State Nuclear Regulatory Inspectorate has confirmed that ZNPP Unit No.5 is ready for works on design lifetime extension

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15.05.2020

The Board of the State Nuclear Regulatory Inspectorate of Ukraine has approved a resolution on amendments to the license for  activities of the life cycle stage “operation of ‘Zaporizhzhya NPP nuclear facility”, concerning the operation of Zaporizhzhya NPP unit 5 in the shutdown state. (The design life term of ZNPP unit 5 is going to expire on 27 May 2020, and on 16 May 2020, the power unit was removed out of service for scheduled outage).

The Board’s resolution regarding the operation of power unit No.5 in the shutdown state, provides for removing all fuel from the reactor core and placing it to at-reactor spent fuel pool for the period required for NNEGC Energoatom to finalize all necessary organizational and technical measures in order to allow unit transfer to long term operation.

The Board’s meeting was preceded by the inspection survey of ZNPP unit 5 that was carried out by the Commission including  representatives of the State Nuclear Regulatory Inspectorate of Ukraine (the SNRIU), the State Scientific and Technical Center for Nuclear and Radiation Safety (the SSTC NRS) and the State Emergency Service of Ukraine (SESU). The Commission checked the power unit readiness for operation when it is shutdown after the expiry of its design lifetime, and confirmed that there are no factors and circumstances which might demonstrate the impossibility of long term operation of ZNPP unit 5 in principle.

As a result, the SNRIU’s Board, by its another resolution, resolved to consider it possible to address renewing the operation of ZNPP Unit 5 at power generation capacity levels subject to the completion of a Periodic Safety Review Report taking into account the results of the state nuclear and radiation safety expert review. As set forth in the Board’s resolution, during the 213-days outage campaign of ZNPP unit 5, Energoatom has to implement a series of works and actions on safety improvements for this power unit, to be endorsed by the SNRIU.

For reference. Zaporizhzhya NPP is the largest energy facility in Ukraine and Europe, with a total installed capacity of 6 000 MW. The first power unit was put into operation in 1984, Unit 2 was commissioned in 1985, Unit 3 – in 1986, Unit 4 – in 1987, and Unit 5 and Unit 6 were commissioned in 1989 and 1995, respectively. Compared to all other generating capacities in Ukraine, ZNPP has the lowest cost of electricity production (37 kopeks/kW*h).

Efforts on lifetime extension of power units at Ukrainian nuclear power plants, including Zaporizhzhya NPP site, are implemented according to international standards of the IAEA and taking account of all requirements jf the SNRIU. A resolution regarding the potential for operating each power unit during its beyond-design life term is adopted by the State Nuclear Regulatory Inspectorate of Ukraine taking into account the results of its periodic safety review.

Nowadays, there are 11 power units of NPPs that have their lifetime extended, four of which are located on Zaporizhzhya NPP site.