Permanent representatives of foreign countries to international organizations in Vienna paid a visit to Murmansk Region

27.06.2014 16:53 Permanent representatives of foreign countries to international organizations in Vienna paid June 23-25 a three-day visit to Murmansk Region. The visit was invited by the Russian side as an IAEA Member State and a member of the Agency’s Board of Governors.

The delegation was consisted of diplomats representing Algeria, Armenia, China, Egypt, India, Japan, Jordan, Kuwait, Nicaragua, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Africa, Turkey, and Vietnam. IAEA Deputy Director General Alexander Bychkov was also on the delegation list. On the Russian side the delegates were accompanied by representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia, the Permanent Mission of Russia to International Organizations in Vienna, and ROSATOM.

The first item of the visit program was a tour of the on-shore storage pad for reactor compartments at the North-West Center SevRAO in Saida Bay. “This is the construction, which can be called an international one. It demonstrates to what extend the international cooperation is important in this area. All facilities are costly and one has to use the technologies, which allow secure disposal of nuclear waste,” Vladimir Voronkov, the Permanent Representative of Russia to International Organizations in Vienna, stated.

The next site for the diplomats to visit was Rosatomflot. The diplomats were informed about the history and development plans of Russia’s nuclear icebreaker fleet, having visited both the first nuclear icebreaker Lenin and the modern ship Yamal. Rosatomflot CEO Vyacheslav Ruksha told the diplomats that currently ROSATOM had placed with the Baltijskiy Zavod an order to build three nuclear icebreakers of the new generation, which nuclear reactors had a substantially longer service lives. “The new nuclear installations, which will be installed on the icebreakers, are absolutely new in terms of complexity. They will need recharging once in 10-15 years, so the specially trained personnel will be required. This is an issue of competences. We are setting up a separate specialized unit, which will be responsible for reactor refueling only,” V. Ruksha noted.

Then, the delegation came to Kola nuclear power plant. The visitors made a tour of the main control room and the turbine island. “We were able to look at operation of the nuclear power plant and the liquid radioactive waste reprocessing technology. We saw everything Russia has managed to achieve over the 60 years of nuclear power development,” Ambassador of Vietnam Thiep Nguyen, the Chairman of the Board of Governors, said. “Certainly, my country would like to build a plant like Kola NPP. We fully trust in Russia and ROSATOM and are ready to cooperate further,” he added.

The guests showed a great interest in the liquid radioactive waste treatment complex (LRW TC), which was commissioned at Kola NPP in 2006. They were interested in the treatment process, the technology development history, and current capacities of the complex, which allow substantially reducing volumes of accumulated radwaste through making them a nonradioactive molten salt. The guests were demonstrated the equipment, which had been installed at the plant during implementation of the post-Fukushima measures. Kola Plant Manager Vasily Omelchuk gave details of the strengthening the plant’s safety infrastructure, including the commissioned instrumentation. Also, the back-up diesel generator was started up for demonstration during the tour.

“The improvements that have been introduced over three years passed after the accident at Fukushima-Daiichi NPP are clearly seen at Kola NPP,” Ambassador of Japan Toshiro Ozawa noted. “A number of technical features have significantly grown, including diesel generators, pumps, mobile generators. All these are of great significance for safety, which of interest of all NPP operators,” he said.

In the end of the visit the ambassadors were shown an upgraded full-scale simulator installed in the training department. The simulator is a replica of the main control room of Unit 4 and is used for training and maintaining skills of the plant operators.

“The diplomats showed colossal interest. I didn’t expect the number of questions the guests asked,” Kola Plant Manager Vasily Omelchuk, who personally guided the tour of the plant, noted. “They asked literally about all spheres of life of the plant from the use of nuclear fuel through interaction with environmental protection entities,” he said.

The foreign ambassadors highly appraised outcomes of their visit to Kola NPP, communication with its management and the level of information provided.

Communications Department of ROSATOM