A joint inspection conducted by state nuclear safety regulatory authorities of Russia and Finland - Rostechnadzor and Center for Nuclear and Radiation Safety of Finland (STUK) - finished at Kola nuclear power plant. The facility operates four VVER reactors of 440 MW capacity each. A plant's release of November 23 says this inspection became the fourth joint inspection of the Russian nuclear power plants located near the Finnish state border. The first one was conducted at Leningrad NPP in 1992. In 1996 a Russian-Finnish working group carried out an inspection at Kola NPP and in 2007 at Leningrad NPP again.
At Kola, the inspectors studied seven main activity areas of the plant operation: operation organization and administration; personnel training; equipment operation; repair and maintenance; technical support and SNF and radwaste management; radiation safety; emergency planning and preparedness, as well as fire and industrial safety. According to Rostechnadzor's deputy chairman Valery Bezzubtsev, regulators always have notices of improvement and recommendations for operators. "This time, it is our pleasure to note that during the joint inspection we saw a lot of examples which need to be implemented as best practices at both Russian and Finnish plants," he said.
On his part, Mikhail Miroshnichenko, the head of department for safety of NPPs and research nuclear facilities at Rostechnadzor, who led the inspection, noted that over past 14 years Kola NPP has implemented measures aimed at improving the level of safe operation of all equipment of the plant. He said the commission had found no deficiencies which would affect safety of reactors. In turn, STUK director general Yukka Laaksonen emphasized that the Kola team has achieved progress in ensuring safe and efficient operation of the plant.
A large volume of equipment upgrades has been carried out at Kola NPP, with modern computer technologies been widely used, the STUK top executive noted. The foreign inspectors were especially interested in the Russian expertise in radioactive waste management, in particular, development of the liquid radioactive waste reprocessing complex. The Finnish experts appraised positively the work the plant carries out to improve the safety culture of the personnel. Kola NPP operational safety was positively appraised by regulators of both countries, which was reflected in the final record handed over to plant manager Vasily Omelchuk. The Kola NPP safety meets regulatory requirements and international standards, the record says.