Scientific and practical conference "30 years on guard of security: achievements, priorities and plans"

On August 18, 2021, the Ukrainian Nuclear Society, with the participation of SE «NNEGC «Energoatom», held an international scientific and practical conference on "30 Years of Safety: Achievements, Priorities and Plans".

The event was attended by leading experts in the field of nuclear energy, industry veterans and international partners of the Company, including representatives of the IAEA, WANO, Westinghouse, Polenergia and Framatome, as well as NFC STE NSC KIPT.

"Large-scale transformations in the state are based primarily on its energy security and independence," Yurii Kulba, Director of the Department of Nuclear Energy and Nuclear Industry of the Ministry of Energy, addressed the participants, "It is important not to deviate from the trajectory declared in the Energy Strategy of Ukraine. He added: among the outstanding achievements of SE «NNEGC «Energoatom» as one of the country's largest producers of carbon-free electricity are the commissioning of the first start-up complex of the Centralized Spent Fuel Storage Facility, continued diversification of fresh nuclear fuel supply sources and development of domestic components of the nuclear fuel cycle."

During the conference, experts discussed a wide range of issues, in particular

the status of implementation of the Comprehensive (Consolidated) Safety Upgrade Program for NPPs;
improvement of the personnel training system as a tool for developing a safety culture;
optimization of maintenance and repair based on risk-informed management of NPP configuration.
"Over the 30 years of independent Ukraine's existence, the nuclear industry has not only withstood challenges of varying complexity, but also demonstrated its reliability," said Danko Biley, Inspector General and Safety Director of SE «NNEGC «Energoatom». All these years, he emphasized, nuclear scientists have made every effort and continue to work systematically to improve the safety of domestic NPPs:

implementing comprehensive programs to modernize and improve the safety of operating power units;
developing a personnel training system, the high quality of which has been recognized by many countries;
develop unique training complexes for training specialists on their own.
Ukrainians have a lot to be proud of, Mr. Biley is convinced, and one of the main reasons for pride is the progress of the national nuclear generation.

Opening the first section of the conference "Ukrainian NPPs: 30 Years of Safe Operation", its moderator, Volodymyr Bronnikov, President of the Ukrainian Nuclear Society, emphasized that the lack of safety culture is the main reason for all severe accidents in nuclear energy.

"Signs of this deficit are insufficient awareness of the need to improve safety, satisfaction with its current level and unwillingness to improve it beyond regulatory requirements," said the president of UkrNS. "Such signs were recorded at the Japanese Fukushima Daiichi NPP before the 2011 accident, and therefore it is extremely important to constantly improve safety culture.

In 1989, three years after the Chornobyl accident, leading nuclear operators founded the World Association of Nuclear Operators (WANO). Its mission is to maximize the safety and reliability of nuclear power plants around the world through joint efforts to improve operations through mutual support, information exchange, and the use of positive experience.

The history of the global nuclear power industry shows that there are no trifles in this industry and there should be no room for any omissions or miscalculations, emphasized Viktor Livinsky, WANO representative at Zaporizhzhya NPP. According to him, the main element of safety is a person. "Knowledge, professionalism, behavior, human culture - all this affects safety. No wonder they say that safety culture begins when safe behavior becomes a habit," Mr. Livinsky said.

He said that the WANO is currently developing the "Course for Excellence" project, which aims to improve the safety culture of each nuclear power plant to the highest possible level. In the course of WANO's partner inspections, nuclear power plants around the world will compete by gaining points for compliance and safety improvement of all production processes. "We understand that our excellence is the professionalism of our personnel," summarized the representative of the Association.

Concluding the scientific and practical conference, acting President ofSE «NNEGC «Energoatom» Petro Kotin expressed his gratitude to the veterans of the Ukrainian nuclear industry, colleagues and foreign partners for the fruitful work at the conference and valuable exchange of experience. He emphasized that compliance with the highest standards of nuclear and radiation safety is the main priority of the Company. According to the Head of the Company, for all the years of its activity, and in October this year SE «NNEGC «Energoatom» will celebrate a quarter of a century, no accident or incident exceeding Level 1 on the international INES scale has occurred at the operating NPPs of Ukraine. The levels of emissions and discharges of radioactive substances did not exceed a tenth of a percent of the permissible levels.

"The Company has always been aware of the full responsibility for the safe operation of nuclear facilities," said Mr. Kotin, "Nuclear power plants require personnel with special training, deep immersion in the production process and strict adherence to the principles of safety culture. SE «NNEGC «Energoatom» requires each employee, without exception, to have a deep understanding that the safe operation of NPPs, health and lives of people depend on their personal safety culture."

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