On 21 November 2022, Rosenergoatom (a part of ROSATOM's electric power division) and the World Association of Nuclear Operators (WANO) held the roundtable “Ensuring Operational Availability of New Units: Challenges and Opportunities” under the auspices of ATOMEXPO-2022 International Forum in Sochi.
Key issues discussed by the roundtable participants focused on supporting new operators in ensuring safe and reliable operation of new NPPs, both in Russia and internationally. Additionally, discussion participants shared experiences in ensuring operational availability and commissioning of new units and discussed ways to overcome challenges faced by new organisations today.
Key speakers included representatives of WANO, Rosenergoatom, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the Paks II NPP (Hungary), the Rooppur NPP (Bangladesh) and the Akkuyu NPP (Turkey).
It was especially emphasized that reliable and safe operation of new units can only be made possible by thorough and timely measures to assure their operational availability.
Vasily Aksyonov, Director of WANO Moscow Centre, said: “Readiness of new units for safe operation is very important today due to the development of nuclear power in new regions. New power units are now being built on 32 sites across 18 countries. The Moscow Centre, in particular, works with operators from nine countries. Our mission is to support new operators in achieving the required level of operational readiness and safe operation. WANO has developed relevant support programmes and additional services.”
Nikita Konstantinov, Deputy Director General - Director for Business Development at Rosenergoatom and head of WANO's New Unit Assistance Working Group, remarked: “Nuclear power is viewed today by global energy companies and countries as a clean, safe and reliable energy source. The lessons learned from the events that shaped the industry over the last decades must be taken into account by a future operator at the early stages. Our mission is to accumulate this unique knowledge and pass it on to newcomers.”
WANO New Unit Assistance Industry Working Group (NUA I-WG) was established five years ago and has been successfully working to address the needs of the global nuclear industry in assisting new entrants in the construction of new units. Today it a collaborative body that brings together over 100 members of the global nuclear community, including NPP operators from over 50 nuclear power companies.
The Roadmap to Operational Readiness, the first major result of NUA I-WG, was presented during the roundtable. It was developed on the basis of the pooled experience and knowledge of participants who represent WANO members, the IAEA, the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) and the All-Russian Research Institute for Nuclear Power Plant Operation (VNIIAES).