Technology development

VNIIAES JSC has the necessary competencies to deliver a wide range of services at all stages of the NPP life cycle. The key competitive advantage of the institute is its unique long-term experience in providing scientific, technical and engineering support for the operation of nuclear power plants.

In 2018, a number of key events took place influencing the technology development at VNIIAES JSC.

  1. . The R&D project portfolio has been formed:

    • VNIIAES JSC took part in the implementation of works and services included in the R&D Implementation Plan for 2018 as part of the Rosenergoatom Joint-Stock Company’s investment program, with a total value of 1.6 billion rubles;
    • five pilot projects have been implemented;
    • VNIIAES JSC took part in the implementation of 12 R&D subjects stipulated in the VVER traditional technology solutions advancement program;
    • Comprehensive technical and economic research was carried out to justify a two-component nuclear power plant in the closed nuclear fuel cycle (as part of the Strategy-2020 for the development of nuclear energy in Russia until 2050);
    • a feasibility study was conducted on the economic efficiency and competitiveness of the small NPP with the Ritm-200 reactor facility based on independent developments by VNIIAES JSC.

  2. VNIIAES JSC has been appointed by the Rosatom State Corporation as the lead organization for nuclear power plants standardization.
  3. VNIIAES headed and carries out general management at the subcommittee of PC No. 3 "Reactor Technologies" in the technical committee of TC 322 "Nuclear Technology". 
  4. The Rosatom State Corporation has appointed VNIIAES JSC to be an expert to evaluate the nuclear facilities equipment’s compliance with the Technical Documentation.
  5. VNIIAES has been appointed as the basic organization of the metrological service for the Electric Power Division for the metrological support of measuring systems at the NPPs control systems. 
  6. A project department has been formed at VNIIAES to be in charge of standardization and pricing.
  7. Three construction licenses have been obtained:

    • nuclear facilities equipment;  
    • nuclear materials storage facilities;
    • radioactive waste storages.

  8. A license was obtained for the design and construction of nuclear facilities, storage facilities for nuclear materials and radioactive substances, and radioactive waste storage facilities.
  9. The Institute has joined ACCNI (Association of the nuclear industry construction organizations).
  10. The work was carried out on standardization, training of the customer’s personnel, development of regulatory documents on construction work packages, organizational development.
  11. In 2018, the formation of the technological development block of VNIIIAES was mostly completed.

The creation and development of nuclear power plants’ branches is one of the main technological tasks. The branch network will both provide support for the current operation of nuclear power plants, raise the status and the institute’s profile at nuclear power plants and will lead to an increase in revenue from production activities.

The branches’ business areas are formed in stages, as they form and acquire the necessary competencies, staff and tools.

During the scheduled maintenance period (March – April 2019), for the first time at Russian NPPs, specialists from the Novovoronezh and Kalinin branches performed remote control of activated deposits on the inner surface of pipelines at the Kalining NPP 1st and 2nd power block’s primary circuit. 

The Leningrad branch together with the Branch Office at the NPP sites developed design documentation, safety justification (nuclear, radiation, technical, industrial) for the use of hydrodynamic cleaning of technological channels, carried out the manufacturing, delivery, installation and testing of hydrodynamic cleaning of technological channels TMO-2M at the Leningrad NPP 3rd power block’s turbine pit.

An ISFSI defect identification section is successfully functioning as a part of the Leningrad branch.

The Volgodonsk branch is developing repair documentation not only for the needs of the Rosenergoatom Joint-Stock Company and its branches - NPPs, but also for such enterprises of the machine-building complex as Izhorskiye Zavody PJSC, ZiO-Podolsk PJSC, Krasny Kotelshchik OJSC, as part of the supply of large-sized equipment for the reactor and turbine compartments for newly constructed Russian-designed NPPs - the Belarusian NPP, the Ruppur NPP, the Akkuyu NPP and other nuclear power plants abroad and in the Russian Federation.

In 2018, the Kalinin branch conducted training for the Kalinin NPP personnel on the course “Management of accidents, severe accidents, for design basis accidents” for 150 people.

The key area for the Kursk branch of VNIIAES is the development of documentation for the management of design, beyond design and severe accidents.

All branches at NPP sites cover both production assignments and planned and economic indicators. And from year to year they demonstrate positive dynamics.

Major assignments for the near future.

  1. Advanced technological development should ensure the competitiveness of VNIIAES, including:

    • arranging R&D activities in the framework of ensuring the evolutionary development of VVER in order to improve technical and economic indicators that ensure competitiveness in foreign markets and the country's energy security;  
    • expanding the portfolio of R&D contracts under the investment program and increasing the revenue share by 30% compared to the level of 2018;
    • provision of services in the field of nuclear fuel cycle closure;
    • development and application of high-precision calculation codes (including improvement of the Digital NPP project);
    • development of an industry diagnostic system;
    • services to improve fuel efficiency in the core.

  2. Continued introduction of a risk-based approach in the VNIIAES management system.
  3. Acting as the lead organization for standardization of nuclear power plants.
  4. Obtaining licenses for the construction, operation, decommissioning of nuclear plants, the use of radioactive substances during R&D (in terms of performing work and providing services to the operating organization), manufacturing equipment for nuclear power plants.
  5. Implementation of at least 15 pilot projects on the topic of atomic hydrogen energy, organization of a project office for the development of atomic hydrogen energy. Development of technical solutions for the use of nuclear power plants’ excess capacity for the production of hydrogen at existing NPPs’ electrolysis plants and the organization of sales to marketable hydrogen consumers.
  6. Examination and optimization of design solutions, feasibility studies to justify the priority areas of technological development of nuclear energy:

    • development of optimization technical and economic models for assessing the effectiveness of innovative NPP projects, cost engineering and examination of how key products, services and design, layout and technical solutions foster competitiveness;
    • development of a feasibility study for programs, projects and groups of activities to ensure operational efficiency for the existing nuclear power plants;  
    • development and implementation of mechanisms for funding of innovative technological developments to ensure the rapid development of Russian nuclear energy.

  7. Development of work on rationing the organizational size, organizational management and increasing the economic efficiency of nuclear power units based on the established project office for standardization and pricing.
  8. Working on the assignments set by the Rosenergoatom Joint-Stock Company regarding modernization of the NPP technological equipment, including taking into account the creation of a unit to support equipment modernization.
  9. Confirmation of the VNIIAES’ competencies in the field of ensuring the uniformity of measurement for the performance of work and (or) the provision of calibration services for measuring instruments by the Federal Accreditation Service.
  10. Continuation of tests to confirm the type of control system for the containment pre-tension and the tension of armored ropes (CP and TAR) control at the Leningrad NPP-2 2nd power block.
  11. Working on the pilot R&D activities launched in 2018.
  12. Continuation of the initiatives launched in 2018 and planned for implementation in 2019 and subsequent years, including:

    • development of a concept and methods for characterizing and the procedure for confirming compliance with the radioactive waste removal acceptability criteria for nuclear power plants as set forth by the Rosenergoatom Joint-Stock Company;
    • the development of technologies and a pilot facility for the extraction and conditioning of bitumen compounds stored at nuclear power plants in Russia;
    • development of methods for optimizing the NPP equipment and pipelines steel intensity;
    • muon tomography of nuclear reactors;
    • preparation of regulatory and technical documentation on the management of nuclear power plant aging based on digital technologies, harmonized with IAEA documents and standards of national technical regulatory bodies in the field of atomic energy use.

  13. Setting up a branch at the Beloyarsk NPP, expansion of the branches' activities, taking into account support for the operation of NPPs based on an analysis of operating experience and the introduction of advanced nuclear energy technologies.

Ensuring the safety of nuclear power units at all stages of the life cycle remains the top priority for VNIIAES.