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Configuration Management Benchmarking Group
Regional Workshop in Russia

Submitted by Rick Harris, CM Lead, Duke Energy’s McGuire Nuclear Station, Charlotte, NC, USA


On March 26-30, 2001 the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) conducted a workshop in Russia on the topics of Configuration Management (CM) and nuclear power plant modifications. The workshop was held in Moscow at the headquarters of the Institute of Nuclear Power Plant Operations (VNIIAES), the Russian equivalent of INPO. This was one of several workshops that the IAEA is conducting due to an interest in configuration management by several countries, in part due to a new IAEA guideline document to be issued soon. Joining me as "Foreign Expert Lecturers" were a speaker from British Energy and two from the IAEA.

Participants at the conference came from VNIIAES, Rosenergoatom (which performs the functions of the operating utility for all of the power plants except one) and representatives from eight of the ten stations. Russia has 29 units at the 10 sites with four different reactor designs. While we were there Russia’s newest nuclear unit Rostov 1 was connected to the grid.

Nuclear Safety is the primary focus at the nuclear power plants in the Russian Federation (RF). This was evident from the top management to the individual contributor. Configuration Management is a new term for the Russians but they have processes and procedures in place, which address the objectives of CM. The Russian system has very well established and distinct divisions of responsibility. Rosenergoatom performs the modifications involving changes to the design of the plants. They use so-called "normative" documents, which define the design and they maintain extensive documentation of the design bases and other design requirements. The separation of responsibilities is well entrenched in their culture. Station personnel rely on Rosenrgoatom to take full responsibility for maintaining the design. All changes are subject to review and approval by their regulator.

This was an excellent opportunity to provide some representatives of the Russian nuclear program with the CM model described in ANSI/NIRMA CM 1.0-2000. This model is reinforced by the pending IAEA guideline document, which is available on this web site. Below is a copy of one slide from my presentation on CM fundamentals, with the familiar diagram showing CM Objectives translated into Russian using the Cyrillic alphabet.

Slide4.jpg (133259 bytes)



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