The WANO experts confirming extraordinary professionalism of the Smolensk NPP team

A so-called support mission of the World Association of Nuclear Operators (WANO) has been completed at the Smolensk NPP. For one week, the leading nuclear power experts from Bulgaria, France, Ukraine, and Russia were exchanging their best practices with regard to the staff operation observations and shift briefings at the Smolensk NPP.

It is important to note that back in 2017, the Moscow Office of the WANO held a partnership verification at the nuclear power plant. Following that, the mission noted that the production activities were held in a fairly effective manner and the state of the enterprise was properly maintained. A lot of work has been completed to upgrade the equipment, advance the technological processes and the working conditions. In the meantime, the team of experts has also identified a number of areas with room for improvement, in particular, the human factor instruments: staff operation observations and briefings for every new shift.

In two years, the Smolensk NPP has implemented the remedial actions related to the improvement and introduction of the necessary protocols, manuals, checklists, staff trainings, electronic database, etc. The effectiveness of these actions and any other areas for improvements had to be evaluated by the so-called support mission.

The experts have visited the unit control loom, the electric power shop, observed the procedure of switching the staff in charge of the plant walkdowns, reviewed the company’s documents regulating the observations and shift briefings methodology. Summarizing the results of the review, the team has come up with a preliminary report outlining the positive practices and the process optimization suggestions.

‘I have been very impressed with the level of professionalism I saw among the nuclear power plant’s team members’, Philippe Foket-Anokhin, the mission’s human factor consultant from the French Chinon NPP, noted. ‘When comparing the outcomes of the partnership verification held in 2017 and what I have seen today at the Smolensk NPP, I can certainly see considerable progress in the areas related to the support mission. I believe our suggestions will complement your existing achievements’.

Galina Kostadinova, a representative of the Kozloduy NPP (Bulgaria), said: ‘During the visit, I couldn’t help but notice how disciplined the people are and how commited they are to safety. I have been impressed with the operational state of the equipment and the room. At the Kozloduy NPP, we are just embarking on the journey to the observations, and we will certainly take advantage of the best practices we saw at the Smolensk NPP’.

In the meantime, Vadim Skirda, the first deputy chief engineer at the Smolensk NPP, expressed his gratitude for the international best practices the team has brought in. ‘It is always helpful to get a fresh eye as your feedback gives us an opportunity to grow. I would like to thank you for sharing your knowledge, and I hope that our plant’s advancements will be useful in your own activities to foster the power blocks’ operational safety and reliability’, he stressed.

Smolensk NPP is a branch of Rosenergoatom JSC (it is a part of Rosatom State Corporation largest division – the Electric Power Division). The Plant annually supplies about 20 billion kilowatt hours of electric energy into the country's energy system, which is about 11% of the energy generated by Rosenergoatom in general, and more than 80% of the energy produced by the Smolensk Oblast's energy companies.

Smolensk NPP has a 24-hour hotline that provides with the information about the Plant’s activities. The number is 8 (48153) 3-21-24.

Operational information on the radiation situation near Russian nuclear power plants and other nuclear facilities is available on the website www.russianatom.ru

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