May 14-16 in Slavutych (Kiev region, Ukraine) was the International Conference "Safety is an indispensable condition for the existence and development of nuclear energy in all countries of the world." The organizers of the conference were the International Union of Veterans of Nuclear Energy (IUVNE) and Industry and the Ukrainian Nuclear Society (UkrNS). The conference was attended by veterans - nuclear specialists and profile experts from Armenia, Kazakhstan, Bulgaria, Lithuania, Belarus, Russia and Ukraine. The main objective of the conference was the exchange of opinions of veterans - nuclear engineers of different countries on security issues as the main condition for the development of nuclear energy, as well as compliance with international agreements in the field of informing the public in the implementation and operation of nuclear facilities.
Within the framework of the conference, representatives of expert and veteran profile organizations delivered reports on the enhancement of nuclear and radiation safety, as well as priority measures to be taken for the further stable functioning of the nuclear industry.
At the beginning of the conference, the Mayor of Slavutych, Yuri Fomichev, addressed the participants with a welcoming speech. He noted the symbolism of the choice of the venue for such a relevant event for the entire nuclear industry and stressed the importance of uniting efforts so that the operation of nuclear facilities was carried out in compliance with all strict standards.
During the discussions, the participants noted the importance of accumulating and transferring experience in the operation of nuclear power plants and other nuclear facilities, in particular, facilities for the management of spent nuclear fuel and radioactive waste. Having exchanged opinions, experts came to the conclusion that in modern conditions it is extremely important to involve veterans - professionals of nuclear energy to assist in ensuring the safety of nuclear power plants. "The value of this work is obvious. Veterans - nuclear scientists have a huge operational experience, which simply needs to be used not only for educational purposes, but also for solving quite practical tasks to improve the safety of nuclear power plants, "said the president of the Ukrainian Nuclear Society Grigory Mulyar.
In general, the participants positively assessed the practice of the operating organizations of nuclear energy of different countries on the use of experience of nuclear veterans in solving the tasks of the main activity of nuclear power plants, in preserving critical knowledge and transferring them to the younger generation.
The veterans of IUVNE expressed particular concern about the growing risks associated with the storage and processing of spent nuclear fuel and radioactive waste with their continuing accumulation, and also pointed out the inadmissibility of overfilling of SNF temporary storage facilities. "Unfortunately, much less attention is paid to the issue of storage and utilization of spent nuclear fuel and radiation wastes than issues related to the functioning of nuclear power plants, which leads to the fact that SNF and RAO are becoming a problem for many countries," said the First Deputy Chairman of the International Union of Nuclear Veterans Industry Yuri Sarayev.
The priority step in addressing this problem will be an appeal to the International Organizations Controlling and Analyzing the Safety of Nuclear Facilities Operation (IAEA, WANO) with a request to strengthen attention to SNF and RW storage facilities. In addition, the participants decided to begin active work on the preparation of recommendations on the introduction of international best practices that reduce the volume and pace of accumulation of radioactive waste and spent nuclear fuel.
Also, as a result of the discussion and lively discussion, it was decided to draw the attention of the operating organizations of the IUVNE countries to the lag in the construction of new NPP units in those countries where such a decision was made to replace the capacities that had fulfilled the project lifetime. In the opinion of the participants, the issue of building new capacities is acute both in the context of preserving the share of nuclear energy in the energy balance of the countries operating nuclear power plants, and in finding jobs for young specialists and graduates of technical universities.
On the last day of the conference, as part of the technical tour to the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone, the participants visited the city of Pripyat, the Chernobyl nuclear power plant and the Shelter facility. Veterans - nuclear scientists expressed various opinions about the technical aspects of the construction of the NSC arch, but came to the conclusion about the importance and necessity of this large-scale construction.
Presentations at the round table were made by:
Kezin SN, WANO's chief expert on Central and South-Eastern Europe (Russia) "Safety as the basis of NPP operation, WANO practice in maintaining high levels of safety of WANO Members"
Mikhalevich AA, Head of the Laboratory of the Energy Institute of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus, a member of the Belarusian Union of Veterans of Nuclear Energy and Industry (Belarus) "Informing the public on the progress of the construction of the Belarusian NPP, coordination of issues with international monitoring institutions"
Larionov B. I., Member of the Expert Council of the Ignalina NPP Veterans Union (Lithuania) "Informing the public about the progress of the Ignalina NPP decommissioning project (INPP)"
Sheiko Yu.E., Production Director, State Enterprise "NAEC Energoatom" (Ukraine) "SE NAEK Energoatom: Present and Future"
Beglaryan V.A., Member of the International Expert Council at MSAVEU (Armenia) "Review Report on World Experience in SNF Management"
Kholosha VI, Deputy Director of Atoprojecting Engineering (Ukraine). "Providing temporary and long-term storage of SNF in Ukraine, the parameters of the construction of the SNFSF and the state of its implementation."
Kuznetsov VN, Deputy Chairman of the Union of Veterans of Nuclear Power Plants Ignalina - Scientific Secretary (Lithuania) "Ensuring safety in the disposal of SNF about the implementation of the INPP decommissioning project (storage of radioactive waste)"
Zhdanova NA, Chairman of the section of veterans of nuclear weapons. Deputy Chairman of MSAVEU MSUEP for foreign countries (Kazakhstan) "Preservation and transfer of critical knowledge to the younger generation - nuclear specialists".
Sarayev Yu.P., First Deputy Chairman of MSAVEU. Director General of the Chernobyl NPP in 1986 (Russia) "The Role of Nuclear Energy Veterans in Promoting Nuclear Power Plant Safety Considering Current Challenges and IAEA Recommendations"
Based on the results of the round table, a compilation of reports will be prepared.