The Prime-Minister Dmitriy Medvedev was shown modern technical developments in the atomic energy


The Prime-Minister of Russia, Dmitriy Medvedev, visited Novovoronezh NPP, where he witnessed the operator’s exercises, and at the new technologies show he passed a test which demonstrated that the Chairman of the Government did not had explosives in his hands.


Medvedev attentively viewed the operation of unit 5 of Novovoronezh NPP, commissioned in 1980 but then it has been upgraded, and continues its operation until 2035. According to Sergey Kirienko, Head of the Russian State Corporation Rosatom, 14 billion Rubles have been spent for upgrading, and now the unit belongs to the third, the newest generation, and has the aseismic protective system, which will automatically scram the reactor. "If there are seismic hazards in Voronezh Oblast?” wandered the Premier. "No, but we install such systems everywhere after the “Fukushima” (accident at the Japanese NPP in April 2011)” Kirienko responded.


Medvedev passed through the turbine island and found himself in the NPP control center. After looking at the numerous instruments and sensors the Premier inquired about how many parameters the NPP’s operators must control. According to the on-duty operators, they have to watch over 18 thousand parameters. The control board has been also upgraded but “the button control is more habitual for the operators and was left instead of the computer “mouse” control” – Kirienko explained. But he specified that the control at Novovoronezh NPP-2, which is now under construction, would be performed by the computer “mouse”.


The full scale simulator is being used at each NPP unit to train operators. Medvedev visited the personnel training how to respond in case of a severe radiation accident, leakage of the primary circuit. When the alarm sounded the shift supervisor commanded: “Use steps of prompt actions!” Actually within three minutes the “emergency” was eliminated. The Premier confessed that previously had no idea that all NPP simulators are different. Kirienko explained that the simulators must entirely correspond to a specific unit so as to the operator could react in a matter of seconds.


Medvedev reviewed prototypes of “the day after tomorrow” NPPs with new reactors, new fuel and the closed fuel cycle.


The atomic scientists have resolved a problem of processing the liquid radioactive wastes. The Chairman of the Government was demonstrated a tiny palm-fit “turtle”, which turned out to be remains of the processed wastes. The sensor showed that the “turtle” radiation level was lower than the granite embankment of the Neva River in Saint-Petersburg.


The Premier was also interested in the on-line radiation background monitoring system applied by Rosatom. On the iPad screen he checked the radiation background around Leningrad NPP, which according to Kirienko, “ten times lower than on the well-known Brazilian beaches”.


Another Rosatom’s development, super-computers, was familiar to Medvedev, when several years ago he had visited the Federal Nuclear Center in Sarov. Now three similar machines of 1, 3 and 5 teraflop capacity were demonstrated to him. According the Chairman of the Government such home-produced computers would be very helpful for many enterprises. Such super-computers are being used at “Kamaz” and in the United Aircraft Corporation.


Rosatom’s organizations have developed several neutron generators for space, medicine and law enforcement agencies. Operation of one of them Medvedev tested himself by putting his hand to a small panel. The result was “Clean” within a second. In such a manner it is possible to check if a person touched explosives within several last days. The Chairman of the Government asked about the measurement accuracy, and the experts assured that 20 nanograms of hazardous substance could be detected within six seconds.


The Prime-Minister believes that another novelty will be in demand in seismically hazard areas, namely the reinforcing fabric, which is five times stronger than steel. And if a house paste over with such fabric, it will not be destructed event in case of a major earthquake. "It is a rather cheap technology", — Medvedev noted and reminded that significant resources had been allocated from the budget to resolve the issues related to seismic safety.


Source: adapted from RIA Novosti