Community of RNPP Control Area Supports Power Unit 3 Lifetime Extension

The first stage of public hearings on Unit 3 (VVER-1000) lifetime extension has ended in Rivne NPP control area settlements. On the results of the public hearings, the region population supports the intention of the Energy Generating Company to extend the lifetime of the power unit.

The design lifetime of RNPP Power Unit 3 expired in December last year. The power unit was removed into an outage of 240 days to carry out a complex of works to extend its lifetime. During this period, all measures planned for modernization, reconstruction, the overaged equipment replacement with the modern one, which meets all requirements of NPP unit safe operation, will be implemented. RNPP Power Unit 3 preparation for its operation in the period exceeding the design lifetime is performed in line with the “Energy Strategy of Ukraine for the Period until 2030” approved with CMU Directive №1071-r of 24.07.2013.

As of this day, a large scope of work was performed at RNPP Unit 3 to ensure and substantiate a possibility of its lifetime extension in compliance with the requirements of nuclear and radiation safety set forth with the effective rules and regulations. A decision on the unit lifetime extension will be made by the State Nuclear Regulatory Inspectorate of Ukraine (SNRIU) after the study and approval of the Report on Periodic Safety Reassessment.

Community participation in the discussion of materials on safety substantiation and lifetime extension of a nuclear facility and possible environmental impact is an important factor for making a decision in compliance with the Law of Ukraine “On Nuclear Energy Utilisation and Radiation Safety”, Article 11. The public hearing procedure was set forth with CMU Resolution №771 of June 29, 2011 and CMU Resolution №1122 of July 18, 1998.

During February-April of the current year, public hearings were held for representatives and communities of village and settlement councils of Rivne NPP control area circumjacent settlements to review materials justifying safety of RNPP Unit 3 lifetime extension.  Among the latest public discussions that took place in March and April this year, are meetings with representatives and communities  of Rivne region - Balakhovichskiy, Velikozholudskiy, Romeykivskiy, Politskiy, Gorodetskiy, Voronkivskiy, Khinochskiy, Velikotelkovchskiy, Belskovolskiy, Sobishchitskiy, Sopachivskiy, Ozeretskiy and Mulchitskiy village councils and Rafalovskiy settlement council.

In frames of the discussions, the local inhabitants heard the history of building up the nuclear power plant and the satellite town, RNPP mission, personnel values, team qualification portrait and the enterprise operation performances;  learned the basic stages of arranging activities to extend the lifetime of RNPP Unit 3  and examples of international practice of operating the nuclear power units over the design period.

Representatives of the public received comprehensive answers to all questions of their interest, among thereof: Unit 5 RNPP construction, disposal of household and radioactive wastes, process equipment subject to replacement at RNPP Unit 3, international experience of nuclear power units’ life extension.

Inhabitants of Rivne region inquired whether there are electricity allowances for population residing in the power plant control area.  As Yuriy Gutnik, the head of RNPP production and engineering service, noted, a new electric energy market becomes effective since June 2019, where every Ukrainian NPP will have a possibility to sell electricity directly to consumers under direct contracts.  Nevertheless, as the nuclear expert highlighted, the new law on the electric energy market functioning does not prescribe any electricity allowances for the control area population. The proposal to provide allowances to RNPP control area inhabitants in the process of connecting consumers to electric net and to increase electricity quantity under rebate tariff will be brought to the final meeting with the public.

The issue of possible arranging transportation of RNPP employees residing in the villages adjacent to the satellite town was actual, too. As the plant experts noted, this issue has been currently under the enterprise management consideration.

The issue of distributing the subvention for a social and economic reimbursement of risk for RNPP control area population proved to be not less acute for the public. Thus, the chairmen of Voronki, Velikiy Zholudsk and Belskaya Volya villages applied with the question of targeted transfer of subvention to the communities of village and settlement councils.  Petr Kratik, the head of RNPP information and public relations department, highlighted that subvention distribution is the priority of the district authority, which should take into consideration the communities’ opinion. “Rivne NPP has no influence on compiling the list of facilities and settlements subject to financing from that subvention – that is within the exclusive competence of the district and region councils, - commented P.Kratik, -  Still RNPP management applied to Vassiliy Yanitskiy,  a people’s deputy of Ukraine, regarding amendments to the Law on subvention distribution in its part of united territorial communities. That would allow the communities to impact independently on distribution of the subvention funds”.

Virtually the highest concern of Rivne region residents was the issue of the repairing the roads in the power plant control area, which are considered the escape routes. Rivne NPP specialists underlined that this issue should be raised during the final hearings attended by SNRIU experts who might influence the situation by means of the relevant compliance notices. “Rivne NPP fulfills all its obligations in regard to the control area, paying taxes and subventions to the government budget in time. The enterprise is currently in debt because of Energorynok’s electricity underpayment, which owed to Energoatom almost 14 billion hryvnas for the moment.   That prevents to meet the social obligations to the satellite town, for all of those programmes are financed from the funds envisaged in the tariff, which is too low for the moment”, - Petr Kratik noted.

As of today, the first stage of public hearings on RNPP Unit 3 lifetime extension was completed. Generally, on results of nine public discussions, the population of Rivne NPP control area supports the intention of the energy generating enterprise to extend the lifetime of Power Unit 3.  The next stage of the public hearings will follow at the level of the districts and will start already this May. The detailed schedule is available on the main page of RNPP site in the window “Actual Information on RNPP Unit 3 Lifetime Extension”.

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