The history of ISP NPP

    The Institute for Safety Problems of Nuclear Power Plants of National Academy of Sciences (NAS) of Ukraine started its history from the accident occurred on April 26, 1986, at Chornobyl NPP Unit 4.


    Uniqueness and complexities of scientific and technical problems related to the mitigation of both, accident itself and its aftermath, brought to involvement of the best scientific and engineering forces to their solution. Scientific and technical support of works at Chornobyl Unit was commenced in the year of 1986, jointly with design and construction of the Shelter object.

    In early May 1986, operative Group of Kurchatov Institute of Atomic Energy (IAE) was created to fullfill scientific supervision of work to mitigate the accident aftermath. The main work scopes of this team were the following ones: conduct of investigations in the ruined Unit, assessment of nuclear and radiation safety level, preparation of recommendations in relation to their reduction, determination of quantity and composition of radioactive substances released during accident active stage, and elaboration (development) of recommendations concerning facilities and territory decontamination.

    In mid-May 1986, the Government Commission endorsed a decision on long-term mothballing of ruined power Unit in order to prevent environmental radionuclide release and to reduce prompt radiation impact on Chornobyl NPP site. The USSR Ministry of Medium Machine Building was assigned as General Contractor for realization of work associated with ChNPP Unit 4 mothballing, and scientific management of work was vested on I. V. Kurchatov IAE.

    During the whole period of the Shelter object designing and construction, the IAE fulfilled scientific management of researches and provided the designers and builders with needed calculations and other materials.

V. Legasov

    With considering the need in scientific support of the Shelter object operation, Valeriy Legasov, Academician, Deputy Director of IAE, has launched an initiative to arrange Institute’s Complex Expedition in Chornobyl. By the order of Ministry of Medium Machine Building of the USSR, in the last days of 1987, in order to provide scientific and design support of the Shelter object and to realize and coordinate research and development work undertaken within Chornobyl NPP site, Complex Expedition under I.V. Kurchatov IAE was set up.

    The main tasks of Complex Expedition were defined as the following ones: to conduct the researches intended to provide safe state for the Shelter object and to elaborate recommendations in relation to monitoring system improvement, study of radiation situation within the controllable area, arrangement and implementation of engineering and design work and provision of scientific researches.

Ye. Velikhov

    After Ukraine gained its independence, Directorate of Russian Scientific Centre Kurchatov Institute represented by Ye. Velikhov, Academician, President of Institute, jointly with V. Bariakhtar, Academician, Vice-President of Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, had suggested creating the Interdisciplinary Scientific and Technical Centre (ISTC) “Shelter” in Chornobyl as one of the structural units of Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, which could take over the functions of Complex Expedition of Kurchatov Institute. In conformity with the Enactment of Ukraine’s Cabinet of Ministers No 55 dated February 4, 1992, the Interdisciplinary Scientific and Technical Centre (ISTC) “Shelter” of Academy of Sciences of Ukraine was set up and took over all material, laboratory and scientific base of the Complex Expedition.

V. Bariakhtar

    The Statute of ISTC “Shelter” was approved by the Order of the Presidium of Academy of Sciences of Ukraine No 323 dated March 31, 1992, and on June 30, 1992, it was registered by the local authorities. Therefore, the birth date of ISTC “Shelter” and later the Institute for Safety Problems of Nuclear Power Plants (ISP NPP) of Naional Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, is considered June 30, 1992, that is Statute’s registration date by Ivankiv District Regional Administration.

V. S. Karasiov

    As the first ISTC “Shelter” Director, recommended by the Academician V.G. Bariakhtar, Professor Volodymyr Serhiyovych Karasiov was appointed, who was a specialist in the field of Radioactive Material Sciences and graduate of Heat Engineering Faculty of Kyiv Polytechnic Institute. He started his working and scientific carrier in 1956 in State Design Bureau “Gidropress” sited in the town of Podolsk, Moscow Region. Beginning from 1959 he had been working in Kyiv Institute for Nuclear Researches (INR) of NAS of Ukraine in the office of Chief Engineer of Nuclear Research Reactor and the Head of Radiation Material Sciences Department. While working in the INR of NAS of Ukraine, V. S. Karasiov created a new scientific area – Radiation Material Sciences, and in the course of 20 years he was Academic Adviser of the works aimed at developing of radiation-resistant materials for the needs of nuclear power engineering. Special research methods of reactor radiation impact on physical and mechanical properties of structural materials allowed forecasting their behavior in real conditions of NPPs operation. Under his scientific supervision, unique experimental base at WWR-M research reactor and hot chambers lab were created. In 1982, V.S. Karasiov was awarded the Prize of USSR Council of Ministers for the development of equipment complex for high-temperature accelerated researches of strength properties of structural materials in different environments, and for research results implementation in new technology products. He became also a laureate of industry awards in the field of radiation damage of materials (1984-1987). V.S. Karasiov is the author of over 200 scientific works. He was a Member of Scientific Council on problems of “Radiation Solid-State Physics” of USSR Academy of Sciences; Member of “Solid-State Physics” Sector of USSR AS; Member of Bureau for Industry
Coordination Councils on problems of “Radiation Damages in Solid-State Physics” and “Procedures and Devices to Test and Research the Materials and Products of Nuclear Technologies in Reactors and Protective Material Sciences Labs”; Member of Editorial Board of digest “Issues of Nuclear Science and Technology” of “Radiation Damages and Radiation Material Sciences Physics” series.

    From the first days of ChNPP Unit 4 accident, V.S. Karasiov took active part in the mitigation of its aftermath. He carried out a tremendous amount of work to diagnose the post-accident state of Chornobyl NPP Unit 3 and to forecast its future operation. Under his supervision, the ISTC “Shelter” staff in the shortest term was able to create needed technical base and to start the works to solve complicated tasks for scientific management of the works aimed at providing the Shelter object’s current and long-term safety.

    After the ISTC “Shelter” was created, the RSC "Kurchatov Institute issued an Order of liquidation of Complex Expedition under IAE and transfer of inventory, scientific data and staff to the ISTC “Shelter” of Academy of Sciences of Ukraine. According to an agreement with Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, the RSC Kurchatov Institute was carried out scientific supervision of Division for Nuclear and Radiation Safety of ISTC “Shelter” and after 2004 – of the ISP NPP. General management of scientific works of Kurchatov Institute at the Shelter object was carried out by Academician Ye.P. Velikhov, President of RSC Kurchatov Institute.

    The Statute of ISTC “Shelter” was approved by the Order of the Presidium of Academy of Sciences of Ukraine No 323 dated March 31, 1992, and on June 30, 1992, it was registered by the local authorities. Therefore, the birth date of ISTC “Shelter” and later the Institute for Safety Problems of Nuclear Power Plants (ISP NPP) of Naional Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, is considered June 30, 1992, that is Statute’s registration date by Ivankiv District Regional Administration.

    The main scientific and practical result of the ISTC “Shelter” activity is providing current safety of that nuclear object during the whole period of its existence. At the same time, minimum possible radiation impact on the environment, personnel and public was maintained, and eventually, a strategy of the Shelter object transformation into an ecologically safe system was outlined and scientific and technical methods and means, which allowed starting this transformation, were developed.

V.V. Tokarevskyi

    In May 1993, V.V. Tokarevskyi, Doctor of Physical and Mathematical Sciences, Professor was appointed as Director of ISTC “Shelter General” by a Decision of the Presidium of Academy of Sciences of Ukraine. Before this appointment he headed the Nuclear Power Department in the INR of Academy of Sciences of Ukraine. For a long time, Professor Tokarevskyi carried out fundamental researches in nuclear physics. After his Doctoral Dissertation on nuclear reaction research was defended, he worked in French Nuclear Research Centre in Saclay and in the USA under Fulbright-Hays Program. In 1977 year he created the Department of Applied Nuclear Physics, in 1985 – Nuclear Power Department in the INR of Academy of
Sciences of Ukraine.

    V.V. Tokarevskyi forged close relations with the ChNPP in matters related to measuring fuel burnup depth, neutron silicon doping, nuclear fuel reloading, modeling transient processes in stationary, pre-emergency and emergency modes. Jointly with department staff he took part in the works for accident aftermath mitigation at ChNPP Unit 4. In May 1986, computer researches of transient modes at Unit 4 were carried out under his supervision. The researches were based on actual data of in-core monitoring measurements, which later were used during preparation of the report for IAEA. In 1996 year, State Specialized Enterprise “Center for Technogenic Waste Treatment «Technocenter»” was created, in which V.V. Tokarevskyi was appointed as Director General. Professor Tokarevskyi was among the initiators and acted as a Scientific Manager of International Consortium  Technocenter”, which within the framework of SIP project (Shelter Implementation Plan) was realizing pre-project works concerning the development of technologies for retrieval of fuel-containing materials (FCM) from the Shelter object. Thereafter, V.V. Tokarevskyi worked as Director General of Ukrainian State Corporation “Radon”, participated in development of a new program for radioactive waste (RAW) management in Ukraine, construction of Centralized Repository for spent radiation sources. He was an IAEA expert, participated in preparation of IAEA report on Fukushima NPP accident in Japan.

O.O. Kliuchnykov

    In 1996, O.O. Kliuchnykov, Corresponding Member of NAS of Ukraine, Doctor of Technical Sciences, Professor, was appointed as the Director General of ISTC “Shelter”. Earlier, he headed Special Design and Technology Bureau of INR of NAS of Ukraine. Under his scientific supervision, multidisciplinary researches were conducted, whose result were the developments of over 100 samples of unique devices and facilities applicable in different fields of science and technology, such as distributed control system for experiment technology, control and in-core   monitoring system of NPPs and many others.

     O.O. Kliuchnykov actively participated in the works for ChNPP accident mitigation. With his participation, the first information and diagnostic system “Shater” was developed and installed in the destroyed power unit. He is the author of over 300 scientific publications, including 19 monographs and 43 patents. In 2009 he was elected as Academician of NAS of Ukraine. He is a Laureate of State Prizes of Ukrainian SSR and Ukraine in science and technology area, Honored Worker of Science and Technology of Ukraine. In 2011, O.O. Kliuchnykov was awarded the title of the Hero of Ukraine for significant personal contribution to strengthening of safety of national nuclear power engineering and also for many-year fruitful scientific work. He was awarded the Orders of Honor and Order of Merit III and II Class, Certificate of Honor of Verkhovna Rada of UkrSSR Presidium and Certificate of Honor of
Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, Badge of Ukraine’s NAS “For Scientific Achievements”.

    Already in 1989 year, a concept of long-term and an ecologically safe disposal of nuclear fuel of the Shelter object was offered. This concept included creation of leak-proof structure over the existing Shelter object, which allows completely isolate fuel-containing materials (FCM) inside the Shelter object, and under which the dismantling works of the Shelter object could be realized. In 1992 year, as result of scientific discussions, an Enactment of Ukraine’s Cabinet of Ministers of holding International Design Competition and technical decisions regarding the Shelter object conversion transformation into an ecologically safe system was issued. Multidisciplinarity character of this problem and complexity of ultimate goal achievement entailed its splitting into two main tasks: the Shelter object transformation into a long-term ecologically safe system and creation of technologies and realization of dismantling, treatment, transport and disposal of fuel-containing and radioactive materials located in the object. About 400 impersonal technical proposals were submitted for the Competition, each of which had to be evaluated according to the prescribed criteria by the members of working group. The both serious design projects and the works in form of ideas were presented.

    The ISTC “Shelter” and two French entities: SGN – Engineering Company in the field of nuclear power engineering and Bouygues Company, which is the world leader in the field of civil and nuclear building, presented at the competition a joint project entitled the “Rainbow”. This project got encouragement prize at the competition.

    In August 1993, International tender to develop a feasibility study (FS) of the Shelter object transformation into an ecologically system was announced according to a special Enactment of Ukraine’s Cabinet of Ministers. The Terms of Reference for this FS was outlined by the ISTC “Shelter” staffers under supervision of V.V. Tokarevskyi. The main tasks within the frame of FS were the following ones: stabilization of the existing “Shelter” and the “Shelter-2” structure to provide environmental protection against the impact of radioactive materials located inside the Shelter object.

     Thereafter in 1997, Shelter Implementation Plan (SIP) determining the measures and scope of work at the Shelter object for its tansformation into an ecologically safe system was jointly developed by American, European and Ukrainian specialists. The ISTC “Shelter” in this work was presented by O.O. Kliuchnykov, Director General, V.M. Shcherbin, Deputy Director General in Science, Directors of Divisions O.O. Borovyi, V.M. Rud’ko and other. The SIP project was approved by the Heads of the Group of Seven (G7) and adopted by the Ukrainian Government.

    At the initial stage, the priority projects were highlighted, according to results of which, technical decisions were taken to achieve the SIP goals. The ISTC “Shelter” representatives took an active part in all these projects. In 1997, to realize SIP project works, Ukrainian “KSK” Consortium integrating ISTC “Shelter”, Kyiv Research and Design Institute “Energoproject” and State Research Institute of Building Constructions, was created. Thereafter, jointly with Morrison Knudsen Ltd. (USA) and BNFL Engineering Ltd. (UK) Companies, International Consortium CHERNOBYL was created. The staffers of this Consortium had prepared needed complex of measures related to stabilization of the Shelter object’s building structures and basic option of New Safe Confinement (NSC) – “arch-type” structure. The ISTC “Shelter” specialists headed by O.O. Kliuchnykov were involved in these works jointly with international
companies’ specialists.

    The “KSK” consortium had developed project documents concerning stabilization of building structures, and this work was the first big project in realization of SIP main tasks, which were carried out solely by the Ukrainian entities within time frames specified by the contract.

    During its existence, the ISTC “Shelter” had been achieved significant results in the researches related to provision of nuclear and radioactive safety of the Shelter object and ChNPP units; design of facilities for management of nuclear materials, RAW, etc. In fact, the ISTC “Shelter” was transformed into an up-to- date Institute with high-qualified specialists, whose subdivisions were provided by equipment, stands and monitoring systems needed to solve the majority of scientific problems for NPP safety. Therefore, in 2004 by Enactment of NAS of Ukraine the ISTC “Shelter” was transformed into the ISP NPP and integrated as a
structural unit into Physical and Technical Problems of Power Engineering Division of NAS of Ukraine, Prof. O.O. Kliuchnykov was appointed as Director of Institute and the main scientific directions were approved. These directions included the next items: NPP efficiency and safety, radwaste utilization technologies, development and implementation of NPP decommission procedures.

    The ISP NPP staffers were implemented their scientific and technical support for all the works concerning the Shelter object transformation into an ecologically safe system. Ongoing monitoring of the facility, detection and study of hazardous factors were carried out, as well as nuclear and radiation safety were analyzed and scientifically grounded recommendations to improve its level and to transform the object into an ecologically safe system, were issued. Social value of realized works implies the protection of public and environment against potential risks caused by existence of radiation hazardous the Shelter object, which has no analogues in world practice. To solve the problem of its transformation into an ecologically safe system is today actual task not only for scientists of NAS of Ukraine, but also for all international scientific community.

    In addition, ISP NPP staffers realize the works associated with the problems related to safety level improvement of Ukrainian NPP power units, namely nuclear reactor physics, electrotechnical equipment reliability, instrument engineering, decommission, radioecology, emergency response, et al. Their investigations enable improving safety level of power units of operating NPPs, significantly reducing the amount of failures in the work and extension of their lifetime.

    The Shelter object is a potentially hazardous object, and its danger is growing with time because of degradation of structures suffered due to the accident. In the course of 25 years the ISP NPP specialists together with their colleagues from Ukrainian scientific entities and other countries were carrying out ongoing monitoring of hazardous object conditions, preparing recommendations and implementing the measures to reduce the risk of its impact on the public and the environment.

A.V. Nosovskyi

    In 2016 A.V. Nosovskyi, corresponding member of the NAS of Ukraine, laureate of the State Prize of Ukraine for Science and Technology, Doctor of Technical Sciences, Professor, who has great practical experience in management and scientific work at the ChNPP in post-accidental period, was appointed as a director of the ISP NPP. Before the ChNPP A.V. Nosovslkyi worked in the IAE “I.V. Kurchatov Institute” branch in Sosnovyi Bor Leningrad region (today A.P. Aleksandrov Scientific and Research Technological Institute) where he studied radiation protection and control at atomic submarines. He took active part in ChNPP accident aftermath mitigation working in specialized entity “Management of Construction US-605” of Ministry of Medium Machine-Building of the USSR, where he dealt with the problems of radiation protection during the Shelter object construction, A.V.and preparation to post-accident commissioning of ChNPP units.

    Under his direct supervision, radiation parameters in the areas of building and reconstruction works were measured; organizing and technical measures aimed at provision of radiation safety were eveloped and implemented. In 1988, A.V. Nosovskyi was assigned to work at the ChNPP, where during 10 years he worked his way up from Senior Engineer of Radiation Safety Department to Deputy Director General,
dealing with practical issues of radiation safety provision underway ChNPP Units operation and the Shelter object transformation. He was engaged in arrangement and implementation of scientific works being conducted by IAE Complex Expedition and later, by the ISTC “Shelter”.

    After the decision to shut down the ChNPP was taken, A. Nosovskyi was assigned to work for creation of new workplaces in the town of Slavutych. Jointly with US Department of Energy, UK Department of Trade and Industry and the scientists of US Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, A.V. Nosovskyi created Slavutych Laboratory of International Research and Technologies, which he headed from 1998 to 2004. Under his supervision, research works were carried out and methodical recommendations were prepared, which formed the basis of design documents for ChNPP Units decommission. After the ISP NPP was created in 2004, A. Nosovskyi actively participated in its work as the Head of Nuclear Facility Decommission Department. In 2015 he was appointed as Institute Deputy Director in Science, and in 2016 he was elected as its Director.

     A significant role in establishment and formation of the ISP NPP as a scientific entity played Academicians of NAS of Ukraine: B.Ye. Paton, V.H. Baryakhtar, O.V. Kyrylenko, V.P. Kukhar, A.H. Naumovets, B.S. Stohnii, V.P. Shestopalov, A.K. Shydlovskyi and others.

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