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Contract to lead to improved safety at Soviet-designed reactors

May 08, 1996 Share This!

RICHLAND, Wash. – The Pacific Northwest National Laboratory has signed a multimillion dollar contract with Parsons Power Group of Redding, Pa., and its subcontractor Westinghouse Electric Corporation for Westinghouse to supply 10 safety parameter display systems to Soviet-designed nuclear reactors. Westinghouse, of Pittsburgh, Pa., will design, manufacture and install the systems in RBMK reactors in Russia and Ukraine, including one at Chornobyl's operating Unit 3 reactor.

The "letter" contract initially is worth $5.5 million but is expected to reach between $22 million and $23 million, with about $20 million going to Westinghouse.

Safety parameter display systems are located in nuclear power plant control rooms. They automatically and graphically display the status of critical safety functions and determine whether these functions are operating within safe ranges. The systems display this information in a convenient and easy-to-understand format on control room consoles. During abnormal conditions, operators use the system to assess the need to implement emergency operating procedures.

The SDPSs provide operators with critical calculations and information much more rapidly than the process computers currently used in the older Soviet-designed nuclear plants.

The Westinghouse contract will begin immediately and extend through 1998. It increases to 11 the number of SPDS units under order for RBMK reactors. Westinghouse is the world's largest SPDS vendor and has supplied SPDS systems for customers worldwide. Last year, Parsons and Westinghouse won a $3.7 million competitive bid to design and supply one SPDS unit for the Kursk Nuclear Power Plant in Russia. The system will be operational late this year.

The contract is part of the Soviet-Designed Reactor Safety Program, a comprehensive effort by the United States and the international community to increase the level of safety at 59 Soviet-designed commercial nuclear reactors at 17 sites in seven eastern and central European countries. The United States has committed $180 million to the program since 1992.

In the United States, the technical lead for the program is the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland, Wash. Pacific Northwest is one of the Department of Energy's nine national, multiprogram laboratories and is managed for DOE by Battelle.

Tags: Energy, Nuclear Power

Interdisciplinary teams at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory address many of America's most pressing issues in energy, the environment and national security through advances in basic and applied science. Founded in 1965, PNNL employs 4,300 staff and has an annual budget of about $950 million. It is managed by Battelle for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science. As the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States, the Office of Science is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information on PNNL, visit the PNNL News Center, or follow PNNL on Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn and Twitter.

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