04 June 2015

Tracking the Pulse of the Planet

In the framework of the Integrated (Consolidated) Program for Increasing the Level of Safety of Nuclear Power Plant Units, approved by the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine, an information system for seismic monitoring has been implemented at the Rivne NPP. This is the newest technology of fixing earth crust vibrations for Ukrainian NPPs.   Bancomzvjazok JSC together with the Institute of Geophysics of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine has developed and implemented a seismic monitoring system at the Rivne NPP. The system has been launched in November 2013 and has been completed in May 2015. As a result, five wells with a depth of up to 90 meters were built and six seismometer sensors were installed to record the earthquakes: five deep and one surface sensors. The seismic stations are located in the villages of Staryi Chortoryisk, Polkie, Sopachov, and Kostyukhnivka and in the city of Kuznetsovsk in the territory of the central control station for radiation environment of Rivne NPP. The monitoring area of the system covers 90 settlements of Rivne and Volyn Regions.   Functions of the seismic monitoring system:
  • seismic event registration;
  • initial estimation of parameters of seismic phenomena in real time;
  • prompt informing of the responsible persons about emergency situations.
The main goal of the system is the instrumental definition of real seismicity in the RNPP site and the provision of continuous monitoring of the seismic state.   This system does not belong to the class “for prompt notification”. During the operation of the system, a seismic map will be generated, which will be constantly monitored and corrected. The data obtained will allow calculating seismic loads for existing and design buildings. This is especially true for the safe operation of buildings and structures of high complexity. It should be noted that the system fully complies with European standards, and its availability around nuclear power facilities is one of the requirements of the IAEA.   “Constantly monitoring the pulse of the planet, we are able to determine the map of the seismicity of the zone, to localize the areas of the most dangerous territory,” says Serhii Kukhtarov, Chief Engineer of Bancomzvjazok JSC. “This allows us to build not blind, but on the basis of constant monitoring of vibrations, taking into account the necessary margin of safety, because we know for certain what level of seismic activity a particular zone belongs to.” Moreover, according to Serhii Kukhtarov, the level of seismic activity on the planet is not stable, but is constantly changing. Therefore, monitoring is a guarantee of the reliability and security of not only future facilities, but also those that already exist. Owing to the monitoring results received, the fortress of the existing structures will be able to make corrections in time and, thus, prevent possible destruction.   In the case of the first reliable signs of seismic activity, the sensors of the system instantly transmit the data received to the means of fixing and processing data via the ARSMS (Automated Radiation Situation Monitoring System). The Computing Center of Rivne NPP processes and analyzes them. On the basis of these data, the local seismic situation is controlled, the nature of the epicenter of the recorded seismic event is identified, earthquake epicenter maps are created, and potential effects on the stability of the operation of the object are assessed.   The peculiarity of the system is the sensitivity of the sensors, which can detect earthquakes anywhere in the world. The system allows us to track the situation on-line, develop measures to reduce seismic risks, improve the protection of engineering facilities, and extend the experience in preventing emergencies to other stations. Monitoring of seismic events will provide an opportunity in the future to prevent emergencies related to the man-caused consequences of earthquakes in Ukraine.   The construction of this system is the first step towards the creation of an all-Ukrainian modern system of seismic monitoring of nuclear facilities in full compliance with European standards.   Video reports: [embed]https://youtu.be/Cw6Ep7BFOy4[/embed] [embed]https://youtu.be/FBgXQg1DwLE[/embed] [embed]https://youtu.be/XM8PkgPI1Ks[/embed]