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Kalinin NPP – Upgrading of medium voltage power plant supply system- 6kV Breakers

Kalinin NPP – Upgrading of medium voltage power plant supply system- 6kV Breakers



Within the framework of TACIS, the EC had established a co-operation with Russia in the area of Nuclear Safety. On-site Assistance (OSA) programmes aimed at providing the transfer of know-how, in particular through soft assistance, which addresses the human element of safety (i.e. quality assurance, maintenance, management and training...) and through the supply of equipment.

Most of components and structures of safety related systems were designed and manufactured in accordance with normative requirements of the 60-80s. At Russian Nuclear Power Plants the activities on bringing the components and structures of safety related systems in compliance with more recent norms and rules were performed within the framework of branch programs on reconstruction or modernization of the existing equipment.

Upgrading the 6 kV power supply started under the TACIS 93/94 project. The objective was to replace the present class I 6kV breakers which were not manufactured any more by new breakers manufactured in Russia using western technology and to upgrade the protection and control system of the cabinets.

The project had been split into 3 specific projects: R1.03/94C, R1.03/95B and R1.03/96A. The initial project approach was to award contracts for the supply of prototypes to at least two western suppliers who where ready to set up a joint venture with a Russian company (R1.03/94C). In a next step, once the qualification of this equipment would have been aquired by the joint ventures a restricted call for tender would have been launched for the replacement of the breakers (R1.03/95B) and another open tender process would have been launched for the replacement of the control and protection system of the 6 kV cabinets (R1.03/96A).

Budgetary restrictions forced to bring refinements to the approach and to limit the extent of the equipment supplies:

  • under the R1.03/94C project, only one joint venture had been awarded with a contract for the supply of the prototypes, one for each unit
  • as it became clear that a supplier, other than the one who provided the prototypes, could provide qualified breakers, an open tender was launched for the supply of qualified 6kV breakers. One supplier would be awarded two contracts using the budget of the specific project R1.03/95B for the equipment for unit one and part of the budget of the R1.03/96A for equipment for unit two.
  • part of the budget of the R1.03/96A would be used for the upgrading of the control and protection systems of a limited number of 6kV cabinets.

Elox had started to develop with ABB joint production of circuit breakers of the required standard and qualification. At the contract moment, ABB only supplied the most sophisticated part of the breaker, the final goal being that the complete breaker would be produced in RF (technology transfer).

During this intermediate period, Kalinin NPP requested the financing of the purchase of the ABB components for a part of its breakers. The project aimed for 1-E class 3-phase electrical circuit breakers to facilitate at a later stage the creation of a full scope industrial capacity in RF for 6 kV circuit breakers, and to qualify the production according to the applicable standards.

The present project was launched in accordance with the results of the investigation in project R1.03/94C, with full consideration of joint venture (industrial policy) aspects.


The project consisted in replacement of the 6kV breakers for the electrical supply of the safety systems at each unit.
The utility intended to review the existing control system to determine the elements susceptible of improvement by comparison with similar systems operating in western NPP and in accordance with the state of art. An analysis of required modification in the cabinets and of interfaces between local and remote control was intended to be performed in collaboration with appropriate Russian institutes, taking into consideration the technical characteristics of the new 6kV breakers to be installed in the frame of TACIS95 programme.

Project Results

Project “On-Site Assistance to Kalinin NPP” has been implemented by Tractebel. Project activities were as follows: project implementation; supply contract activities; assistance during equipment supply contract negotiations and implementation; assistance during installation and testing; provisional and final acceptance.

The methods and the approaches used by Tractebel were adequate and consistent, especially with respect to Safety related projects.

Steps of the contract:

  • launch a call for tenders limited to companies which have equipment qualified and select one company for the supply of 6kV breakers including adaptation to the existing cabinets for unit 1 or 2 (in function of outage period)
  • to replace some former breakers by new ones to be installed into existing cabinets of one unit

According to the decision of the EC, part of the 96A budget was dedicated to the improvement of the protection & control system and another part of this budget was dedicated to the supply of complementary 6kV breakers, as the outcome of project 95B. The tender file for both projects was finalized jointly with the protection & control system presented as lot 3.
Endorsement of last version of TS was obtained from the Russian side at the end of 2000. JRC issued the acceptance certificate in May, 2001. The final version, common for projects R1.03/95B &96A was sent to EC end of July.

The final version of tender dossier, common for projects R1.03/95B & 96A and taking into account the received comments, has been sent to EC end of July. Publication occurred beginning of 2002 jointly for projects R1.03/95B and 96A.

The tender opening session was held in Brussels on March 18, 2002 with the evaluation session immediately after; only one bid was received but technically compliant and inside the budget.

The contract was signed by the supplier on December, 5, 2002. The kick-off meeting with representatives of the supplier, end-user, main designer and EU-utility was held at Kola NPP on January 20, 2003.

The custom clearance was necessary to allow transportation of the breakers from France to Ukraine where the trolley adaptation would be performed. The Factory Acceptance tests for the breakers dedicated to Unit 2 were done at Elox factory in Ukraine in January 2004, with the participation of Kola NPP.

As far as the Russian contractor faced some delay in customs clearance process for the equipment ordered in France, installation was planned during outage summer 2004.

Provisional acceptance took place on 17 August 2004.

General Information

Kalinin NPP – Upgrading of medium voltage power plant supply system- 6kV Breakers
€ 1.063.339,20
Budget year: 
Types of activities: 
Equipment Supply
Duration (months): 
Contracting authority: 
Partner (Beneficiary): 
JSC; Elox-Prom; JSC-Schneider
Old reference: 
ITALTREND-5455 (contract PA)
Project reference: 
Decision number: 
multi annual
Method of procurement: 
Special Fund (Procurement Agent)
Procurement Agent contract: 
Procurement Agent reference: 
Procurement Agent provisional acceptance: 
Procurement Agent Final acceptance: 
Signature date: 
Effective contract date: 
Contract end date: 
Closure date: