- Processing and Storage of Radioactive Wastes
- All-Round Decommissioning of Nuclear Submarines
- The Program for Reduction of Strategic Missile Weapons
- The Program of Spent Nuclear Fuel Safe Storage
- Improvement of Nuclear and Environmental Safety of the North-West Region of Russia
- Assurance of Nuclear and Radiation Safety
- Retrofitting of Physical Protection Systems at Nuclear and Radiation-Hazardous Sites
- Personnel Reliability Program
The history of ASPECT-CONVERSION started from development of technology to process solid and liquid radioactive wastes formed at Russian enterprises «Zvezda» and «Zvezdochka» in the course of complex decommissioning of nuclear submarines removed from the operational status of the Navy.
The work was carried out within the frameworks of the Program of Cooperative Threat Reduction carried out by the US Ministry of Defence together with the Government of Russia. The integrated US contractor was the Company Lockheed Martin Energy Technologies. The purpose of work was to help the Russian Federation in development of a safe, reliable, and environmentally harmless method for processing and storage of liquid and solid radioactive wastes.
As a result, the specialists of ASPECT-CONVERSION have developed the unique technology for waste processing and storage, special equipment and three industrial sites were designed. The complexes built in 2000-2001 at DVZ «Zvezda» and GMP «Zvezdochka» have become the first production facilities in Russia to use the complex process of physical-chemical treatment of toxic radioactive solutions and their storage in solid and compact form suitable for safe long-term storage.
In this project the Company ASPECT-CONVERSION was an integrating Russian contractor responsible for the whole set of works, and it coordinated the work of more than 200 subcontractors including the leading enterprises of the defence complex of the Russian Federation, such as: FSUE «Zvezdochka», FSUE DVZ «Zvezda», «VNIPIET» (All-Russia Science Research and Design Institute of Power Engineering Technology), VNIIKhT (All-Russian Scientific Research Institute of Chemical Technology), Kurchatov Institute, NIPTB «Onega» (Scientific Research Production Engineering Consultancy «Onega»), OKBM «Afrikantov» (Afrikantov Experimental Design Office of Machine Building) and others. Funding scope was around $14 mln.
Since 1999 ASPECT-CONVERSION has taken part in the following:
- Development of radiation safety requirements in the course of dismantling nuclear submarines of «Delta-3» and «Delta-4» classes;
- Development of the quality assurance program in operation of the onshore unloading facility for the spent nuclear fuel (SNF) from the nuclear submarines dismantled at «Zvezdochka» shipyard;
- Creation of the radiation monitoring system for a similar complex at «Zvezda» shipyard including the supply of special equipment.
In 2002, in consortium with the Washington Group International Corporation, ASPECT-CONVERSION won the first tender of Defence Threat Reduction Agency of the US Department under the Program of Cooperative Threat Reduction Integrating Contracts (CTRIC) for construction of two storages for temporary storage of ocean-spanning ballistic missiles RS-22 (SS-24) on the base Surovatikha of the Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation.
Under the contract, ASPECT-CONVERSION was an integrating contractor for design, and at the stage of construction, it performed the functions of technical supervision. The project was performed as a turnkey one in unprecedentedly short time: The project development, approval, and obtaining the permits for construction, as well as construction itself were performed within 6.5 months, and in 2003, the storage was commissioned. Funding scope was around $9 mln.
In 2002, in consortium with the US Raytheon Technical Services Company, ASPECT-CONVERSION won a tender for development of a design for a storage facility for Production Association Mayak. The storage facility was intended for temporary storage of spent nuclear fuel from the nuclear submarines being dismantled and was equipped with the up-to-date systems for nuclear fuel preparation for the long-term storage, with the systems of radiation-hazardous material control and accounting systems, the systems of radiation control and monitoring, as well as with physical protection system.
In this project ASPECT-CONVERSION Company managed design and coordination of work for three leading design institutes in the industry. Development of design documentation was completed within the terms established by the contract; all the necessary approvals and permits for the storage facility construction were obtained. The completed project meets all the up-to-date Russian and international safety requirements.
In the same 2002 year, the design was performed for two additional storage facilities for temporary storage of containers with the spent nuclear fuel at «Zvezda» shipyard; they were subsequently built and commissioned.
In 2003, the UK Department of Trade and Industry, Minatom of RF, and the RF Ministry of Transportation started implementing the joint project related to construction of the long-term storage facility for non-recyclable spent nuclear fuel from the Russian ice-breaker fleet at FSUE Atomflot, Murmansk.
The Crown Agents was an authorized company, and ASPECT-CONVERSION in this project was an integrating contractor and also was responsible for supply of special equipment and personnel training. While implementing the project, ASPECT-CONVERSION also performed equipment assembly and setting up, construction management, field and technical supervision.
The storage facility was commissioned in 2006. As of the moment of commissioning, the storage facility built on the basis of FSUE Atomflot was the only storage facility in Russia meeting the requirements of IAEA, Russian and international safety standards. Funding scope was £14 mln.
At the same time, the design of a similar storage facility was completed for Mayak Production Association. In 2007, the design of the storage facility at PA Mayak was elaborated with regard to the possibility of damaged spent nuclear fuel storage. As for the technical solutions and equipment status, both facility designs are unique.
In 2006-2007, the leadership of ASPECT-CONVERSION a full package of design and organizational documentation was developed for complex decommissioning of the «Lepse» floating technical base which had been servicing the nuclear ice-breaker fleet for 30 years. The documentation has passed all required expert examinations and makes it possible to start the industrial decommissioning of the vessel.
The project was developed under the terms of the contract between Aspect-Conversion and European Commission in partnership with the leading enterprises of the Russian atomic industry: OKBM «Afrikantov» (Afrikantov Experimental Design Office of Machine Building), «VNIPIET» (All-Russia Science Research and Design Institute of Power Engineering Technology), NIPTB «Onega» (Scientific Research Production Engineering Consultancy «Onega»), OJSC «Shipbuilding and Ship-repair Technology Center» (formerly Central Shipbuilding Technologies Research Institute), Krylov Shipbuilding Central Research InstituteÖÍÍÈ , FSUE Atomflot, FSUE Shiprepair-yard «Nerpa», etc.
Project documentation undergone expert review and endorsement by the Russian sanitary and epidemiological inspection bodies, Emergencies Ministry, RosTekhNadzor (Federal Service for Ecological, Technical and Atomic Supervision), fire-fighting service, Federal Agency for Water Resources, Rosatom Nuclear and Radiation Safety Directorate. In accordance with the findings of the expert review the project was approved and recommended for implementation. In February, 2007 public hearing of the project took place, and it was also approved.
One of the key activities of ASPECT-CONVERSION is participation in international and Russian programs related to nuclear safety assurance.
Since 2006, ASPECT-CONVERSION has been taking part in the work related to establishment of the complex of infrastructure for handling of spent nuclear fuel at the Andreeva Bay, where the storage facility for the spent nuclear fuel from nuclear submarine fleet of Russia is located. Under the leadership of ASPECT-CONVERSION the engineering survey was performed, the design documentation was developed, and State Appraisal findings were obtained for some of the complex's facilities, particularly for the shelter of the solid radioactive waste open storage space, and for the building of spent nuclear fuel containers temporary storage. In 2010 the documentation on construction of spent nuclear fuel storage is being reviewed.
In 2008 Aspect-Conversion won a tender for State Contract with the RF Ministry of Industry and Trade for rehabilitation of a solid radioactive waste storage facility (including high-level waste) at "Zvezda" enterprise. The work to implement this difficult and complex project has been going on since 2008.
Another core activity of ASPECT-CONVERSION is upgrade of physical protection systems at nuclear and radiation-hazardous sites.
The first experience in this field was participation if the project related to upgrade of physical protection system at one of Rosatom's scientific and testing sites which was carried out by National Laboratories of Sandia and US Pacific North-West National Laboratory. ASPECT-CONVERSION was involved as an expert and technical consultant when the organizers faced difficulties at the stage of design work. As a result, the problems were successfully solved and ASPECT-CONVERSION was asked to perform the functions of technical supervision in the course of the project implementation. The Project was successfully completed in 2005.
Since 2004, the Company has been taking part in implementation of the Global Partnership Program for assurance of safety and physical protection of nuclear and radiation-hazardous sites of the Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation.
From 2004 till 2010, being a contractor and a customer of construction, ASPECT-CONVERSION performed the full complex of works related to upgrade of fifteen sites of the RF Ministry of Defence.
Upgrade was carried out at the expense of international technical assistance provided by the Defence Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) under US Department of Defence and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Federal Republic of Germany. In the course of retrofitting, the whole set of turnkey works was performed, from pre-project examination to commissioning. The Volume of Investments was more than $200mln and ˆ70 mln.
At all the stages of project implementation, ASPECT-CONVERSION was a management company ensuring fulfillment of the project schedules and budgets, interaction with the foreign partners and with the Recipient of Technical Assistance, coordination of work and management of contractors and suppliers.
In 2009 - 2010, ASPECT-CONVERSION as a General Designer completed the set of design works for two more sites of RF Ministry of Defence retrofitted in cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade of Canada. The upgrade works are supposed to start in 2011.
A separate activity of ASPECT-CONVERSION is the Personnel Reliability Program implemented within the frameworks of agreements between the USA and Russia for non-proliferation of weapons and cooperation in the field of nuclear material physical protection, control and accountability.
ASPECT-CONVERSION is the main contractor for development and implementation of the Personnel Reliability Program to the benefit of RF Ministry of Defence and internal troops of MVD of Russia. The program is aimed at preventing unauthorized actions of the personnel admitted to handling of nuclear and radioactive materials at the sites of RF Ministry of Defence and Rosatom. The program is a set of measures to assess psycho-physiological condition of the personnel including their examinations for psychological stability, alcohol and drug abuse.
In 2005 - 2012, a package of regulations and methodological documents was developed, methodological materials and special equipment were supplied, certified, and assembled, the training centers were established in different regions of the Russian Federation. During the same period of time, the training seminars for the specialists were carried out.
The main achievement of this Program is equipment of two ministry-affiliated military laboratories for conducting drug abuse confirmation testing. The military laboratory in Sergiev Posad works in accordance with the international standards, i.e. it is equipped with modern equipment, and calibrators manufactured by German «Medichem Diagnostica GmbH & Co.KG» were imported in accordance with the Russian Federation especially for this laboratory. Commissioning of the Far Eastern laboratory is scheduled for the first half of 2014. It is also planned to use the calibrators and standards in the departmental and other laboratories of Minzdrav (Ministry of Healthcare).
One of the critically important issues for successful implementation of the Program is the purchase of narcotic substance samples to calibrate the instrumentation, because import of such substances and their circulation on the territory of Russia is severely restricted by law.
Nevertheless, ASPECT-CONVERSION managed to make a number of steps which made the Program closer to successful completion. Thus, at the end of 2009, one of the laboratories of RF Ministry of Defence assisted by ASPECT-CONVERSION, obtained a license for performance of activity connected with the circulation of narcotic substances and became the first licensed organization in Moscow region and one of the few in Russia as a whole. In the same 2009, the quotas for import into Russia of narcotic and psychotropic substances were established by law.
The license obtained by the end user and introduction of quotas allowed ASPECT-CONVERSION to continue its work related to LEGAL acquisition and import of allowed quantity of narcotic substances into Russia.
The purchase of calibration samples allowed the company to test the personnel for drug abuse in full compliance with the Russian and international requirements.