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Alexander Chistozvonov: end of the Romantic period

AtomInfo.Ru, PUBLISHED March 08, 2011

Alexander Sokratovich CHISTOZVONOV, head of the Rostekhnadzor's Obninsk inspection department, a member of the Academy of Industrial Ecology.


Alexander Chistozvonov, (c) AtomInfo.Ru

Alexander Chistozvonov, (c) AtomInfo.Ru

Alexander Sokratovich, we speak you several times about the romantic period of Russian nuclear regulatory body. Of course, today we would like to return to this subject.

You know, the romantic period is finishing, and its end is happening nowadays. The new thing are coming, and it does not always acceptable to us - those who started the Russian Atomnadzor.

What I think are important? I believe that in no case should be losing those traditions that are ripe in our service. Unfortunately, I see a nasty tendency to forget tradition.

Relationships between the Atomnadzor and supervised enterprises were always been a certain symbiosis, which was useful as supervisors and supervised.

We agree. So it was just because the personnel in the supervision came from the enterprises.

And it was! The experts were from enterprises and skilled enough. They knew all the aspects of their work, knew all the details and could not only control the work, but also help to implement it.

A few words on the skill. Today, the army of managers is earnestly believing that one can take the man responsible for the licensing of alcoholic beverages, and put it on licensing, and even to supervise the nuclear reactor. But it does not work.

In order to competently oversee and understand what you are talking with supervised, you must be highly qualified. Perhaps, at the level of PhD.

Let me explain to you the example. Suppose I tell you that in this particular reactor, the effective beta equals to 0.7, and this is a situation that improve nuclear safety. In order to understand what I actually said, you should have some education.

As a minimum, to know what is beta and what is being measured.

Not exactly. You can learn what an effective beta, or physical beta, from a directory. You need to feel the object, to understand the arising paradoxes, which for the everyday consciousness amazing.

The topic of my dissertation was to study the probability of accidents associated with the introduction of positive reactivity. I was considering such a system in which the accident happening, but not every time. In other words, we dropped the fuel rods in the assembly, for example, 100 times and 70 times to be an accident, and 30 times will not. And those numbers can be controlled within certain limits.

If we put a neutron source in a potentially crashed system, it would seem, we are decreasing its security - we did add there neutrons. In fact, nuclear safety will be improved at the expense of some deterioration in radiation safety.

Having constant neutron source, the assembly much earlier "understands" that it is supercritical, and the likelihood of a serious accident will decrease because the operators and logic circuits will have more time for action.

When you talk about these things with the managers, they simply do not understand you. And they do even have an idea why you need such knowledge.

Returning to our topic, I might add - it is impossible to compare the fire safety with nuclear. I respect the fire safety, but the consequences of violations of nuclear safety will be a lot harder than for breach of fire regulations.

Maybe the nuclear branch shall be again a separate oversight body, as it was previously thought and done by Mr. Wisniewski in the USSR.

Topics: Interview, Alexander Chistozvonov

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