Testing is underway for several nuclear power plants’ generator excitation systems, which keep plants at the right voltage level. These systems are critical for safety and proper operation, and stable test results are a requirement for Ukraine’s power system to integrate with the European system.
Ukrenergo and Energoatom are conducting the tests at three nuclear power plants (NPPs) with support from the USAID Energy Security Project (ESP). The tests will show how the excitation systems’ automatic regulators respond to pressure (and whether or not models predicted their behavior correctly).
Once the results are processed, they will be sent to the European Network of Transmission System Operators (ENTSO-E), a group of transmission system operators throughout Europe. ENTSO-E will use the test results to evaluate Ukraine’s power system operations and to simulate what would happen if Ukraine’s system were synchronized with the ENTSO-E system. (To be allowed to integrate with the ENTSO-E system, Ukraine must prove that its nuclear generators are stable enough.)
The testing will happen in two stages. Power units at Rivnenska NPP and Zaporizka NPP were tested first, from August 17 to 22, and testing will continue at Yuzhno-Ukrainska NPP in early October.