Reliability and Safety

Thermal and hydro power plants are operated in strict compliance with the laws and regulatory technical standards in industrial safety of hazardous production facilities and security of hydraulic structures at all Company’s facilities.

RusHydro Group companies are backbone and have a significant effect on the condition of industrial and energy safety of the sector ensuring reliable and smooth power supply of consumers.

Reliable and safe operation of energy facilities is a strategic transient priority for the Company and is one of the ten most significant aspects. Taking into account potential risks and possible impacts, this aspect has a substantial economic, environmental and social significance for a wide range of stakeholders including production and industrial personnel of the Company and local communities.

Reliability means functionality of equipment and hydraulic structures during the entire service life with the initially defined parameters maintained.

Safety means ensuring conditions free from unacceptable risk related with the harm to health, property of natural persons and entities, state and municipal property and environment.

RusHydro projects to increase safety level of hydraulic structures

The largest projects completed in 2017-2018 and intended to improve safety of the hydraulic structures are as follows:

  • construction of the canal bypassing Ezminskaya HPP key installations accompanied by construction of an additional sump;
  • completed construction of the canal bypassing Gizeldonskaya HPP accompanied by the reservoir restoring to its design level;
  • completed reconstruction of the Novosibirskaya HPP weir;
  • automation of piezometer observations in the right-bank earth dam and in the footing of the concrete dam of the Novosibirskaya HPP;
  • automation of the monitoring system – Bureyaskaya HPP automated seismic monitoring system;
  • commissioning of the automated diagnostic monitoring system of the Bureyaskaya HPP dam;
  • accomplished project of the Gizeldonskaya HPP waste chute reconstruction;
  • completed reconstruction of the test and measurement equipment followed by introduction of the informational diagnostic system at the Gergebelskaya HPP;
  • completed reconstruction of the test and measurement equipment followed introduction of the informational diagnostic system at the Gunibskaya HPP;
  • modernization of water gauge stations from the Saratovskaya HPP tail pond side;
  • modernization of the automated diagnostic monitoring system for Zhigulevskaya HPP hydraulic structures;

Ongoing activities:

  • reconstruction of the Baksanskaya HPP diversion chamber;
  • development of the unified informational diagnostic system for Sayano-Shushenskaya HPP hydraulic structure;
  • development of design documentation for comprehensive reconstruction under the Program of Comprehensive Modernization;
  • modernization of the test and measurement equipment in RusHydro branches.

Safety and reliability management system of hydraulic structures and equipment

RusHydro internal commissions together with representatives of regional authorities of the Ministry of Emergency Situations annually inspect HPP readiness for operation in the autumn-winter period and issue respective certificates.

In 2017, all Company’s HPP received readiness certificates for the autumn-winter period of 2017-2018.

Since 2018, the level of readiness of RusHydro energy facilities for operation during heating (autumn-winter) season has been evaluated as an all-year-round monitoring of readiness. Readiness monitoring includes formation and approval of initial data for evaluating the compliance with readiness indicators and conditions of RusHydro Group energy facilities for operation in the heating season as well as an inspection calculation of readiness indexes of RusHydro Group energy facilities based on the reference data as per the Methodology of Evaluating Readiness of Energy Faculties for Operation in the Heating Season approved by the Decree of Minenergo No. 1233 as of December 27, 2017.

Order No. 515 as of August 8, 2017 updated and enacted the Regulation for Safety and Reliability Management System for Hydraulic Structures and Equipment of RusHydro Hydro Power Plants.

System principles:

  • the safety and reliability management system for hydraulic structures and equipment complies with all regulations in the field of safety of hydraulic structures;
  • the system functions at all stages of the life cycle of hydraulic structures and equipment (stages of engineering, designing, construction, operation, repair, reconstruction, preservation and dismantling).
  • the system is integrated into existing safety and reliability management processes for hydraulic structures and equipment;
  • solutions in safety and reliability of hydraulic structures and equipment are taken in accordance with state regulatory limitations to the activity affecting eco-systems and geographical landscapes;
  • management actions of the System are transparent for the Company management Board, shareholders, HPP personnel, supervisory authorities and mass media.

Major processes of the System:

  • condition monitoring of hydraulic structures and equipment with automated processing of data concerning condition indicators;
  • condition evaluation of hydraulic structures;
  • evaluation of technical condition and physical wear of equipment;
  • planning and taking measures to ensure safety and reliability of hydraulic structures and equipment;
  • management of practical and regulatory knowledge in safety and reliability of hydraulic structures and equipment.

In terms of evaluation of technical condition of equipment, order No. 913 dated December 25, 2017 enacted the Methodology for Evaluation of Technical Condition of Primary Process Equipment and Power Lines of Power Stations and Networks approved by the order of Minenergo No. 676 dated July 20, 2017.

Production monitoring

A mandatory condition of faultless operation of energy facilities is production monitoring of compliance with industrial safety regulations. Organization of timely maintenance, planned repairs, modernization of equipment, buildings, structures and utilities in energy units has a substantial effect on the quality of production and process facilities, extension of the service life and faultless operation of existing assets.

Typical structure of production monitoring in RusHydro branches


Monitoring and condition evaluation of RusHydro hydraulic structures

Condition monitoring of hydraulic structures (HS) is provided using standard monitoring systems installed at the stage of construction and modernized during the operation.

Monitoring of HS parameters

On concrete dams

On soil dams

In areas adjacent to HS

  • inclines of structures
  • settlement of structures
  • horizontal movements
  • mutual movements of structural elements
  • filtration counter-pressure over the footing of structures and filtration heads in the footing
  • filtration flow rates through the dam body and joints
  • temperature conditions in the structural body
  • temperature conditions of filtration water
  • chemical and mechanical erosion in the dam and footing
  • opening of cracks, temperature-settlement and construction joints
  • erosion of bottom and banks in the tail pond
  • physical and mechanical properties of dam material
  • settlement along the ridge and ledges
  • horizontal movements along the ridge and ledges
  • position of depression curve in the dam body and filtration heads in the footing and in zones of bank adjoining
  • filtration water flow rates
  • temperature conditions in the dam footing and body (for structures in the northern climatic zone)
  • water levels in head and tail ponds
  • settlements of landslide and potentially unstable slopes (on the surface and in the depth of slopes)
  • horizontal movements of landslide and potentially unstable slopes (on the surface and in the depth of slopes)
  • mutual movements of rocks along tectonic faults (geological faults)
  • horizontal and vertical movements of rocks nearby

RusHydro’s HS safety oversight system

Efficiency of operation safety and reliability oversight of the existing assets is achieved by the double monitoring system: internal system by means of production monitoring over the compliance with industrial and professional safety at hazardous production facilities, and external system provided by state surveillance authorities.

The oversight system includes:

  • constant observation over the hydraulic structures being under construction and in operation in order to evaluate and diagnose their technical condition;
  • monitoring over compliance with operation, construction and dismantling rules for hydraulic structures;
  • timely detection and correction of damages and emergencies;
  • scheduled and restorative repairs;
  • timely provision of safety declaration for hydraulic structures to state control (oversight) authorities.

Mechanisms ensuring operation and safety reliability of the facilities.


Natural disaster and emergency prevention and response system

All RusHydro Group facilities operating HSs have:

  • natural and man-made emergencies prevention and response plans of action approved by regional authorities of the Ministry of Emergency Situations;
  • safety data sheets for facilities in RusHydro branches and subsidiaries;
  • agreements with professional emergency rescue teams;
  • special equipment for prompt response to possible damages and emergencies (at the facilities with own (contractual) fire station);
  • irreducible emergency reserve;
  • emergency and safety equipment and tools;
  • contracted emergency rescue teams trained and certified for emergency operations and ready for actions in emergencies.

Emergency prevention and response measures

  • All RusHydro facilities have approved HS safety declarations which must be updated (revised) at least every five years with mandatory examination by specially established commissions involving design and R&D organizations.
  • All companies of the Group with facilities at risk of oil spill have emergency oil spill prevention and response plans developed, trained and equipped contractual teams which are able to isolate and eliminate emergency local spills of oil products, or agreements are concluded with professional rescue teams.
  • Material and technical reserves are updated for the needs of civil defense and protection of emergencies in the Company branches.
  • To ensure timely notification of population and regional authorities, 24 local public address systems (LPAS) are used at the Group’s facilities. As part of measures to implement new technologies, equipment and maintain local public address systems operable, LPASs have been upgraded in the following Company branches: Volzhskaya HPP, Nizhegorodskaya HPP and Karachayevo-Cherkess Branch (Zelenchukskaya HPP). Project documentation is developed for LPAS modernization in the branches of Saratovskaya HPP and Zhigulevskaya HPP. Projects for LPAS are developed in the Dagestan branch (Chirkeyskaya and Gunibskaya HPP).
  • A joint procedure for data exchange is in force for rapid communication between RusHydro and National Emergency Management Center of the Ministry of Emergency Situations.

Quality management during designing

The quality level of operating characteristics of equipment and HPP structures is defined at the stage of designing and is mainly defined by the quality of processes and design output. RusHydro facilities are designed by the research and design company and the design documentation is subject to the state expert examination. RusHydro and companies of RusHydro Group act as customers (developers).

Based on the R&D institute of RusHydro Group, a whole range of R&D activities is carried out for designing hydraulic, energetic, industrial and civil construction and water facilities. Moreover, activities are undertaken to diagnose and extend the service life of existing facilities, develop technologies to improve operating characteristics of hydraulic structures and HPP equipment in order to improve reliability and safety of energy facilities and reduce their environmental impact.

All project institutes of RusHydro Group implement quality standards and implement the quality management system from the beginning of hydro power project development to commissioning. The process and design output monitoring system is governed by local regulations developed under the RusHydro Technical Policy, branch and international technical standards.

Moreover, the quality of projects is ensured by advanced methods and technologies, state-of-the-art materials and structures, and scheduled measures to reduce negative effects and compensation measures at the construction stage.

A mandatory condition of project approval at the initiation stage is the analysis of the environmental impact of a capital construction facility. The primary part of the designing stage is to develop measures during construction and operation periods.

Quality management during construction

Quality control during construction and assembly works is provided for:

  • checking compliance of works with the City Planning Code, project documents, requirements of technical regulations, and survey results;
  • reliable and faultless operation of energy facilities and reduction of overhead costs at the stage of operation.

Quality control:

  • consists in forming technical requirements to the outcome and evaluation of the result compliance with technical requirements, internal regulatory documents and regulatory acts;
  • is carried out by all construction parties, general contractor, developer (customer) and designer (as part of designer supervision);
  • ensures incoming operational and acceptance inspection and accounting for wok performance, final inspection of completed works and issuing of a compliance certificate;
  • apart from internal oversight, it includes external oversight system provided by the Federal Service for Environmental, Technological and Nuclear Supervision and other state technical oversight bodies.

Audit results of quality management systems, certification results of quality management systems for compliance with international standards.

The following RusHydro controlled organizations have ISO:9001:2015 certificates: OJSC Far East Generation Company, OJSC Far East Distribution Grid Company, All-Russian Vedeneev Hydraulic Engineering Research Institute, JSC Scientific and Research Institute of Energy Structures, JSC Zhuk Institute Hydroproject, JSC Lenhydroproject, JSC Mosoblhydroproject, JSC Hydroremont-VCC, JSC ChirkeiGESstroi, PJSC Yakutskenergo.

RusHydro quality management regulation has been developed based on: ISO:9001:2015. RusHydro has not certified the quality management system in accordance with international standards.

RusHydro quality management system is governed by the following documents:

  • RusHydro production activity quality control regulation approved by RusHydro Board of Directors (minutes No. 228 dated December 11, 2015),
  • Regulation on RusHydro production facility construction customer approved by RusHydro Management Board (minutes No. 972 pr/9 dated April 15, 2016),
  • Regulation on general designer of RusHydro production facility construction approved by RusHydro Management Board (minutes No. 972 pr/9 dated April 15, 2016),
  • Regulation on general contractor of RusHydro production facility construction approved by RusHydro Management Board (minutes No. 972 pr/9 dated April 15, 2016),

Regulation on RusHydro production activity quality management system is developed in accordance with the methodology instructions of the Federal Agency for Inventory Management and the quality management system regulation. The regulation provides quality control – systematic oversight and control over compliance with quality process using own resources and contractors in construction, technical reconstruction and modernization and their results as part of expert and surveillance activity: expert examinations of activity results; technical audits, construction control; oversight of the equipment and materials manufacturing at the manufacturers; technical oversight of surveys, etc.

Information on technical audits by RusHydro

RusHydro has developed the Regulation on technical audits of the Company’s energy facilities approved by RusHydro Order No. 357 dated May 14, 2020.

Primary goals of technical audit are collection, systematization, analysis, comprehensive evaluation of information received during inspection which results in opinions, recommendations and proposals of audits for achieving the compliance of production assets of Company’s energy facilities with established regulatory acts of the Russian Federation in the field of occupational health, industrial, fire and environmental safety, operating rules and regulations (ORR), and requirements of the Technical and Environmental Policy of RusHydro Group.

RusHydro Decree No. 487r dated December 10, 2020 approved the schedule and plan of technical audits in 2021. According to the plan, technical audits of production activities are undertaken in RusHydro branches and controlled organizations in the following areas:

  • organization of emergency prevention;
  • organization of technical and process oversight;
  • compliance with occupational health requirements;
  • compliance with fire safety requirements;
  • compliance with industrial safety requirements;
  • organization of operation and technical refurbishment of process control systems;
  • organization of repairs of hydro power equipment;
  • organization of operation of hydraulic structures and production buildings;
  • organization of operation and control over relay protection, process automation system and supervisory control system;
  • organization of operative and process control and control over water energy conditions;
  • implementation of the production program and procurement program;
  • laws in environmental protection and protection of water biological resources.