Russian nuclear technologies in demand all over the world
14 June 2017 | The Financial Express

The numbers speak for themselves: the Russian State Nuclear Energy Corporation "Rosatom" has the largest number of customers lined up. The state corporation's portfolio now includes 34 nuclear power plant units across Europe, the Middle East, Southeast Asia and Africa. About the same number of units are under negotiation. Rosatom ranks number one constructor of nuclear units abroad. In early 2017, Rosatom's ten-year portfolio of overseas orders exceeded USD 130 billion. Impressive indeed…

Today, Rosatom is the only nuclear company in the world that has expertise in all areas of nuclear energy use at all stages of the nuclear facility life cycle. Rosatom implements joint research projects, builds research reactors and nuclear power plant units, creating comprehensive nuclear industries across the world. The company is ready to help train local nuclear power industry personnel, to assist in nuclear and radiation safety, to design the necessary legal and regulatory framework. Rosatom has been more successful than other industry players in overcoming the negative impact of the 2011 Fukushima accident on the global nuclear market.  It developed new safety systems, which exclude the scenario that had unfolded at the Japanese NPP.

Utilising smart and safe technologies, "Rosatom" is a proven leader of the international NPP construction market. While constructing the first nuclear power plant in Bangladesh - "Rooppur" Nuclear Power Plant in Pabna, it will help the country to attain energy security. "Rooppur" NPP will be equipped with two Russian VVER reactors, each with a capacity of 1,200 MW. The VVER-1200 offered by "Rosatom" is a modern generation 3+ project which meets all post-Fukushima international safety standards and rules.

Rosatom launched the world's first 3+ generation nuclear power plant unit at the Novovoronezh NPP in Russia. Its enhanced economic and safety parameters contribute to making it the most powerful unit in the Russian nuclear power industry. Thus, Rosatom has beaten both Areva and Westinghouse.

The launch of the Kudankulam NPP second power unit in India, a neighbour of Bangladesh, was another achievement in 2016. It is scheduled to be put into commercial operation in 2017.

In 2016, Rosatom's achievements were highly recognised by international expert community. The state corporation was listed among the world's top ten innovative leaders in nuclear energy, according to Thomson Reuters, a major provider of international analytical information for businesses.

The fourth power unit of the Beloyarsk NPP with the unique fast neutron BN-800 reactor is being put into commercial operation. In November, POWER, the oldest energy magazine in the US and one of the most influential and authoritative media outlets in the field, awarded its Power Awards 2016 to the Beloyarsk NPP fourth power unit in the best nuclear power plant nomination.

Rosatom's intellectual property management system also gained worldwide recognition. In 2016, Russia was honoured to chair the largest international conference on nuclear knowledge management held in Vienna, particularly the knowledge essential for maintaining and developing new technologies. In 2017, the largest FR17 conference on fast neutron reactors and related fuel cycles will take place in Yekaterinburg under the auspices of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). One of the main reasons behind the location choice was the fact that "fast" commercial-scale power reactors are in operation only in Russia.

Russia's achievements in the construction of NPPs and the development of other nuclear fields naturally translated into Rosatom signing new international agreements. In 2016, agreements and memoranda on cooperation in peaceful use of nuclear energy were signed with Cuba, Tunisia, Paraguay, Zambia, Kenya and Laos. A memorandum on expanded cooperation in respect of nuclear fuel cycle was signed with Kazakhstan. Strategic agreements were reached with China and Japan. In 2017 the company also has plans to sign a contract for the construction of an NPP in Egypt.

Foreign partners are also interested in Rosatom's research projects. For example, the powerful MBIR multifunctional fast neutron research reactor, constructed in Ulyanovsk Oblast, has attracted huge international attention. It will facilitate carrying out tests and trials of new promising nuclear technologies. Creating multifunctional nuclear science and technology centres overseas is another priority of Rosatom. These facilities will help carry out projects for energy, medicine, industry and agriculture development.

Rosatom takes an active part in all the world's leading projects to create future energy, including the construction of ITER (International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor) in France.  It is important to note that Russian technology forms the foundation for this project aimed at creating a cheap and almost infinite source of energy.

The research division of Rosatom upgraded its unique experimental base, the so-called complex of large physical experiment facilities (BFS). This unparalleled development allows to create and study full-scale models of fast neutron reactors.

The BFS complex is scheduled for commissioning in 2017. Thus, Russia will gain global leadership in the area of research driven by these facilities. Together with its partners, Rosatom formed a three-year portfolio of orders to implement projects on these facilities. More than 60% of the orders are international contracts with India, China, France and South Korea.

Rosatom's new innovative programme includes plans to advance ever more efficient nuclear power units, improve nuclear fuel, create new technologies for "neutralising" hazardous radioactive waste, design robots to disassemble decommissioned NPPs and develop supercomputer technologies.

In Bangladesh, Russian State Corporation "Rosatom" is not only building the most advanced nuclear power plant, but also is providing unique assistance by training professionals who will operate Rooppur NPP independently. This is aimed at making Rooppur power plant a truly national NPP belonging to the people of the country. What could be a better solid investment in the future of Bangladesh?

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