17 May 2013, 20:48

Russia to expand geography of nuclear cooperation

Иран атомная электростанция Исфахан уран урановая руда ядерный реактор производство ядерное оружие

Russia’s state nuclear energy corporation Rosatom may soon expand the geography of its foreign projects. Britain and South Africa may decide to build their new nuclear power plants using Russian technologies.

The issues of nuclear cooperation with South Africa were discussed during the visit of South Africa’s President Jakob Zuma to Russia on May 15-17. In particular it is planned to build several power generating units with total capacity of about 10 gigawatt in that country.

Andrei Gagarinsky, an expert at the “Kurchatov institute” national research center, says Russia’s cooperation with South Africa in nuclear industry is quite possible.

"South Africa really needs nuclear energy industry, so why not to cooperate? We can offer good projects and we have the facilities to build and supply nuclear equipment. South Africa is quite experienced in nuclear energy, it has been successfully operating its single NPP. Even more than that - South Africa used to work on developing its own nuclear weapon but gave it up confirming its commitment to the principles of non-proliferation."

According to the head of Rosatom Sergey Kirienko, Russia also would like to develop nuclear cooperation with Britain. Russia hopes to discuss its possible participation in the construction of a new NPP in Britain during the G8 summit in Northern Ireland in June, he said.

In the coming 20 years Britain plans to build new generation nuclear power plants. Until now Britain built all its NPPs independently, Gagarinsky says.

"They started to build them in the 1950-s and by now many of them are to be shutdown. But Britain regards nuclear energy as an important part of its energy potential. They have decided to build new plants and now they are choosing a better foreign partner for it. France which has a huge experience in this field can become this partner but it if Russia shows Britain that it also can this will be great."

Rosatom has what to offer to its partners in South Africa and Britain. First of all this is the wide range of water-water energy reactors (WWER), Alexander Vinogradov,Chief Engineer of theNeutron Physics Laboratoryat the Joint Institutefor NuclearResearch in Dubna says.

"We have well-developed water-water energy reactors. These are shell type high power reactors. For such units we can offer well developed projects with high degree of safety. There are also water-water energy reactors, which are less powerful but also excellent."

Today more and more countries are voicing plans to build their nuclear power plants or are already building them. In particular these are Vietnam, Turkey, Bangladesh, Saudi Arabia, Belarus.

It is likely that this list will be expanded and the competition on the market will get tougher. But Rosatom is ready for this competition.

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