Rosatom is an undoubted leader in global nuclear construction. Its 10-year international contract portfolio grew 21% last year to 133.4 billion US dollars. The secret of success is its unparalleled integrated offer providing access to the entire range of products and services throughout the entire nuclear plant life cycle.
The integrated offer is based on VVER-1200, Rosatom’s flagship revolutionary reactor. It incorporates the AES-2006 design featuring a number of definitive advantages over the VVER-1000 reactor. In particular, it provides for a 20% higher power capacity and a doubled service life (60 vs. 30 years) of its core components, a reactor vessel and a steam generator body. More important is that the new design is fully compliant with the post-Fukushima safety requirements.
The Russian AES-2006 design features an array of unparalleled safety systems. One of them is a core catcher, a unique safety device designed by Russian nuclear engineers to mitigate effects of a nuclear meltdown. In case of an accident, the core catcher medium mixes with the molten core materials and distributes them evenly inside the catcher body. The catcher can hold the molten core for an unlimited period of time, preventing nuclear materials from getting outside. The first ever core catcher was installed at the Russian-designed Tianwan Nuclear Power Plant in China. Passive heat removal is another unparalleled safety feature of the AES-2006 design. This technology allows for cooling of the reactor core in case of power outage without human involvement.
The world’s first Generation 3+ reactor was commissioned at the Novovoronezh II nuclear power plant. New safety systems, increased service life of the primary equipment and improved automation solutions significantly reducing the need for manpower will almost double the cost efficiency of Novovoronezh II.
Having built a nuclear plant, Rosatom can supply it with fuel throughout its entire service life. At present, Russian nuclear fuel is used in every 6th reactor worldwide. In addition, Rosatom offers spent nuclear fuel and radioactive waste management and safety services to its foreign customers.
Along with nuclear construction projects, Rosatom is prepared to establish and develop the national nuclear infrastructure so that the customer can control and regulate the atomic energy program in compliance with the IAEA recommendations. Development of the nuclear infrastructure at early stages of the national nuclear program ensures the reduction of possible economic, social, political, nuclear, technical, administrative, financial and other risks. Rosatom also assists emerging nuclear countries in establishing a relevant legal framework.
Additionally, its integrated offer includes staff training programs. Qualified personnel are a top requirement for safe and reliable operation of nuclear power facilities. Russia’s expertise in staff training and opportunities offered by Rosatom’s subsidiaries in this field can solve such a large-scale task. Rosatom is capable of organizing training programs for would-be nuclear plant operators and offering educational service and training courses for the whole range of highly-qualified employees, from technical personnel to managers of national regulatory and government bodies. Training programs for foreign personnel are based on the IAEA guidelines and standards and incorporate long-term experience of leading Russian universities specializing in nuclear education. Rosatom provides quotas for education of foreign students in leading Russian technical universities with further on-the-job training at the Russian nuclear facilities under operation.
Public acceptance is key to success
Rosatom pays much attention to public acceptance of nuclear power projects and is ready to help emerging nuclear countries with building a dialog with the broadest audience regarding the nuclear industry. Nuclear education is one of the most effective ways of gaining public trust in atomic energy. This refers, first and foremost, to public awareness programs rather than to institutions of higher education. In Russia, where nuclear facilities account for more than 18% of the total electricity generation, these programs are in the focus of attention. Among them are nuclear information centers, press tours for environmentalists, social activists, and journalists, film making, and even relocation of the moor frog population which, as it turned out, is endangered by our nuclear station project in Finland. Rosatom also operates nuclear information centers in 22 Russian cities to present peaceful uses of nuclear energy in layman’s terms. The network was established only five years ago, but already has an impressive track record of more than 45,000 public awareness projects.