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  • January
  • February
  • Nuclear medicine. Moscow hosted the first meeting of the BRICS Working Group on Nuclear Medicine. The group was established at the 15th BRICS Summit in 2023 to include leading experts in nuclear medicine and radiopharmaceuticals. They discussed the development of nuclear medicine in the BRICS countries and approaches to a more effective cooperation towards the common goal of improving the quality and longevity of human life. The International BRICS Expert Forum on Nuclear Medicine will take place in Saint Petersburg this June. Held last year for the first time, the forum brought together more than 200 experts from Russia, Brazil, India, China, and South Africa.
    Akkuyu NPP. Unit 1 of Turkey’s first nuclear power plant is over 90% complete. This was announced by Rosatom’s chief Alexey Likhachev during his visit to the site. “All the nuclear island equipment has been assembled. Work is underway in the turbine hall to install a stator, a centerpiece of the power generating system and the heaviest part of the nuclear plant equipment. The reactor can be compared to the heart that pumps blood through the plant’s body. The blood feeds the muscles, a turbine and a generator. These muscles will produce up to 10% of total electricity in such a big country as Turkey,” Rosatom Director General said. Right before his visit to the site, the workers completed a sophisticated task of pre-installing the stator of the turbine generator. Meanwhile, the first next-generation cask, which is used for the transportation and storage of nuclear fuel after it is extracted from the spent fuel pool, was shipped from Russia to Turkey. 
    Fuel. The Novosibirsk Chemical Concentrates Plant (a subsidiary of Rosatom’s TVEL Fuel Company) and the Egyptian Atomic Energy Authority (EAEA) signed contract documents to ship components of low-enriched nuclear fuel for Egypt’s second experimental training research reactor (ETRR-2). The shipments of fuel components are governed by a long-term agreement. They include low-enriched uranium and parts made of aluminum alloys and aluminum powder. The next shipment is scheduled for 2024. The prior delivery was made earlier this year. ETRR-2 installed in Egypt’s Nuclear Research Center in Inshas is used to carry out research in particle physics and material science and produce radioisotopes.
    Nuclear medicine. Rosatom finished erecting a building frame for Europe’s largest radiopharmaceuticals factory. The factory is being built on the premises of the Karpov Institute of Physical Chemistry (part of Rosatom) in Obninsk (Kaluga Region). Rosatom’s current product range includes 11 radiopharmaceuticals. The radioisotopes produced by the Russian nuclear corporation allow for about one million diagnostic and therapeutic procedures to be performed in Russia every year. After the factory is put into operation in 2025, 21 production lines will manufacture up to 25 radiopharmaceutical substances. Rosatom researchers work together with clinicians in developing innovative drugs. “We are planning to pilot the production of encapsulated iodine in March 2024 and complete pre-clinical studies on a thorium-based drug in June 2024. Another innovative drug containing lutetium has been already used to successfully treat the first patients,” says Igor Obrubov, Head of Rosatom’s Healthcare Technology division. 
    SMR. Rosatom’s electrical engineering division RosEnergoAtom was granted the status of the operator for the SMR-based nuclear power plant in Yakutia. Its design incorporates Russia’s latest pressurized water RITM-200N small modular reactor, a marine technology modified for onshore applications. RITM-200 reactors have been tested in the harsh Arctic conditions on the cutting-edge Russian icebreakers. Compared to conventional nuclear stations, the Yakutian small-scale nuclear power plant will be much more compact, which will shorten its construction time. The first onshore SMR is scheduled for commissioning in 2028. The Yakutian nuclear power plant will be a reliable source of electricity for remote areas in the north of Yakutia, particularly for the development of the Kyuchus gold deposit and other ore fields. 
    Kudankulam NPP. Alexey Likhachev, the head of Rosatom, and Ajit Kumar Mohanty, Chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission of India, Secretary of the Atomic Energy Department of the Government of India, visited the Kudankulam NPP construction site in India. During the two-day visit, the delegation inspected the power units of the second and third phases of the station under construction. As a result of the negotiations, a protocol to the intergovernmental agreement on the construction of power units of the second and third phases of the NPP from 2008 was signed. Kudankulam NPP, which is being built by Rosatom, is India’s largest nuclear power plant and the flagship project of Russian-Indian technological and energy cooperation. The project involves the construction of six units with VVER-1000 reactors with a total capacity of 6,000 MW. Power units No. 1 and 2 were connected to the grid in 2013 and 2016, and four more units are currently being built.
    Construction sites. Rosatom accomplished a unique task of shipping heavy equipment from Saint Petersburg to the Akkuyu NPP construction site in Turkey. Escorted by three icebreakers on the frozen Neva River, two tugboats towed barges carrying two horizontal moisture separator reheaters (MSRs) for Akkuyu Unit 1. The drawbridges over the Neva were raised to let the convoy pass, which is uncommon in winter. The total weight of the equipment is 640 tonnes. Each reheater is 22.3 meters long. The moisture separator reheaters for the Turkish nuclear power plant are the first in Russia to have been made horizontal. This design improves performance of the turbines, with only two MSRs used instead of four. The Akkuyu Nuclear Power Plant comprises four power units with a total installed capacity of 4,800 MW.
    Cooperation. Rosatom and the government of Belarus signed a memorandum on the enhancement of strategic cooperation in peaceful uses of nuclear energy and associated high technology. The document provides for the delivery of joint projects in nuclear medicine, digitalization, additive technology, cumulative environmental impact reduction, and radioactive waste management. Last November, the second unit of the Belarusian NPP built by Rosatom was put into commercial operation. Now, the two units with an aggregate power capacity of 2,400 MW provide around 40% of the country’s electricity needs.
    New icebreaker. In late January, the fifth Project 22220 nuclear-powered icebreaker, Leningrad, was laid down at the Baltic Shipyard in Saint Petersburg. Rosatom is working on upgrading its nuclear icebreaker fleet to meet the growing cargo traffic on the Northern Sea Route. Two more Project 22220 icebreakers, Yakutia (scheduled for commissioning in late 2024) and Chukotka (to be ready in December 2026), and a flagship Project 10510 nuclear icebreaker Rossiya (2027) are currently under construction. In 2023, transit cargo traffic on the Northern Sea Route reached a record high of 2.1 million tonnes.