The XII International Forum Atomexpo-2022 was held in Sochi (Russia) on November 21-22, attracting the heads of key companies in the global nuclear industry, government agencies, international and public organisations. This year, the forum was attended by about 2,500 people from 65 countries. Discussions were held on a wide range of issues including green financing, digital engineering, construction of new NPPs, raw material supply for the nuclear fuel cycle, prospects for the development of onshore small modular reactors (SMRs) and the role of social movements in popularising the nuclear industry. A number of documents were also signed on the sidelines of the forum.
A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed by, Rosatom Director General Alexey Likhachev and Amon Murwira, Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education, Innovation, Science & Technology Development on cooperation in education and training in the field of nuclear energy. Efforts will be made to develop interaction between specialised educational institutions, including organising joint short-term programmes, training teachers, developing educational and scientific literature, and student exchange.
In addition, Likhachev and Ibrahim Uwizeye, Minister of Water Resources, Energy and Mines of the Republic of Burundi, agreed on a Roadmap to establish cooperation in the field of peaceful use of atomic energy. The Roadmap provides for interaction between the parties in 2022-2024 in order to assess the prospects for nuclear power generation in Burundi and work out the possibility of implementing projects in the field of non-energy applications of nuclear energy in the country.
With least 600 million people in Africa having no access electricity and inadequate funding for power generation, Rosatom proposes to provide, over the next several years, mini nuclear plants for generating reliable and affordable power in a number of African countries. Rosatom is discussing, as part of the energy-mix, the use of SMRs and floating nuclear plants for African countries. The
President of Rusatom Overseas (part of Rosatom) Yevgeny Pakermanov said at the Atomexpo-2022 forum that his company is holding a series of dialogues with African colleagues. “We continue to work with Rwanda, Nigeria and other countries of the region. A floating NPP may be very promising in this region, and we are also discussing the use of floating nuclear heat and power plants for the African region,” he said. Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has reiterated that Rosatom is considering a number of projects that are of interest to Africans, for instance the creation of a nuclear research and technology centre in Zambia. Nigeria has a similar project. There are good prospects for cooperation with Ghana, Tanzania and Ethiopia.
Likhachev also agreed a Roadmap with the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Nicaragua to the Russian Federation, Alba Asusen Torres, whereby the Nicaraguan Commission for the Development of Atomic Energy for Peaceful Purposes will establish Russian-Nicaraguan cooperation in the field of non-energy applications of atomic energy for peaceful purposes. The document defines steps for the next two years in the field of non-energy applications of atomic energy in Nicaragua, including an assessment of the prospects for the implementation of projects in the field of geothermal, hydro and wind energy. There are plans to organise technical tours and seminars, conduct training and training events for personnel, as well as to form public opinion in the field of nuclear energy.
An MOU was signed with Myanmar between Rusat Energy Projects » and the Myanmar Department of Electric Power Planning of the Ministry of Electrification of the Republic for the implementation of the joint preliminary feasibility study for the construction of a low-power nuclear power plant (SMR) in Mayamar based on Russian technology including further steps to build Russian-Myanmar cooperation within the framework of the project.
A number of agreements were signed between Rosatom and the Institute of Nuclear Physics (INP) of the Academy of Sciences of Uzbekistan including an agreement on legally binding conditions for joining the international Consortium based on Russia’s MBIR research reactor. INP will become one of the main participants in the agreement on the MBIR consortium by the end of 2023. A second agreement covered cooperation in the field of decommissioning of nuclear facilities and waste management. Thirdly, an agreement was signed with the scientific division of Rosatom for joint implementation of projects and R&D in the field of radiation materials science, calculation of exotic reactions and astrophysics, as well as development of technologies for producing radionuclides for nuclear medicine.
The Rosatom group's Rusatom Energy Projects and Kyrgyzstan's Energy Ministry signed terms of reference for a preliminary feasibility study to build a low-power NPP (SMR) in Kyrgyzstan.
The parties expressed an interest in developing cooperation in the construction of nuclear power plants using RITM-200N reactors.
The document envisages joint work on assessing the feasibility and effectiveness of introducing nuclear energy into Kyrgyzstan's energy mix, as well as assessing the key parameters of the project, including the timeframe, the cost of electricity, the technical aspects of connecting to the power grid, as well as the social and macroeconomic effects of the project.
Atomexpo also saw an agreement signed between the Russian government and the Belarusian government on cooperation in the field of used nuclear fuel management. The draft agreement contains specific provisions that will regulate the mutual obligations of Russian and Belarus in the management of used nuclear fuel from the Belarusian NPP reactors. A fuel supply agreement was also signed with Egypt.