Rosatom said on 3 August that its Engineering Division had created a powerful and efficient design section - the Joint Design Institute (OPI) incorporating Atomenergoproekt, acting as legal entity of the pilot project along with St Petersburg enterprises Atomproekt and the Research and Development Institute for Energy Research (SPb NII EIZ). The OPI includes three large Atomenergoproekt institutes based in Moscow, Nizhny Novgorod and St Petersburg. Thus, the structure of the All-Union State Scientific Research, Design and Research Institute Atomenergoproekt, which existed until 1992, is now partially restored.
The three Atomenergoproekt institutes originate from the same design bureau, Teploelektroproekt, which was founded in Moscow in 1924 and which was appointed general architect-engineer of Russian nuclear plants by government decree in 1958. In 1982, Teploelektroproekt was reorganised as the Atomteploelektroproekt institute, which was later split into the three Atomenergoproekt institutes.
The formation of pilot projects based on Atomenergoproekt was started in 2019 and was aimed at increasing the efficiency of the Rosatom Engineering Division design section by making it possible to quickly and efficiently concentrate the efforts of the entire team of designers on the most complex projects; eliminating internal competition; ensuring the professional development of employees through rotation between cities, specialties, projects; eliminating the need to conclude contracts between three legal entities; and reducing costs. In 2020, work was completed to unite the Moscow and Nizhny Novgorod design institutes into a single organisation. The next step was the merger with Atomproekt (St Petersburg).
The length of the reorganisation process was associated with the need to resolve legal issues with customers, including foreign clients, due to the change of the contractor under the concluded contracts. Now all these legal issues have been resolved, which ensures the continuity of the production process. As a result of the merger of the teams, the working conditions of the workers transferred from Atomproekt and SPb NII EIZ were preserved, including the level of wages, social security, vacation schedule, workplace organisation, material and technical and IT support.
Atomenergoproekt General Director Ruben Topchiyan noted that, as a result of the complex work of merging the three design institutes, a powerful and efficient design section has been created with equality between the institutions. “All of them work together at our facilities, we have the ability to redistribute tasks depending on competencies and workload. And this is already yielding positive results in terms of fulfilling our obligations to implement projects in the Engineering Division's order portfolio,” he said.