Russian state nuclear corporation Rosatom jointly with the international initiative Nuclear Innovation: Clean Energy Future (NICE Future) on 19 June held a webinar on climate change in Russia and the role of nuclear power in the fight against these changes.
NICE Future was launched during the Ministerial Conference on Clean Energy in May 2018 by the USA, Canada and Japan. Currently, Argentina, Poland, Romania, Russia, the United Arab Emirates and the UK are also members.
The seminar, held at the site of the ANO DPO Rosatom Technical Academy with the support of private institution Rusatom International Network, attracted almost 200 registered participants from around the world. The meeting was moderated by Vladimir Artisyuk, Advisor to Rosatom Director General Alexei Likhachev. The invited experts represented a wide range of organisations, including the Russian Academy of Sciences and Rosatom enterprises.
The director of the Centre for Environmental Investments, Mikhail Yulkin emphasised the increasing role of Russian nuclear energy in the context of a rapid increase in average annual temperatures. The analysis of carbon footprints and anthropogenic heat generated as a result of economic activity in megacities was presented by the head of the laboratory of the Institute of Atmospheric Physics of the Russian Academy of Sciences Alexander Ginzburg. Fedor Veselov, Deputy Director of the Institute for Energy Research of the Russian Academy of Sciences, discussed the competitive qualities of nuclear energy in the context of a carbon emission reduction strategy. Polina Lyon, head of the sustainable development office of Rosatom State Atomic Energy Corporation, introduced the plan for low-carbon energy in 2050 and the role of small-scale NPPs in the energy balance for sustainable development.
Veselov told the webinar that the cost of Russian nuclear power reactor technology was expected to fall by about 15% in 2025 and by about 30% after fast breeder reactors (FBRs) are introduced commercially around 2035. He said capital expenditure for Russia’s current Generation III+ VVER-1200 light-water reactor technology is about $2000 per kW. With the introduction of the VVER-TOI reactor costs are expected to fall to $1700 per kW in 2025. FBR costs are projected to be around $1500 per kW in 2035. Factors pushing down costs would include reduced operation and maintenance costs, lower fuel costs, higher capacity factors and lower cost of capital.