Sergey Barbashev, Vice-Presedent, Executive Secretary of the Ukraine Nuclear Society
The VI International Forum Atomexpo took place in Moscow on June 9-11
The staff management issues are obviously among the most important. They always were and not only in the nuclear energy. Why they are so important for the nuclear energy? First of all, this industry is under development practically in all countries where there is a nuclear energy. New countries appear which join the nuclear club. As for Russia, its own nuclear energy is well developed and the industry is developing. Russia is planning to continue constructing new units, Ukraine is planning to build new units, a plant to produce nuclear fuel and facilities to process and manage SNF – all such activities require personnel.
All these days’ discussions at the Forum Atomexpo focused on the fact that the nuclear energy was highly intellectual and highly technological industry. Success, attractiveness, efficiency and safety of the nuclear industry – all depends upon people, human factor. The better people, personnel have been trained, the more reliable and safe will be the operation of all nuclear facilities.
Since we are actively developing there is an attrition of personnel, some people retire and some go abroad. We naturally have to make up for the losses and train additional staff. Technologies are also making headways, so there is a need to improve qualification of employees now available, primarily provide new young specialists with new modern knowledge, this is very important. There is a need of public’ support and understanding of the problem, solution of it and funding.
The Russian Federation does it. I’d like to say that the key step in solution of the personnel affairs is a public support both the nuclear industry as a whole and the staff training. But the training of personnel is a rather broad notion. It covers not only training of young specialists for nuclear power plant but scientific support, design efforts and engineering. A rather wide range of specialists needs to be prepared here.
Alexey Zaryanov, Engineer of Energy Safety Center of Nuclear Safety Institute of the Rssian Academy of Science (IBRAE)
The VI International Forum Atomexpo took place in Moscow on June 9-11
We are participating in the Show of Atomexpo 2014 in order to demonstrate achievements of the Nuclear Safety Institute. We constantly participate in various events: Atomexpo, Atomeco etc. Exhibitions are useful from that point of view that we not only demonstrate our achievements but become familiar with developments of other institutes of the nuclear industry.
The task of our Institute includes development of emergency and territorial systems, improvement of emergency preparedness at nuclear industry’s facilities. The Institute develops software and hardware complexes which allow evaluating radiation exposure of the population and personnel, simulating water and air propagation of radioactive impurities. We develop severe accident codes for simulating dynamics of reactor units during design-basis, beyond-design basis and severe accidents. IBRAE works on the safety improvement when managing RAW.
I believe that the NPP’ safety in Russia is at high level. After Chernobyl accident in 1986 in our country there were introduces very stringent regulations which resulted in significant improvement of the safety which is the top priority of the Russian nuclear industry.
Yaromir Novak, Chief Executive Officer Euroenergy, spol s.r.o. (Сzech Republic)
The VI International Forum Atomexpo took place in Moscow on June 9-11
The Czech Republic, former Czechoslovakia, has started its cooperation with Russia around 60 years ago. On the base of cooperation we have built six units in the Czech Republic and four units in the Slovak Republic using the VVER technologies. The then cooperation covered a plan purchase only, i.e. we have actually bought the NPP construction. Now the cooperation is based on exchange of technologies and know-how, participation of various Czech companies in joint projects. If previously we did 90% of all work in such kind of cooperation and other countries - only 10%, now different trends, for instance, in the area of nuclear fuel, are underway.
Several years ago a bid was arranged to construct new units at Temelin NPP, which then cancelled. The problem was related to the market: it is hard to make a decision regarding the long-term project for there is a need not only to calculate all costs but to find out funding. We’ll see what shall be in the future, the market is evolving.
For example, after the accident at Fukushima NPP Germany made a decision to shut down all nuclear plant, unit by unit, until 2022. They are substituting them with renewable sources of energy, but the latter have such a problem as system instability. I believe that in the future, probably after 2025 the situation will change for it was a political decision. The energy industry of Germany cannot only rely on the renewable source of energy because they are instable. Germany is trying to rectify the situation by building windmills in the country’s north, particularly on the coast, to supply Bavaria, Baden-Baden, Essen and so forth. By if they fail to accomplish this idea, new ways will have to be found out, it may be gas-fired plants.
The Russian market of nuclear technologies is in progress. It was a good decision to concentrate companies in Rosatom State Corporation. Rosatom is intending to build plants abroad: India, Vietnam, Finland, Turkey, South Africa, but I should note that situations of NPP construction in Russia and foreign countries are different. It is another type of a project and Rosatom should be ready to work abroad. It is related to people training, their ability to work in multi-national teams, language knowledge and many other things. They will have to take into account many things because situations in various countries are different: another mentality, different rules and legislations, documentation, specifications etc.
Agneta Rising, Chief Executive Officer of World Nuclear Association
VI International Forum “Atomexpo” was held from 9-11 June in Moscow
Nuclear Power Engineering is a long-term undertaking. I would say that this opinion is shared throughout the world. This is relatively a confined sector. When you join work in the nuclear industry, in the beginning one acquaints with the people, and then meet them regularly, because the same people work in this industry, they know each other and hence honest business is to be conducted. In a sense, I would say that nuclear energy is a long-term undertaking in private, and it shall develop in the course of a long period. To some extent, it is similar to Olympic Games. It shall be free of politics, as it provides safe deliveries of energy for people in different corners of the works, for developing economies, affordable and stable supply of electricity, which is safe for the environment. No other energy source can conform to all the requirements viz. low cost, stable prices, safety of deliveries that implies that in principle you can have any amount of fuel, which you can store in some place in your country or other place. Any other energy sources cannot be stored for a long-term as there are no storages for such volumes. The share of fuel component in the price of nuclear energy is low, and if the prices for uranium do not change, they do not influence the price of nuclear energy.
I would like to add that the most important is that nuclear power is affordable to any country. Either other sources depend on nature, or they have to be imported. However, nuclear power is the source of energy, available inside the country. If the nuclear reactor is to be bought from another country, it operates for that country, which buys it, new work places are created locally, and if fuel is to be bought from abroad, it is nevertheless a small component in the price of electricity.
Today the main challenge for nuclear industry is de-regulation of the market and long-term investments, because the construction of a new reactor is a capital-intensive process. Now we see, for example, in Europe, where the first nuclear reactors appeared, that it is about time to introduce displacement power, and this requires huge capital investments. Hence the challenge. Another challenge is that the reactors become more and more complicated in their design and more and more time is spent for their construction, which implies that the investments are returned later.
I see the development of nuclear power engineering and its prospects in a very positive way. We see that the countries with high demand for electricity invest in nuclear power generation, as they compare different sources of energy and make the choice in favor of peaceful atom. We see that the developing economies invest money in the development of nuclear power engineering, and this is very good. We see that Great Britain, which is the longest engaged in nuclear power generation, also continues to develop it. We observe growth in the construction of nuclear power facilities, and this is really good.
Dominique Fache, President Foundation Sophia Antipolis
VI International Forum “Atomexpo” was held from 9-11 June in Moscow
As you know, thanks to the resolutions, adopted in France in the 1960-70-s, we are the government, probably, with the highest level of use of nuclear power viz. 78%. Today the important political, technical and economic issue in France is what decisions shall be taken in the future.
Today in France, the reduction in the level of nuclear energy use from 78% to 50% is being discussed. From the point of view of power generation, I can say that this is dominant issue for us, which is of particular importance for the future. Currently we are at crossroads. I, as one of the founders of the Nice Club, which is an analog of the Davos Forum in power generation and gathers every year already in the course of 12 years, can say that the expert community is aware that the world energy balance is changing. That world, which existed, has already vanished, due to different reasons, including due to geopolitical reasons. There are pure economic reasons viz. price of oil earlier was 10 dollars a barrel and today it is 100. Everyone understand that something is changing. The world that was shall never be again.
It should be said in addition, that today about 2 billion people do not have access to electricity. It is very difficult to say how the energy balance in the forthcoming 20-30 years, world shall be, is very difficult. Hence, we live now in a rather unclear situation, where decisions, which seem personally strange to me, are taken. For example, Angela Merkel, the Federal Chancellor of FRG, decided to close 22 NPP in Germany.
People do not know, in which world they shall live. All understand one thing that electricity shall be costlier. There is no international authority in power generation, which would have been engaged in regulation in this sphere. Of course, there are agencies, which issue statistics, but they regulate nothing.
Speaking as a European, I would say that there is no clear, precise, wise approach of Europe to power generation: each plays in his yard, each does his own. The Commissioner for Energy Ettinger, who obscurely is engaged in God knows what, and there is no integrated policy in Europe. Hence, the situation is baffling.
At some point, I worked with Schlumberger, which differs also by the fact that for almost a century makes huge investments in science. Why Schlumberger is the leader? Because they already for a long time invest 7-8 % of the budget in science, in contrast to the other. This is a problem for Russia and for all. Where to invest? I shall give you one example, in power generation the problem No 1 today is the storage of electricity. Who invests in this field? What are the results? The person, who resolves this, should be given five Nobel prizes, because this is a key issue.
One more issue arises viz. whether the nuclear power generation can help Europe resolve the problems with electricity deliveries. In Europe, unfortunately, the issue of power generation is more likely, political. I consider that after Fukusima it was difficult to expect absolute affirmative replay to the question on what role nuclear power generation shall play. A lot depends on your point of view. Here you either a Frenchman or German, for example, - different situations here, and one can say from different sides. Why the Germans prohibited peaceful atom? Renewable sources of energy are very costly for them, almost twice as expensive as in France. For us in France energy is quite cheap. Nevertheless, political influence begins, and the politicians discuss: we have undertaken the liability; it means we should fulfill them. Did you think of the consequences? This is very dangerous.
I am afraid of political solutions in the sphere of power generation, because experience shows that this often leads to catastrophes, in particular, in that as regards prices, to deadlock situations. If renewable resources are to be taken, indeed they exist on subsidies and what about the budget. In France in 1950s, it was decided to invest every year in 5-6 nuclear power generation units. These were huge investments. Then the political decision coincided with the country’s interests. Now, in spite of the crisis, we live today in a country with the cheapest electricity in Europe.
The situation depends on where you are and what were the conditions at the beginning. In addition, the situation is changing. I shall give you an example: 5 years ago in the Nice Club I explained, to what extent how shale gas changed the situation in America. The representative of Gazprom then said that it was not there. However, look how the situation in power generation changed in the USA. They knocked out Shtokman, which became non-profitable due to price. You see, to what extent certain decisions can totally change this picture. This is a good lesson. It should be kept in mind that there are certain moments, which in the course of only five years (when the nuclear power generation unit is being built) can completely change everything.
Minna Forsstrem, Project Director, Fennovoima (Finland)
VI International Forum “Atomexpo” was held from 9-11 June in Moscow
One of the advantages of nuclear energy is that it is predictable. In spite of the fact that it requires quite high capital investments, the price level for nuclear energy can be forecast for 60 years in advance and even further. Thanks to stability of production, you can also calculate the production volumes and get advantageous price. As I work in the nuclear industry, I by definition shall believe in the development of nuclear power generation. However as we see, that many countries all over the world consider the transition to nuclear power generation. Moreover, it should be noted that nuclear power generation offers stable deliveries, and this is what everyone requires, it gives energy in the base. It is of particular importance for those countries, who begin develop the electricity market.
In recent years, we encountered some problems in the construction projects, which was related to the increase in cost or investments. I consider that in our project Khankhikivi NPP we shall show the successful example and prove to those, who doubt nuclear power generation that this is not a problem. We need an example of successful project, and we are currently trying to implement such project.
I consider that our Russian partners viz. Rosatom, are very active and motivated. We succeeded in signing the contract within several months. No one had done this so quickly.
Oto Schultz, Adviser to Chief Executive Officer, Vuje (Slovakia)
VI International Forum “Atomexpo” was held from 9-11 June in Moscow
I represent the Slovakian company, which operates in the nuclear power industry for 40 years. Our company has extensive operating experience of nuclear power plants, which were built with VVER technology. We work with Hungary, Czech Republic, worked with Ukraine. We are here already for 5 years, and we need to show what we can do for this nuclear market. We now participate in the project for extension of NPP in Mokhvtse and would like to participate in the projects in Russia, Turkey, and Vietnam. We would like to share our expertise.
Nuclear power plants are life for us. Never were there problems in Slovakia, related to apprehensions of people regarding nuclear power generation. We see that for our country nuclear power generation is the best choice. The cost of construction of nuclear power plants is gradually increasing, because we increase safety boundaries, and operational life of nuclear power stations increase. Due to the fact that NPP operate longer, the construction expenditure evens out with time, and therefore nuclear power generation becomes very interesting from economic point of view. Energy from renewable sources of energy are considerably costlier. Nuclear power generation in our country constitutes 55%.
At Atomexpo, life of nuclear power industry can be seen. There are many companies here. It becomes obvious here that nuclear power industry shall exist and go forward. Rich countries, such as Germany, can lay stress on renewable energy, but it is costlier than nuclear power generation. It is very costly to close nuclear power stations and get energy from water and wind. The future of nuclear power industry depends on implementation of new technologies.
Nejati Yamach, Director of Department for implementation of projects in nuclear power generation, Ministry of Power Generation and Natural Resources of Turkey
VI International Forum “Atomexpo” was held from 9-11 June in Moscow
From the point of view of natural resources of Turkey, one can see that we strongly depend on import of energy resources. We pay about 60 billion Dollars annually for deliveries of energy resources from abroad.
The renewable sources of energy cannot ensure the entire requirements of the country. In this context, nuclear energy is good for the safety of energy deliveries. When our first NPP shall be commissioned, we can generate a considerable quantity of electricity inside the country.
After the events at Fukusima NPP, the safety requirements of nuclear power plants were made stringent. Correspondingly, if you have to introduce additional safety measures, then additional costs have to be incurred or abandon the project. Thus, we should choose between the project economy and safety. We should choose safety, as safety is not only the requirement for the accepting party, but it is also that each country shall make as the utmost priority. The safety and financial aspects are the most important challenges in nuclear power generation.
Turkey is ready to cooperate with Russia in different spheres, including with higher educational institutions and other educations institutions. Turkey wants to cooperate with the State Corporation Rosatom, which has vast experience in the construction of stations, design, as well as they have experience in planning works with personnel. In this context, we are lucky that we work with Rosatom.
Alexander Uvaroм, President ANO “AtomInfor-Center”
France gives place to foreign competitors, primarily Russia, in the struggle for orders for construction of new nuclear power generation units abroad. The participants of the industry conference, held in June in Paris, came to such conclusion.
- In your opinion, how critical is the issue of competition of the French with Russian atomists?
- France now due to objective reasons is not in need of the construction of new nuclear power units on its territory in the near future. The only exception being the construction of unit No 3 of Flamanville NPP, but the decision on its construction was taken, in principle, on the grounds of the requirement to get reference unit with EPR reactor, newly developed by the French specialists. For this reason, the French nuclear companies can get orders for construction of units (this is best in financial plan and attractive from the point of view of orders in the nuclear industry) abroad only. Naturally, the French come up against intense competition, including, with Russian projects.
It has to be said the atomists from France have reason to ponder. Starting December 2003, they could not win a single tender for the construction of units. The victory in the tender “Finland-5” in 2003 did not add laurels to them as the construction of unit No 3 of Olkiluoto NPP, being built by the French AREVA is yet to be completed.
In the Emirates the French offer gave way to the offer of the consortium from South Korea. In the Czech Republic, the French were excluded from the tender for extension of Temelin NPP, where the Czech-Russian consortium MIR.1200 took part. In Jordan in 2013, in spite of the help of the Japanese corporation MHI, the French lost out to the Russians in the final tender.
- In what essentially the French lose to the Russian, in what specific parameters?
- The participants of the June conference in Paris, i.e. the representatives of the French nuclear companies themselves see the capability of the Russians to offer cheap credit as one of the strong aspects. In the background of all round increase in cost of nuclear projects after 2008 and accident at Fukusima, cost economy becomes the important factor on choice of winners of nuclear tenders.
The second important factor, in favor of the State Corporation “Rosatom” is the capability of the Russian State Corporation to propose comprehensive offer to the clients that cover almost all aspects of activity of the nuclear industry. The Russians are capable of not only building units and supplying them with fuel. The export offers of Rosatom include clauses on help in handling spent nuclear fuel, and providing support in the training of nationals that is of crucial importance for countries-novices, and a host of other things.
On the contrary, the French academic system was not ready for joint work with the atomists for promotion of nuclear projects abroad. The French specialists themselves consider it “fragmented and inclined to individualism”.
There are other weaknesses, about which in France they speak reluctantly. For example, the French EPR water-cooled reactor project, being currently the main project offered for export, happened to be extremely complicated as compared to the Russian WWER. Thus, at the unit “Olkiluoto-3” under construction till date the review of APCS system offered by the French side has not been completed. Overly complicated system architecture does not allow conclude, how far it is capable of maintaining safe operation of the reactor.
- How do the pronounced plans of the French Government for reduction of the share of nuclear power generation to 50% shall affect the position of French nuclear industry in the world market?
- Undoubtedly, the “extravagant” intention of Paris to reduce its share of nuclear power generation from 75% to 50% by 2025 shall negatively affect the plans of French companies for export of reactor technologies. Many experts, including French, with whom I interacted, are of the opinion that the intention will not be executed, and that it was formed on the wave of post-Fukusima populism in the context of presidential elections, and it not clear yet, how, in particular, the share of atom shall be reduced.
Nevertheless, words have been spoken. The potential foreign buyers have the legitimate question: “If you are insomuch not sure in your reactors and considerably reduce their quantity, why then do you offer them to us?”.
In this case, the French nuclear scientists were trapped by the absence of full understanding of the strategic and long-term nature of nuclear power generation by the French politicians. The life cycle of NPP exceeds a hundred years which includes preparation for construction, construction, operation, decommissioning, dismantling to green or brown site… If Nikolai II had built a nuclear power station, then it would today have physically existed.
Nuclear industry loves stability. One cannot take strategic decision on the fates of NPP relying on the desire to get some additional votes at the elections, interests of lobbyists and economic circles, visibility campaign of separate public organizations, however aggressive they were. Unfortunately, for the French nuclear scientists, the French politicians were governed by the momentary considerations, when speaking about reduction of nuclear power generation. Now in the struggle for export orders the French also have to explain the buyers on this issue.
Senator Akhmet Palankoev, Member of the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the Federation Council, President of the Russian-Turkish Business Council
The construction of “Akkuyu” NPP in Turkey is the largest Russian investment for the whole history of the financial interaction between two States. The nuclear power plants can be confidently called as a project of the Century that predetermines the long-term prospect of the cooperation with the Turkish party.
Today the trade and economic relations betweenRussiaandTurkeyare at the highest level for the whole period of the bilateral interaction. The turnover between two countries for 2013 was 34 billion rubles. Here it must be noted that the role of the cooperation in the energy sector is significant in strengthening relations.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has recently touched on the theme of the energy within the Saint Petersburg International Economic Forum. For the moment the presence of Russia in the world energy balance accounts 16% and the authorities of the country plan to increase this power to 25%. Here one of our strategic partners is the Republic of Turkey. The development of “Akkuyu” Nuclear power plants on the southern coast of Turkey is the largest Russian investment for the whole history of the financial interaction between two States. The cost of this large-scale project is 20 billion dollars. Moreover, after the decision on the construction of the NPP the interest of the Russian business in Turkey has increased.
“Akkuyu”NPP is the first in the world project of the NPP implemented by the BOO (build-own-operate) model. Considering the 60 years as the expected period of exploitation “Akkuyu” Nuclear power plant can be confidently called a project of the Century. In turn, this fact predetermines the long-term prospect of the cooperation with the Turkish party. In this case the Republic of Turkey is considered not only as consumer of energy resources but also as strategic partner.
Except the construction of the NPP Russia shares its scientific potential. Many young people fromTurkeycome to us and become students of the higher education institutions, including of the nuclear industry. The Turkish experts will be involved in the exploitation of the NPP at all stages of its life cycle. It means the fundamental approach to the future joint management of the energy complex. The tangible development perspectives are extremely obvious. Besides theRepublicofTurkeycan act as a shareholder of “Akkuyu” NPP. It is known that the intergovernmental Agreement allows the foreign investors to purchase an equity share of the company in account of up to 49 per cent.Turkeyhas already made a certain economic breakthrough. Today we observe the growth and high political ambition of the Republic. In 2023Turkeywill celebrate the 100th anniversary of the date of its constitution. By this date the leaders of the State pose extremely a great task to themselves to increase the proportion of the GDP twice.Russiacan contribute to the realization of the plan on this scale. We have the safest nuclear technologies with their high coefficient of efficiency from the ecology point of view.
Today Russia continues to develop its potential in the nuclear technologies and to leave behind other countries in this complex science-intensive deal. Consequently the construction of “Akkuyu” Nuclear power plant in the province of Mersin is an international project with the introduction of the most advanced technologies in the world nuclear energy. I wish the Turkish counterparts which we are connected firstly by friendly and respectful relationship with, to achieve the intended purpose and to make the next economic breakthrough. I am sure that the Republic of Turkey gets certain energy independence with the commissioning of the first NPP in the country.
Former Expert Inspector of Nuclear Safety at International Atomic Energy Agency (UAEA) Necmi Dayday, who achieved significant successes in İstanbul Küçükçekmece Nuclear Research Center, spoke to Daily Sabah about coal mines, the future of coal power plants and the steps Turkey took in the area of nuclear energy. Dayday explained that Turkey's coal mining industry currently holds one of the worst fatality rates in the world. "It is obvious that there is a serious safety problem. Reduction of costs $123 dollars to $24 is presented as if it was a success - Alp Gürkan, owner of the Soma Mining Inc., stated during an interview in 2013 that his company reduced the costs of coal production from $123 to $24-. This is similar to bragging about providing cheap housings by constructing decaying buildings. "When compared to reserves in Europe, the coal mined in Turkey has much lower calories and efficiency. Technologies in coal power plants are remarkably out of date. If calculated, it is absolutely not economic." he said.
Energy has always been a controversial subject, either due to its environmental damage or its human cost, and often both. With coal considered uneconomic, Dayday suggests nuclear power might be the only way forward. "Nuclear plants generate larger amounts of energy compared to other alternatives. It is much more effective than renewable energy sources like water, sun and wind. For instance, the problem of continuity is a really serious issue in renewable energy sources. When it comes to nuclear energy, it works whenever you need it. The usage of coal power plants is gradually decreasing in the world. It can be used for some more time through improving technology; however, it will not be economic in 30 years' time," the former inspector explained. "Those are significant steps, though retarded. International agreements have been signed in Akkuyu and Sinop for nuclear power plants. When those reactors are completed, the need for coal plants will decline. When you build a reactor, your need for petroleum, gas or coal of 1.5 million tons will vanish. With the money we pay on petroleum or gas, a reactor can be installed per year in Turkey.
You can buy fuel enough for 10 years in a nuclear plant with a years' expense of a gas plant." While nuclear energy is often a controversial topic, there is no doubt about its position in the world economy and energy sector. While the coal industry makes Turkey seem out of date, nuclear energy is still positively modern. "There are 442 reactors all around the world, 105 of which are in the east of Turkey," said Dayday. "The U.S. alone has 101 reactors. Those reactors always renew themselves and enhance capacity. France constitutes a remarkable example on that matter as the country saves 50 million tons of petroleum thanks to 58 currently-operating reactors." For those concerned of radiation, Dayday shed light on the issue of affects reactors have on human beings and environment. "Reactors do not emit radiation that will harm human health. They do not harm to environment, either. A coal power plant is 50 times more harmful than a reactor," Dayday stated. Upon being reminded about the Chernobyl disaster, Day by day likened this example to planes whose models exist only in museums. "Nobody flies with them anymore. Likewise, energy is no longer generated with Chernobyl-type reactors. These kinds of reactors have not been installed for 40 years. Referring to Chernobyl in every nuclear accidents or incidents is to turn your back on science, technology and development in the 21st century. With the exception of Japan, there have not been any accidents in nuclear plants for the last 25 years.
Fukushima went through an earthquake and tsunami. It was not a nuclear leakage or explosion. Japan experienced the third most-intense earthquake in the world and 20,000 people died as a result. None of those deaths were caused by nuclear leakage," he remarked.
Prodipto Ghosh is the Honorary Member of The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), and the Member of the Indian Prime Minister's Council on Climate Change.
The nuclear energy is safer than the energy which is based on the use of fossil natural resources, Prodipto Ghosh notes. “As a scientist I can say that the use of the nuclear energy has already made a 60-year history. Today it is quite possible to compare risks of the NPPs and risks of other power sources, e.g., coal, gas and oil. Taking into account the environmental damage and harm to the people’s health calculatied using the total number of hours worked, the nuclear energy generation is the safest. There were rare accidents in the nuclear industry, and they caused considerably lower number of deaths. It is confirmed by global statistics”, - as highlighted by the expert. He notes that every year hundreds of people die due to various accidents at coal mines, and thousands of people die due to air pollution caused by the use of fossil fuel.
“Undoubtedly, peaceful atom is significantly safer, and I think that advantages of the nuclear energy are enormous: development of nuclear industry could assist the countries in resolution of environmental issues, provision with low cost energy, medicine, as well as stable economic growth issues. The NPPs have no direct adverse impact on the environment and give no greenhouse gas emissions. The nuclear energy does not require large scale deposit developments, which are necessary when using oil and gas. Atom, in my point of view, is one of the most admissible, reliable and clean forms of energy”, - Prodipto Ghosh said.
Technologies applied in the nuclear energy are improved continuously. “Of course, there are ones who associate the nuclear energy with nuclear weapons, theFukushimaandChernobyl, but mainly due to negative impact of mass media. The global nuclear industry has learned the lessons. Nuclear power plants become much safer”, - the expert affirmed.
Prodipto Ghosh held the office of the Secretary of the Ministry of Environment and Forestry of the Republic of India. India is one of the first developing countries which turned to practical use of the nuclear energy for civilian purposes. These projects received serious attention. Its first NPP was constructed in Tarapur (State of Maharashtra) and put into operation as early as in the year of 1969.
Suhail Al Mazroi, Minister of Energy of the United Arab Emirates
It stands to reason that the nuclear energy will play a role in the world energy. The nuclear energy is a reliable ecologically-clean energy source, which is a competitive one. Our country made a decision to actively develop the national nuclear program. We have already embarked significant moves for development of the nuclear program and appropriate infrastructure following the IAEA’s guidelines. Among these moves are: enacting new statutes and establishment of component independent nuclear regulators. Particularly Nuclear Supervision of UAE (FANR), which took all Fukushima’s lessons into account.
In the end of 2012 the Arab Emirates signed with Russia an agreement on cooperation in the area of peaceful atom. This agreement, one of the nine agreements, is a part of the big framework cooperation in the nuclear industry. Our partnership involves many topics, including fuel production and other high technology. I am pleased to say that under terms of the agreement a 1.8 billion-dollar contract for nuclear fuel supply has been signed.
In the nearest future the Arab Emirates are intending to build four nuclear reactors. Our country’s policy aimed at diversification of energy sources. The United Arab Emirates are one of the leading oil producer and supplier, but we are also exporting gas and planning to increase its export. This is one of the reasons why we are actively looking for alternatives ways of energy generation, including renewable energy, which will be ecologically clean. The power consumption in UAE is constantly growing, and we had a choice either “burn” natural gas, which we export or switch to another energy sources, which the advance nations are now actively developing.
One expert in the area of nuclear technologies told that the program of peaceful atom in the Arab Emirates was developing “at the global gold standard level”. In our view, first of all it is transparence of the entire construction process and use of the nuclear generation; it is adherence to high technical standards, what ensures reliable nuclear and radiation safety. And the third, the issues of non-proliferation of nuclear materials and technologies. The Fukushima accident has emphasized a necessity of further evolvement of the international emergency response system and the assistance in event of accidents at nuclear energy facilities. And UAE as a novice in the nuclear sphere aspires for very stringent regulation and maximum safety while building facilities. According to our plans the share of the nuclear energy will reach 25% of the total power generation in the country by 2020.
I believe that communications and active public involvement into decision making are important when developing the nuclear program. Transparency in such issues is a key tool for shaping the public acceptance. We are arranging frequent public forums dedicated to the nuclear energy with participation of interested parties. We are trying to conduct as many as possible various events aimed at public awareness raising in the whole UAE territory. The interest in the nuclear energy is being fostered through educational programs.
Mikhail Margelov, Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Federation Council of Russia
“Negotiations between Russia and Turkey on this issue were not easy but turned out to be a success. The agreement was ratified by the Parliament. The win in the Turkish tender is a great success for Russia. World-famous companies participated in the bid, and the fact that Turkey, in the end, chose the Russian project, confirms once again the strength of the Russian nuclear industry.
I would also like to note that this is a significant project for Turkey. The country will have the opportunity to start its own peaceful nuclear program. Turkey is very dependent on external supplies of energy sources. The construction of NPP will undoubtedly address this problem. It will be a strong basis for the further rapprochement of our countries. Russia and Turkey already have close economic ties, and the Akkuyu project will strengthen them”.
Nikolay Kosarev, Deputy Chairman of the Committee on Natural Resources and Environmental Protection of the Federation Council of Russia, member of the Commission on Natural Monopolies of the Federatiodeputy chairman of the Committee on Natural Resources and Environmental Protection of the Federation Council of Russia, member of the Commission on Natural Monopolies of the Federation Council of Russia.
“Rosatom’s active work in foreign markets enables us to load our machine-building complex with additional orders. This is very important because the program for introduction of additional generation capacity within the country has been adjusted due to lower electricity demand. Against this background, receipt and execution of orders from abroad have become extremely important. And in this sense, the order from Turkey fits in very well”.
“But I believe that the importance of the Turkish project for the Russian nuclear industry is not limited only to orders that will be placed on our machine-building enterprises. In my opinion, its importance is much larger and lies in the fact that the successful completion of the Akkuyu NPP will allow the Russian nuclear industry enter into fundamentally new markets overseas, and once again confirm the high level of Russian nuclear technology. This, in turn, will lead to signing of other long-term contracts”.
Igor Igoshin, deputy chairman of the Committee for Science and High Technology of the State Duma
“I think that implementation of this project will be a great stimulus for the further expansion of Russian-Turkish relations and enhancement of Russia’s image in Asia and the Balkans. This, of course, is a kind of geographic expansion of our ‘nuclear presence’. The mere fact of the construction and future operation of the NPP allows us to talk about long-term mutually beneficial cooperation that is associated with future maintenance of the plant, fuel supplies, etc.
I believe it is important that Turkey, which is closely linked economically with the EU, yet chose a Russian company as its partner. To my knowledge, this is not the only nuclear power plant the Turks are planning to build in the coming years. So, if this contract will be implemented successfully, you can count on the next one.
For us, I think the construction is also important because it allows to load domestic producers with additional orders. Of course, new nuclear power plants are being built in our country, but foreign orders will not be superfluous. At present, Russia has been active simultaneously in several countries - India, China. There is a plan to start construction of a NPP in Vietnam. There is an agreement with Ukraine on construction of new nuclear units. All these are good conditions for the support of Russian machine-builders and other related industries”.
Denis Demin, investment analyst, deputy managing director of Investment Company Lenmontazhstroy
“The nuclear industry is an expensive industry, and commercial operation of its achievements must not only justify the costs, but also ensure development. Construction of nuclear power facilities worldwide is being activated; it is now being explored by countries that previously had no experience in it. Consequently, new markets are opening up for the world’s leading players such as Atomstroyexport. Turkey plans to build three nuclear power plants, and the fact that Rosatom received the opportunity to participate in the construction of the first plant, gives it a good chance to continue working on other projects.
It is obvious that the Turkish side when choosing a partner was guided primarily by economic considerations. Atomstroyexport’s competitiveness in world markets is still high, and even the closer political ties between Turkey and the EU did not prevent the Russian company from breaking into this country’s market. Of course, cooperation in the nuclear industry requires stable political relations, and the weakening of political relations poses a threat to nuclear cooperation.
The Bulgarian authorities are recently occupying an ambiguous position on completion of the Belene NPP. However, you cannot directly link the progress of energy projects in Bulgaria with that of Turkey: Turkey started thinking of building its own nuclear facilities from the early 2000s, and a tender to build a NPP in Akkuyu was held back in 2008. Besides, the two countries in the near future will increase their weight as the energy centers of the region, which will primarily be associated with the development of gas and oil transport infrastructure”.
Sergei Beyden, senior analyst on electrical power engineering at IFC Metropol
“Certainly, geographical expansion is always good. At present, there is strong separation and competition in the international market between Russia, Western Europe and the United States, together with Japan in the construction market and in general throughout the integrated chain of nuclear energy. Turkey, of course, is of considerable interest. Especially, as I understand it, there have been some advances there related to the purchase price of electricity, which, in general, made the project more attractive in comparison with conditions stipulated in the past. And we see that Inter RAO has some presence in Turkey. So, Turkey is within our interests and in terms of exports and common energy interests. Therefore, access to this market is quite logical and interesting.
Bulgaria also has a very interesting nuclear power plant project. For example, we have the Baltiyskaya NPP that we are planning and, in which, in some way, the interest of ENEL can manifest, it will also be mainly focused on foreign markets. And all the surrounding region of Eastern Europe and Southern Europe, including Bulgaria and Turkey, which is on the borders of the CIS and Russian borders, in some way organically fits into this strategy of expanding the presence both in terms of nuclear energy and in terms of export and import of electricity in these regions. So I think Bulgaria and Turkey had to go in parallel, except for the fact that Bulgaria has delayed everything, and the question of whether this plant will exit hung in the air”.
Evgeny Shago, an analyst at Management Company Ingosstrakh Investments
“Entry into international markets allows developing domestic nuclear engineering, which stood idle during the 90s and the beginning of 2000s, for lack of orders, and is why a number of companies actually ceased to exist. So, if the Soviet industry was capable of producing more than 5 reactors per year, today, the only remaining company – Izhora Plants capable of producing one, after modernization – two reactors a year. In addition, export promotes the development of technologies, foreign customers in contrast to Russian ones demand for advanced technological solutions, forcing companies to upgrade their equipment and maintain production at least at the level of French and Japanese rivals, which will affect the future and internal supply. We must not forget also that the construction of facilities abroad will create additional demand for Russian fuel in the future.
The Turkish NPP is designed mainly to cover own needs rather than for export. This electricity will be able to replace expensive gas generation in the Turkish market and create possibilities for increased consumption in the context of rapid economic growth”.
Ignatuk Alexander, an analyst at investment Group Energocapital
“Rosatom’s activation of the advancement of its products in international markets should be viewed as a normal course of international economic globalization, when partnerships are built on the international scene through economic cooperation, rather than political actions, which in general are far removed from the market and reduce to a simple formula “concession-neutrality-pressure”. With regards to Rosatom’s policy and its subsidiaries in the international arena, the issue should certainly be viewed in more depth. The “build and own” technologies developed in recent years, implies not only a temporary utilization of capacities of Russian technology, power engineering and processing systems, but also creates conditions for placing orders for the services of Russian enterprises in the future. As political actions generate economic relations, just as successful and economic cooperation leads to liberalization of political interaction. In other words, the promotion of Rosatom in the international arena helps to perpetuate the image of Russian business abroad.
A striking example in this regard is the interaction with our Turkish partners in the nuclear industry. Turkey’s fast growing economy receives a chance to become the new energy center in the region, especially that in our time, the concept of an energy center involves the formation of new industrial investment unit in the future. On the other hand, Russia’s image as a provider of new technologies in the world is growing, while the effective utilization of the industry facilitates economic prosperity”.
Dmitriy Baranov, Leading Expert, “Finam Management” MC
The developments of the recent months in Japan, which decided to resume operation of its NPPs, have diverted from events, which were happening in this industry in other countries, namely with the originating nuclear energy industry. Many of them are going on with the NPP construction, and some with direct involvement of Russia. For instance, the NPP construction project is being implemented at full speed in Turkey, one of our south neighbors.
Under the agreement on Akkuyu NPP construction signed in May 2012, the large scope of work, among them a number of engineering surveys, has been already done, properties of the future NPP site have been investigated, and seismic criteria of the site have been identified. It is worthwhile to note that from the very beginning the Turkish side is actively participating in all activities at the NPP site. And it is no wonder; the country is interested in building a new source of energy. The rationale is not just obtaining a new experience and knowledge through the joint construction with Russia and further operation of NPP, and establishing a new industry in the country’s economy, and is not just receiving a new safe and reliable source of electric power and heat able to greatly stimulate further development of the Turkish economy and become a key to improve the living standards in many still underdeveloped country’s regions and to resolve multiple social problems. These are not all advantages of NPP for Turkey. The key is that the NPP construction provides Turkey with a brand new status in the world geopolitics; the country will become a weightier and more respected player. And it may happen that the construction of NPP and its further operation will bring the country closer to its long-nurtured dream - entry into the European Community. The country, which develops the nuclear energy, is a more responsible one; it realizes its potential and thus aims to negotiate with its partners rather than confront.
Eduard Kryuchkov, Pro-rector for industry cooperation, NRNC MEPhI
Currently Turkey has no adequate education in the nuclear field. Two years the Turkish students will study in accordance with the general program, and then we will discuss the educational plan with the Turkish directorate to meet the customer’s needs. In addition our task is to organize such education in Turkey. And it necessitates cooperation with local universities in order to reduce their staying in Russia and optimize the educative process. For instance, they will study the Russian in Turkey, then come here for a specific job preparation, which requires special environment.
Sure, the use of the BOO (build-own-operate) principle cannot help reflecting on training of the students provided by MEPhI. The Turkish side is very scrupulous about selection and training of students. Unlike, for instance, the work with the Vietnamese students, we go to Turkey for testing and selecting the students. 50 people were selected last year from the total 9,000; they have passed training course at the pre-university department. This year we will select the second group. Eventually we will get the best of best, who will work at the plant. But it does not mean that the Turks will be left face to face with the nuclear power plant. The issue is safety, and it should meet all international and Russian safety standards, since Akkuyu NPP is being constructed under the most modern design with the reactors of 3+ generation. And sometimes our domestic standards are more stringent than the international ones; and we will refer to them if they duplicate each other. The Turkish plant like all Russian-design plants has passed all stress tests; moreover all safety systems have been profoundly analyzed. And despite the fact that the Turkish side is not experienced in the nuclear energy like we are, the safety issues are in the limelight. There is only one world for all of us.
Alexandr Ignatyuk, Head of Analytical Department, “Energocapital” IC CJSC
Turkey is a wonderful country with extremely fast pace economic growth. This country due to its economic growth has pre-determined the trend of its energy industry development. The volumes of energy Turkey will potentially consume can be only provided by means of construction of biggest electric power sources, primarily nuclear power plants. In any case the nuclear energy is inevitable for Turkey, because it is needed for future development. And from the point of view of the Turkish economy development the expansion to this extent is unquestionable. The country is developing various ways of getting energy and have different capabilities related to the alternative energy. Solar batteries are being actively used by the Turkish municipalities, wind-driven turbines and tidal dams are also satisfying private consumption needs. But all that is not enough to satisfy the needs of industry. Given the speed of the Turkish economy growth, when during the crisis it outpaced the majority of the developing countries, one can most probably speak of nuclear energy development.
Akkuyu NPP construction goes at full drive. And it is no wonder because it profitable for the both sides, Russia and Turkey. They will get a good and reliable source of energy, large and in the actively growing region, and at a fixed price. The both sides are very interested in cooperation. The project is being implemented on the “build-own-operate” principle; it means construction of the network, training of the Turkish students in Russia, and as another plus of the project - creation of new jobs for local subcontractors to be involved into the construction process. Also the Turks will get a contribution to the GDP even during construction. And we shall obtain a perfect image component because Turkey is one of the beautiful and prospective economics. This is also a possibility to apply our domestic technologies plus new jobs for our specialists in design and infrastructure companies. We shall find application for the Russian fuel and fuel projects. Also we should keep in mind that the main money shall not be made at construction stage but during the NPP long-term operation, and it will last several decades.
Another plus for us is that the project has distinct and clear economic; the issues have been resolved about fixed prices for pre-determined volumes of energy. Given that a rather big scope of work has been already accomplished under the Intergovernmental Agreement, the issue of mutual understanding between us and the Turks has been successfully resolved. The Russian side should understand that its energy will be purchased at a fixed price, and it gives a clear picture about the project payback. The Turkish side should realize the future situation with the electric power prices in a specific region. Finally we have a defined portion of the project, which is fixed and clear, and it is very important in long-term projects lasting for a long time. Moreover there is a room for maneuvering.
All negotiations under this project have specific character, every individual issue is being addressed, and by the way successfully. Ability to find a compromise and mutual understanding is very important in collaboration between not the last two economics. We have not only prepared a “road map”, we have negotiated capacities per each problem. This is a beautiful project from the economic point of view. For Turkey the NPP construction is a factual constraint, for Russia – a nice opportunity for further development of the nuclear energy and application of our expertise in this sphere.