Atomexpo in Russia breaks record

Atomexpo in Russia breaks record

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With over 5,000 visitors in three days, Atomexpo broke the last year’s record of 4,131 people. This year the Forum attracted the highest ever number of participants – 5,008 guests from 55 countries against 48 countries last year – and was for the first time attended by representatives of Bolivia, Guatemala, Greece, Zimbabwe and Namibia.
As an industry conference and exhibition, the Atomexpo International Forum is a source of new contracts for the market players. Documents signed at the forum opened the door for Rosatom to put new contracts into its portfolio.“Nearly 30 documents were signed at the forum, among them international agreements, memorandums and framework contracts with Kenya, Tanzania, Bolivia, Indonesia, Zambia, Nigeria, etc.,” said Rosatom CEO Sergei Kirienko. According to him, agreements made at the Forum promise to cash in nearly 10 billion US dollars.
Non-carbon future
The main discussion at this year’s forum was centered around the need to increase a non-carbon share in the energy mix. In some ways, it was driven by the recent 21st Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC (COP21) in Paris.
Statistics speak for nuclear power: according to the International Energy Agency, nuclear power stations have prevented 56 gigatons of carbon dioxide from being emitted into the atmosphere globally over the last 45 years. “If there had been no nuclear stations and these 56 gigatons of CO2 had been emitted, the climatic impact would have been much worse. I can safely say that nuclear power plants in Russia alone will prevent 711 million tons of annual emissions by 2030. This is a rough equivalent of 6-year emissions of all the cars in Russia,” Kirienko stressed.
In previous years, proponents of renewable energy positioned it as an alternative to all other energy sources. The position grew stronger after the Fukushima disaster as anti-nuclear rhetoric intensified and increasingly more people believed that nuclear power should be abandoned in favor of renewable energy sources. However, this position proved to be weak as the time passed, and speakers at the first plenary session of Atomexpo 2016 made it absolutely clear. The majority of speakers were united in their opinion that nuclear power and renewable energy sources are partners rather than enemies, and the non-carbon energy balance is predominantly a mix of renewable energy, nuclear power and hydro energy, with nuclear stations and hydro power plants generating base load power and securing reliable power supply.
“It is not a question of what energy source is the best, but rather what balance of energy sources we need,” said Agneta Rising, Director General of the World Nuclear Association. “We are sure that a balanced combination of all energy sources is what will satisfy the growing demand in the future. Advantages of each technology should be used to the fullest extent.” According to the WNA estimates, nuclear power should ideally make 25% of the total energy mix by 2050. “For this purpose, we will have to commission at least 825 GW of new nuclear generation capacity,” she said.
Viktor Vekselberg, Board of Directors Chairman of Renova Group and President of the Skolkovo Fund, is convinced that the civil nuclear industry can and should take the lead of the innovation process. “I would like to see that the nuclear industry, which is a backbone of the Russian economy, will encourage and support innovations. I am sure that Rosatom will make use of alternative energy sources and engineering solutions developed in Russia,” he said.
Atom as an advantage
It seems that increasingly more countries are considering advantages of cheap and reliable nuclear power. Those willing to join the nuclear club are many among developing countries. Incidentally, Atomexpo has beaten its own record this year with a total of 5,008 participants registered for the forum. They are delegates from 55 countries and 93 companies. It should be noted, however, that only 30 countries enjoy the benefits of civil nuclear power for now.
Rosatom is perhaps the most active company among its global peers in the cooperation with emerging nuclear countries, offering them turn-key nuclear station projects and the entire range of nuclear products. Nuclear science and technology centers are the latest trend on the market. The first of them will be built by Rosatom in Bolivia. Two others will be established in Zambia and Nigeria as agreed with Rosatom at Atomexpo.
Speaking at the second plenary session entitled The Future of Nuclear Energy. New Players, Sergei Kirienko noted that increasingly more countries opted for nuclear power. According to him, the nuclear club will grow 1.5 times in the next 20 years, bringing together 45 countries instead of the current 30. – © Rosatom Newsletter 2012–2016

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