Russian support to prolong European nuke reactors’ life cycle

Russian support to prolong European nuke reactors’ life cycle

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Russian nuclear industry specialists offer assistance to European partners in prolonging the operation period of their nuclear power plants. The issue was discussed during the International Congress on Advances in Nuclear Power Plants (ICAPP 2015) held in Nice, France.
“Prolonging safe NPP operation is important for both Russia and Europe. We have already successfully cooperated in this sphere, and I am convinced that our collaboration will become even closer,” stated Yevgeny Romanov, General Director of Rosenergoatom Concern, the electric power division of Russia’s state nuclear power corporation- Rosatom.Russian representatives emphasized that it is necessary to upgrade NPPs because otherwise almost half of reactors in Europe will have to be decommissioned by 2024. At the same time, prolonging safe NPP operation will make it possible not only to generate affordable energy, but also to reduce greenhouse gas emissions considerably as part of the pan-European energy strategy, as well as manage costs and control the quality of operations.
“Replacing powerful plants with new ones will require huge capital investments, while the existing NPPs are good enough to continue to generate power in the coming 10 or even 20 years if they are upgraded”, said Yevgeny Romanov, General Director of Rosenergoatom Concern.
At present the power unit upgrade is aimed mainly at successful extension of the NPP life cycle using effective and reliable solutions which would meet the most modern safety requirements, being at the same time economically feasible.
Special attention is given to feasibility study of the possibility to use parts of a reactor which cannot be replaced, i.e. its vessel and containment building. Rosatom was the first company to use the vessel annealing technology. This method has been successfully used in 13 reactors in Russia, Finland and several countries in Eastern Europe; it allows restoring initial properties of the vessel’s steel and ensure reliable operation of power units for a long time.
European and Russian participants of the Congress emphasized that international cooperation in prolonging NPP operation is necessary and important. – Triune Group press release

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