Taking place as part of World Expo 2020 in Dubai (UAE), Rosatom’s thematic weeklong event “Breakthrough Technologies for a Sustainable Future” came to a close on January 24. The event – unprecedented in terms of scale – saw Rosatom representatives taking part in 18 sessions dedicated to the role of advanced technologies in achieving a sustainable future and solving the most pressing challenges of our time.
The week’s sessions were attended by representatives of more than 100 companies from across the world, including leaders from the global energy industry and related fields; governments, departments, and regulators; non-governmental and expert organisations; academic and research institutions, and youth associations. Rosatom’s partners in the United Arab Emirates also participated; amongst them were the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC), the UAE Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation (FANR), DP World, and many others.
Participants discussed important issues in the field of global sustainable development, including ways to achieve carbon neutrality and address climate challenges; the role of new nuclear technologies, including small modular reactors, in eliminating ‘energy’ inequality and solving economic and social problems; the importance of composite materials for restructuring traditional industries and forming new industries; the training and education of personnel; the possibility of using nuclear technologies to improve the quality and duration of human life; challenges in IT sector development and the role of IT solutions in bolstering various sectors of the global economy; approaches to communications and PR in the nuclear industry and the industry’s role in implementing humanitarian projects.
A session dedicated to Rosatom’s projects in the Middle East and North Africa region generated high interest amongst attendees. Representatives from Rosatom and its partners in Egypt and Turkey provided an update on the latest milestones at the construction sites of the nuclear power plants being built in these two countries and spoke about other Rosatom-supported regional nuclear industry projects.
Participants discussed decarbonisation – an important aspect of sustainable development – at the session “Path to net-zero: challenges and practical steps.” Commenting on the role of nuclear in achieving carbon neutrality, Rosatom Director General Alexey Likhachev noted the importance of having nuclear energy classified as ‘green’: “We understand that despite all the benefits and opportunities provided by the ‘green’ agenda, this ‘green’ status must first be confirmed officially. Today ‘green’ regulation is only being developed in many countries and harmonising these requirements internationally and regionally is important. Nuclear energy has been classified as ‘green’ in Russia since last year.”
Earlier this month, Rosatom also represented Russia at the UN Global Goals Week. On January 16, Rosatom’s Chief Sustainability Officer Polina Lion took part in a Global Goals Week panel discussion dedicated to the achievement of global sustainable development goals. The event was also attended by representatives of the analytical agency KAPSARC (Saudi Arabia), the green energy company Fortescue Future Industries (Australia), the electricity supplier ICE (Costa Rica), the clean energy technology investment company Dutco Cleantech (UAE), and Morocco’s Sustainable Energy Agency (Morocco).
Lion noted: “Today there is a consensus in the world that it is impossible to achieve global climate goals without nuclear energy. Just like renewable energy sources, nuclear energy has a zero-carbon footprint. As part of its efforts to fulfill its obligations to achieve carbon neutrality, Russia plans to increase the share of nuclear energy in its energy mix from 20 to 25% by 2050.”
Watched by over 3,000 users worldwide, 360° interactive online tours of Russian nuclear power plants and MSZ Machinery Manufacturing Plant were also broadcasted on social media platforms in the framework of Rosatom’s thematic week.
The week’s events were held at Russia’s Expo 2020 pavilion, also the site of Rosatom’s exposition on the company’s key projects areas, from nuclear power stations to nuclear medicine to the development of the Northern Sea Route. For those unable to attend in person, the week’s sessions were also accessible on social media with 17 online broadcasts on Facebook and Youtube and a live feed of memorable quotes on Twitter reaching a total audience of 600,000 people.