On the 18th of September Director General of ROSATOM Alexei Likhachev addressed the 61st Regular Session of the IAEA General Conference running in Vienna. In his address he said, in particular, about ROSATOM’s formulating the long-range agenda.
“We are sure that nuclear power development today is inextricably connected with fast neutron reactors and closing nuclear fuel cycle. Today Russia is the leader in this field. We build MBIR – multi-purpose research fast neutron reactor – in Dimitrovgrad. We implement the ambitious project Proryv in Seversk, which is the base for the pilot demonstration center which includes fast neutron reactors, dense uranium-plutonium mixed fuel and facility for processing spent nuclear fuel,” Likhachev said.
He also noted that now the world nuclear sector is facing two strategic challenges. “First, it is energy poverty and worldwide inequality in accessing electricity. Second, it is the threat of irreversible destruction of the ecosystem worldwide. One can respond to these two challenges only through the growth and simultaneous change in the world electricity mix structure. We must reduce a share of hydrocarbons at maximum. This is our responsibility to our descendants,” he said.
Alexei Likhachev also pointed out that today nuclear workers contribute a lot to the planet’s ecology. “If power capacity of existing NPPs – 329 GW – were due to coal- and gas-fired sources, about 2 billion tons of carbon dioxide would be released into the atmosphere each year. All forests of the planet annually absorb 2.5 billion tons of carbon dioxide. In other words, approximately, nuclear power is commensurate to “ecological capacity” of all forests on the planet!” he emphasized.
He noted: “Everybody understands that the future belongs to green power. Sun, wind, water and atom, while supplementing and strengthening each other, must form the green square which will be the basis of the world carbonless mix. According to the forecast of the International Energy Agency, by 2050 the total share of clean energy generation in the world energy mix should be more than 80%. Respectively, installed capacity of NPPs should increase up to 930 GW. It means that given the replacements of retired NPPs we are to commission more than 20 GW of new nuclear capacities annually already in ten years. This is a very ambitious but doable task. Its solution will depend, in the first place, on us – the countries who have elected to nuclear. We are not competitors; all green energy sources are parts of the solution to the problem of the global climate change. But we need a new level of cooperation in the world nuclear community.”
“The first area of cooperation is merely the IAEA philosophy, it is nuclear safety. We support the Secretariat with its strengthening the requirements in this area. We are ready to support this work with our competences and resources,” the head of ROSATOM said.
Alexei Likhachev noted: “The second area is the change of nuclear power reputation. We respect choice of each country as to develop nuclear or not. It is important to base this choice on the scientific knowledge rather than phobia. We have to convince the society, governments, scientific and expert communities that nuclear power is clean, safe and economically attractive. In Russia and in the countries where we build nuclear facilities we do systemic job to increase public acceptance of nuclear. We have good experience in this. We are ready to share this experience. We believe these provisions should be reflected in related resolutions of today’s General Conference. This approach should be fixed in the final document of the upcoming Ministerial Conference of the IAEA in Abu Dhabi.”.
“Four years ago at the Ministerial Conference in Saint-Petersburg we stated that for many countries nuclear power was a tested, clean, safe and economically attractive technology. Now, we have to make the next step: to go from the understanding of public acceptance of nuclear to forming its demand by the society. In near future, the Russian Federation will provide its proposals in this respect. The world nuclear industry can and must implement its potential in technological leadership and become one of the key participants of the fourth industrial revolution,” Alexei Likhachev emphasized.