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Sergey Kiriyenko, director general of Russian state nuclear corporation Rosatom, told journalists at the International Forum ATOMEXPO 2016 in Moscow on 31 May that the 10-year portfolio of Rosatom's orders for construction of NPPs will increase in 2016. "At the end of 2015, the order portfolio was $110bn. The 2016 we plan to finish at $136bn," he said, adding that 34 Russian design NPP units were now under construction in different regions of the world. He added that the cumulative portfolio of orders, including construction of NPPs, fuel supplies, uranium products delivery, services etc., exceeded $300bn.

Rosatom estimates the "economic potential" of agreements and memoranda signed ATOMEXPO at $10bn. Kiriyenko, said that about 30 documents had been signed during the three-day annual conference and exhibition. Ageements were signed with Bolivia, Indonesia, Kenya, Nigeria, Tanzania and Zambia covering fuel, finance, research, human resources and international cooperation in the development of nuclear power. In addition Rosatom's subsidiary Techsnabexport (Tenex), responsible for supplying uranium product and enrichment services worldwide, held "successful negotiations with utilities from Europe and Latin America.

During ATOMEXPO, Rosatom and the Bank for Development and Foreign Economic Affairs (Vnesheconombank) agreed to develop their cooperation to support Rosatom's investments in projects overseas. Kiriyenko noted the two corporations had worked together for more than a year and said the agreement reflected the bank's "new strategic priorities". The agreement will "contribute to the growth of the Russian economy and the expansion of Russia's presence in the global nuclear energy market," Rosatom said.

Rosatom First Deputy Director General Kirill Komarov told the conference that Rosatom had brought to the market a product, which merges different applications of nuclear and radiation technologies and is intended, primarily, for the nuclear newcomers - namely a nuclear science and technology centre based on Russian-design research reactors. "The logic behind is that there is a general layout of the centre and we tailor laboratories and the research equipment set to each specific client," he said.

The centre can be used for production of radioisotopes providing wider access to nuclear medicine and can also be used for treatment of foods and to facilitate the development of education and science. "For a country is planning to embark on a serious nuclear programme and to build NPPS, such a centre is a logical first step," he said, adding that Rosatom had taken this approach in negotiations with Bolivia, Nigeria and other countries. Russia had agreed to build such a centre for Bolivia in March and Rosatom was now considering the possibility of building Bolivia's first NPP, he said.

On 30 May, at ATOMEXPO, Russia and Nigeria signed an intergovernmental agreement on cooperation in building a nuclear research centre in Nigeria.

The agreement provides for building a multi-purpose water-water pool-type reactor of nominal power of 10MW on the site of the nuclear technology complex in Sheda Abuja. The reactor will be used for research and fabrication of products for medicine, agriculture and other industries, including, radioisotope production. Russia is preparing to sign a similar agreement with Tanzania, Kiriyenko told ATOMEXPO.

Documents signed with other African states during the conference included an intergovernmental agreement on cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy with Zambia, including the possible construction ot nuclear power facilities. However, the first joint projects will be establishment of a nuclear technologies centre and the training of Zambian nuclear power specialists in Russia, Kiriyenko said.

A wide-ranging memorandum of understanding (MOU) was signed with Kenya including assistance in developing Kenya's nuclear energy infrastructure; basic and applied research; design, construction and operation of nuclear power and research reactors; production and use of radioisotopes in industry, medicine and agriculture; radioactive waste management; and education and training of specialists in nuclear physics and nuclear energy. Talks will continue on the construction of Kenya's first NPP and the signing of an intergovernmental agreement on cooperation in nuclear energy for peaceful purposes.

In Asia, Rosatom's fuel company TVEL signed a 'road map' on bilateral cooperation in the nuclear fuel cycle with Indonesia's National Atomic Energy Agency (BATAN). This is aimed at implementing an MOU signed in December last year in Jakarta. Areas of cooperation may include TVEL's supply of nuclear fuel for a research reactor in Indonesia. At present, Indonesia operates three research reactors. In April 2015, BATAN announced a Russian-Indonesian consortium to be the winner of a tender for the pre-project stage of a multi-functional experimental high-temperature gas-cooled reactor.

Rosatom already has an agreement with Vietnam, signed in 2010, to build its first NPP. Komarov told ATOMEXPO that the plant could be ready by 2027, rather than 2022 as originally planned. "We think the project is proceeding more slowly than it could, but we respect the customer's position," he said, noting that "it is important to do a rather large preparatory work" for Vietnam. “We have agreed to try to work faster and to see on how to develop the project in more dynamic way," he said.

Extensive talks were also held with European companies during the conference. Konstantin Krizhevskikh, head of the legal and corporate service at Rusatom Energy International (part of Rosatom), told a round-table that a turbine supply contract for the Hanhikivi NPP being built by Russia in Finland is expected this summer. A tender is already underway. Krizhevskikh noted that the main equipment sub-suppliers for the plant were Russia's holding Titan-2 and Atomenergomash. Earlier reports said that Siemens, JV Alstom-Atomenergomash and Power Machines were considered potential suppliers of the turbine equipment.

Rosatom and French energy company Engie signed an MOU during ATOMEXPO to strengthen their cooperation in the maintenance and upgrading work of nuclear power reactors of both Russian and non-Russian design. The document, signed by Komarov and Engie executive vice-president Didier Holleaux, also increases the focus on cooperation in the construction of NPPs outside Russia, as well as in joint activities in the development of national infrastructure in third countries in which they each have activities. They are also considering working together, for example, in the supply of equipment for nuclear and thermal power plants; electricity distribution; products and nuclear fuel cycle services; the final stage of the nuclear fuel cycle; nuclear research facilities, in particular within the framework of the international project ITER.

Komarov also signed an MOU with the CEO of French multinational Schneider Electric's operations in Russia and the CIS countries, Jean-Louis Stasi. The MOU defines the use of Schneider Electric's electrical equipment and SCADA systems in Rosatom's NPP construction projects in third countries.

Rosatom subsidiary Rusatom International Network (RIN) president, Alexander Merten, signed an MOU with French engineering group Assystem, on cooperation in engineering and certification in Europe, the Middle East, North Africa and other countries. The agreement also notes their interest in joint participation in the construction and commissioning of new nuclear reactors in third countries, and the supply of Russian equipment for thermal power projects in which Assystem acts as an engineering, procurement, and construction contractor or as an engineering, procurement, and construction management contractor. The MOU further covers cooperation in projects for the decommissioning of nuclear facilities and the management of radioactive waste.

RIN and also signed an MOU with Dutch recruitment company and consultancy Thomas Thor Associates, under which Thomas Thor will assist Rosatom enterprises abroad in the recruitment and training of personnel, as well as in the development of national nuclear infrastructure in third countries through the organization of training programmes and further education. Another MOU was signed by Merten and Austrian company Moser Architekten Ziviltechniker, on co-operation in the design, construction and project management of centres for nuclear medicine and radiology. It also covers regulation of nuclear and radiation safety, including the assessment of radiation exposure of nuclear energy on the environment.

In addition, RIN signed an MOU with Spanish engineering company IDOM Ingeniería y Consultoría SAU Csaba on cooperation in the maintenance and modernisation of NPPs with reactors of both Russian and non-Russian design. The agreement also coveres Rosatom's supply of manufacturing equipment for nuclear and thermal power plants, and design and engineering projects for the construction, maintenance and modernisation of NPPs around the world. The two companies agreed to work together in the maintenance and construction of nuclear research installations, as well as in the final stages of the nuclear fuel cycle and decommissioning.

RIN and the National Nuclear Centre of the Republic of Kazakhstan signed an MOU on strategic cooperation, including the development of human resources, implementation of joint educational programmes, scientific and technical research and development, as well as environmental programmes.

Another Rosatom subsidiary, Rusatom Service, which provides customised solutions for the modernisation and operating life extension of VVER-based NPPs, signed an MOU on 30 May during ATOMEXPO with the Czech Republic's Skoda JS to expand their intention to cooperate in the project to complete units 3 and 4 at the Mochovce NPP in Slovakia (Mohovce II). Rusatom Service is to provide technical support for installation of primary circuit equipment, as well as for work on commissioning the two units, Rosatom said. The two companies also plan to explore possible cooperation in maintenance, repair, operations support and the supply of equipment and spare parts for NPPs around the world.

Mohovce II is being implemented by a consortium led by Skoda JS and including Russia's Atomstroyexport and Slovak companies Enseco, VUJE and Inzinierske stavby. Rusatom Service deputy director general Dmitry Pashevich told journalists at the forum that the memorandum provided for the cooperation with Skoda JS "without geographical constraints in Czech Republic, Russia and third countries".

Rusatom Service also signed an MOU with Slovak NPP research institute VUJE "to explore the possibilities of business cooperation in the field of maintenance and repair, operation support, training, supply of equipment and spare parts for nuclear power plants, as well as in extending the life of the project and the modernisation of NPPs around the world", Rosatom said.

Meanwhile, TVEL signed a contract with Poland's National Centre for Nuclear Research to supply fuel targets for the Maria research reactor. The director of the Polish centre, Krzysztof Kurek, noted that TVEL had won the contracts in an open tender, following a seven-year break from the Polish market. He added that the agreement was "the second in a row" reflecting the "extremely favourable" bids TVEL had made "in terms of quality and market price". The first contract was signed last year for TVEL to supply low-enriched uranium to the Maria research reactor.

Date: Tuesday, 07 June 2016
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