In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Rosatom has introduced additional measures to protect the health of workers at both its operating nuclear power plants and those it is constructing around the world. In a statement, Rosatom Director General Alexey Likhachov said the Russian state nuclear corporation has developed additional contingency plans for various scenarios of the coronavirus pandemic.Rosatom Director General Alexey Likhachov (Image: Rosatom)
"Ensuring nuclear safety and safeguarding the lives and health of both our employees and the general public has been our first and utmost priority for decades," he said in the 26 March statement. "Safety is Rosatom's key value. We have always had contingency plans for any kind of emergency situations, including those related to the health of our employees.
"At present, we have introduced additional measures at all of Russia's nuclear power plants, including regular health check-ups of our personnel. We have arranged for as many employees as possible to work remotely and purchased personal protective equipment and hygiene-related products in bulk; we are constantly disinfecting our production facilities and vehicles and have essentially cancelled all business trips. We are monitoring our employees' health in close cooperation with local authorities across our areas of operation. We have developed a number of additional contingency plans for various scenarios of the coronavirus pandemic that may have an effect on the health of our NPP employees.
"We have taken similar measures at nuclear power plant construction sites. We are carrying on with all our export new builds despite challenges related to the spread of the coronavirus in a number of countries. Of course, the most stringent measures have been put in place at our sites in such countries in order to ensure the safety of personnel. We are guided by the recommendations of the disease control services and governments of the countries of our operation and are fully prepared to strengthen measures to counter the spread of this infection, including by means of quarantine (if said measures are introduced by local authorities), and up to personnel evacuation.
"Rosatom is taking all necessary precautions to minimise the negative impact this health crisis has on supply chains and to ensure that we fully meet our obligations to customers according to timelines stipulated in all relevant contracts."
Rosatom's nuclear power plant operating subsidiary Rosenergoatom operates 38 power reactors in Russia, which together meet almost 20% of the country's electricity demand. A further two units are under construction in Russia. Rosatom also has 36 power units at different stages of implementation in 12 countries around the world. It is currently constructing seven reactors overseas: two each in Bangladesh, Belarus and India, plus one unit in Turkey.
Researched and written by World Nuclear News