We are building units of the same type and design in Belarus, Hungary, Egypt and Bangladesh
President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr Kiriyenko, I have the usual questions: what is the situation in the sector, how is your work going, and how is work with our partners abroad going?
Russia is the absolute leader in this sector
CEO of Rosatom State Atomic Energy Corporation: We have several major achievements as far as work in Russia goes, in particular, the launch of new facilities. We had a key event this summer that was a first not only for our nuclear energy sector but for the world in general — the launch of a new unit at the Novovoronezh nuclear power plant. This is the world’s first generation 3+ power unit. There was much discussion of the ‘post-Fukushima’ requirements following the events at Fukushima. There were many projects, and construction has begun in many places, but it was Russia that completed the first new generation power unit. Overall, this confirms our leadership in the sector.
This is important for us as a benchmark power unit, of course. We are building units of the same type and design in Belarus, Hungary, Egypt and Bangladesh. We have completed this first project and we now have people coming on a pilgrimage as it were, foreign delegations asking to let them take a look at the new face of nuclear energy.
The second important event in Russia was that the BN-800 sodium-cooled fast breeder reactor in Sverdlovsk Region is now working at full capacity. This is a new generation reactor to appear on the commercial market somewhere around the end of 2020, we think. This is the next step in fast breeder technology. Russia is the absolute leader in this sector. We operated the BN-600 reactor with success for more than 30 years, and now we have the BN-800, which is the most advanced reactor in the world. As it is a fast breeder reactor, it uses uranium isotope U-238, which is 100 times more abundant in nature and leaves us with less waste at the end. In other words, this is a much safer and cleaner technology. Here again, Russia was the first to make this a reality.