On the 22nd of November in Moscow the International Public Dialogue-Forum and Exhibition “AtomEco 2017” ended its elaborations. The event was organized by ROSATOM, the Federal Environmental, Industrial and Nuclear Supervision Service (Rostechnadzor) and supported by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of the Russian Federation and the IAEA. Atomexpo LLC and ANO NIIPE were the event operators.
The main theme of AtomEco-2017 was the “Clean Energy for Future Generations”. Over 1,000 delegates and guests participated in the dialogue-forum and exhibition in two days. The public representatives and specialists focused their discussions on issues of environmental safety and public acceptance of nuclear, of regulating environmental protection, of new environmentally safe technological solutions in the waste management and decommissioning.
At the plenary session of the Forum held on November 21, experts discussed the role of nuclear power in ensuring the global transition to low-carbon generation and concluded that nuclear corresponded to all requirements of future energy in terms of ecology and economy. With this, nuclear is not an alternative to renewables. “We think these are supplementary components which should be the base of the future carbonless mix,” First Deputy Director General and Director of Development and International Business Kirill Komarov stressed, paying attention to the necessity of explaining advantages of nuclear. “If we compare the total prime cost over the life cycle, nuclear is still one of efficient electricity generation sources today,” he said.
The round-table session “Underground Research Laboratories: Justification of Long-Term Safety of Deep Geological Disposal of Highly Active RAW” discussed projects of building final RAW geological isolation facilities. Representatives of France, Finland and Sweden – the countries which develop the strategy of safe final isolation of RAW in deep geological rock masses – participated and made presentations at the round-table. Deputy Director for Construction of NO RAO Alexei Zhuravlev and Head of Long-Term Nuclear and Radiation Safety Risks of IBRAE RAS Sergey Utkin presented on the Russian project of construction of the underground research laboratory in Nizhne-Kansky Rock Mass, Krasnoyarsk Territory. They spoke on the baseline plan of actions to build the underground research laboratory and a program of research to justify safety of placing the facility in Nizhne-Kansky Rock Mass. “In В 2018 we start building on-ground facilities of the underground research laboratory. By 2025 we plan to complete the construction and start research work,” Alexei Zhuravlev pointed out during his presentation.
For the first time at AtomEco the radiation and environmental aspects of uranium ore mining were raised for discussion with the public. The round-table session devoted to this topic enjoyed presentations of representatives of JSC Khiagda which mines uranium in Buryatia, JSC VNIPIpromtekhnologii which develops technologies for uranium mining, Research Institute of Radiation Hygiene as well as experts from Kirgizia and IAEA.
Discussions of The V National Report of the Russian Federation on Compliance with the Obligations of the Joint Convention on the Safety of Spent Fuel (SNF) Management and the Safety of Radioactive Waste Management (RAW) were one of the most important events. The report was published by ROSATOM on November 13 for the first time before it is published in the IAEA. It was discussed by experts and public representatives. Director for the Public Policy on SNF, RAW and Nuclear Decommissioning of ROSATOM Oleg Kryukov, Deputy Director of IBRAE RAS Igor Linge and Head of Department of Rostechnadzor Evgeniy Kudryavtsev explained on the report.
The round-table session “The Arctic and Atom: Development and Ecology” was of great interest with the participants of AtomEco-2017. It was noted that the integrated development of the Arctic was one of Russia’s strategic priorities and that the development of the Arctic would require the application of new economically efficient and environmentally safe technologies, including those created by the Russian nuclear industry. In particular, Deputy Director General for Innovative Projects of NIKIET Aleksandr Pimenov presented a range of projects developed by this institute which included reactors for small power plants, specifically, small power plant with Shelf unified reactor.
In total, the Forum included 15 sessions and round-table discussions in three topical tracks: “Safety, Nuclear Technologies, Ecology”, “Regulation and Environmental Protection” and “Society and Nuclear Power”.
Also, AtomEc-2017 hosted the signing of the cooperation agreement between ROSATOM and the French National Radioactive Waste Management Agency (ANDRA) on the final safe isolation of RAW.
The exhibition of the Forum showed cutting-edge technologies and projects in the area of SNF and RAW management, decommissioning, and clean-up of different media. Divisions and companies of ROSATOM, including FSUE NO RAO, RosRAO, JSC TVEL, JSC Atomenergomash, Group of Companies ASE, Rosenergoatom Concern, Mining and Chemical Combine, PA Mayak, and FSUE Radon, demonstrated their developments.