Leadership in global nuclear power largely depends on intellectual and technological excellence. To enhance competitiveness, Rosatom has been spending every effort to augment its scientific and engineering capabilities. All divisions act as customers for innovations. Latest science and technology advancements come into implementation in new nuclear projects in and outside Russia.
A managing company ‘Science and Innovations’ was established in 2011 to coordinate scientific and research activities of Rosatom institutions. In 2014, R&D funding amounted to 4.5% of Rosatom’s revenue. To raise R&D efficiency, Rosatom has adopted latest approaches to R&D planning and evaluation, such as appointment of R&D customers responsible for outcome and implementation of the R&D fruits within declared financial, economic and other figures. Special attention has been given to science and technology achievements that are treated not merely as an R&D product and a deliverable, but also as a motivation for staff in various divisions to aspire to further joint successes.
‘Science and Innovations’ manages scientific and research activities of leading Rosatom institutes and scientific centers, such as ‘Russian Scientific Center (RSC) – A.I. Leipunskiy IPPE, ‘RSC TRINITI’, ‘NII NPO Luch’, ‘NIIP’, ‘L.Ya. Karpov NIFHI’, ‘RSC NIIAR’, ‘IRM’, ‘VNIIHT’, ‘Gidredmet’, ‘NIITFA’, ‘Russian Superconductor’, ‘Technical Science Center YaFI’, ‘NIIGraphite’. Three topical units have been arranged inside the company: chemical engineering, electrical physics, and physics and power.
An important science and technology achievement that may be taken as another evidence of Rosatom’s leadership in innovations is its transition to a new technological platform – closed nuclear fuel cycle with fast reactors that has come into being in Russia. Fast reactor BN-800 was brought to first criticality at Beloyarsk NPP in summer of 2015. Besides, MOX fuel fabrication facility was put on line at Mining and Chemical Combine (MCC, or GKhK). For the first time ever, these events embody breeder concept on a commercial scale. Fabrication of fast reactor MOX fuel at MCC is a key to fabrication of fuel for a new-generation nuclear power.