ROSATOM Presents 2011 Review
OREANDA-NEWS. December 29, 2011. In November 2011 the first power program was completed at Kalinin NPP Unit 4 (Tver Region), which is the largest investment project in the region and one of key emerging nuclear power facilities.
In December 2011 Chairman of the Government of Russia V. Putin took part in the ceremony of power build up to 50% of nominal at Kalinin NPP Unit 4. Achievement of 100% power and commissioning of the unit for commercial operation is planned for April 2012.
The commissioning of Unit 4 means additional 1,000 MW of power supplied to the grid of the most industrially developed Central and North-West Regions of Russia. There is a certain shortage of electricity and Unit 4 will help to bridge this gap. Besides, it is a part of a large-scale nuclear capacity build up program under which work goes on 6 construction sites. The commissioning of Kalinin NPP Unit 4 confirms that ROSATOM has finally shifted to a series construction of power units.
It is important to note that Kalinin NPP Unit 4 was built not only ahead of schedule but also featured a substantial saving of 7 billion rubles (about 10% of the construction cost estimates). This became possible owing to the program of cost reduction program, optimization and improvement of procurement transparency, as well as de-monopolization of the market of large-size vessel equipment.
Kalinin NPP Unit 4 is not just the 33-rd nuclear power unit in Russia but also additional 7.5 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity annually.
In 2011 Russian nuclear specialists completed the first power program at Bushehr NPP in Iran, started the experimental fast neutron reactor CEFR and gaseous centrifuge plant in China.
In Iran Bushehr NPP was connected to the national grid. The plant construction was started by German specialists and lasted more than 30 years. The plant was built under full control by the IAEA. The plant commissioning is a confirmation that Russian nuclear specialists are capable of solving issues of any technological complexity; they integrated process equipment of the Russian design with building structures designed by the Germans, more than 12,000 tons of German equipment was integrated with the Russian project. Ten world countries were suppliers of the Iranian plant. Bushehr NPP was connected to the grid on September 3 with the plant releasing 60 MW of power. In December 2011 the pant reached 50% power.
In China the Chinese Experimental Fast Reactor (CEFR) was commissioned to make China the fourth country after Russia, France and Japan which now has the fast neutron reactor technology. The Chinese reactor is cooled with sodium; its thermal power is 65 MW (25 MW electric); it was built with active participation of Russian specialists.
Besides, Phase Four of the gaseous centrifuge plant in China was put on line 9 months ahead of schedule. Now, a total capacity of enrichment plants built in the PRC with the Russian technical assistance is already 1.5 million SWUs.
The construction of a nuclear power plant in India (Kudankulam) has been completed; date when the plant will be started up depends on a decision of local authorities. Kudankulam meets all “post-Fukushima” safety requirements. Passive safety systems installed at the plant will ensure absolute safety of the plant in case of an accident without water, electricity and personnel.
ROSATOM’s successes in the international market reconfirm high competitiveness of Russian nuclear technologies, given requirements for safety of nuclear facilities have become more stringent after the accident at Fukushima-Daiichi plant.
ROSATOM has nearly doubled a number of NPP construction projects abroad. Currently, it has contracts for construction of 21 new power units (in 2010 the contracts were signed for construction of 12 power units.
Intergovernmental agreements were signed on nuclear construction projects in the territory of the Republic of Belarus, the Socialist Republic of Vietnam and the Republic of Bangladesh. In furtherance of these agreements on the 11-th of October an agreement was signed between Atomstroyexport (a ROSATOM company) and MD Directorate for Construction of the nuclear Power Plant (the Republic of Belarus) concerning construction of Units 1 and 2 of a NPP in Belarus. As regard the contract to build the plant in Vietnam, in November 2011 at the meeting of co-chairmen of the Russian-Vietnamese intergovernmental commission of ministries of finance of the two countries an agreement was signed concerning provision of a loan for construction of Vietnam’s first NPP. Preparatory works have been started on the site.
A growth of number of ROSATOM’s orders abroad is evidence of trust of foreign partners in Russian technologies. Designs, which Russian nuclear specialists are implementing both in Russia and abroad, pertain to generation III+ and include both active and passive safety systems. Power units being built abroad have double reactor containment, passive heat removal system, hydrogen recombiners, core melt trap and other systems. They fully meet the “post-Fukushima” safety requirements.
In 2011 Techsnabexport signed new contracts to substantially strengthen its positions on the enriched uranium supply market.
In September 2011 at the 36-th Symposium of the World Nuclear Association (WNA) in London TENEX (a ROSATOM company) and the U.S. largest nuclear operator Exelon Generation Company LLC signed another long-term contract for enrichment services.
This was the thirteenth contract concluded by TENEX with the U.S. companies under the Amendment to the Suspension Agreement signed in February 2008. This amendment paved the way for direct commercial deliveries of uranium product to the USA market.
Earlier, in the frames of the International Forum ATOMEXPO 2011 in Moscow in June 2011 a mid-term contract for deliveries of low enriched uranium to the USA was signed by ROSATOM’s TENEX and the U.S. utility PSEG Nuclear LLC. The deal was done in the presence of ROSATOM Director General S. Kirienko and U.S. Secretary of Energy S. Chu.
ROSATOM’s uranium mining division – Uranium Holding ARMZ – became the world’s second in the mineral resources base.
In 2011, a natural uranium mining outcome in Russia and abroad amounted to more than 7,000 tons (up 35.7% against 2010). As of January 1, 2012, a volume of the mineral resources base (resources plus reserves) will amount to 755,000 tons (of which 513,000 tons in Russia). With that, an amount of controlled uranium resources with a prime cost of mining of less than USD 80 per kg is 184,000 tons (up 22.6% against the similar indicator of 2010).
According to the 2011 results, a value of international orders portfolio of Uranium Holding ARMZ for 10 years, including its affiliate, Uranium One Inc., was USD 2.6 billion (in current prices). The company is capable of meeting in full requirements of the Russian nuclear industry as regards production of completed, more advanced process stage products for export. The acquisition of the controlling block of stock of Uranium One Inc. and the Australian firm Mantra Resources Limited with uranium assets in Africa made possible for ROSATOM to secure fuel supplies not only to already existing nuclear power plants in Russia and abroad but also those which will be built in the coming years.
ROSATOM spent about USD 2 billion for development of its resource base in the recent years. The coming of Russian shareholders in Uranium One Inc. turned out to be beneficial for the company’s business and seriously raised its financial indicators. This is a great reputational success of ROSATOM in the international market.
In 2011 the governmental defense order was 100% fulfilled by ROSATOM’s nuclear weapons complex enterprises.
In his traditional address to nuclear industry workers S. Kirienko commented: “We have what is to be proud of this year. The governmental defense order has been fulfilled 100%. We say these words each year and at times start perceiving them as a self-evident thing. But such situation is not in typical for all industries; therefore, the 100% fulfillment of the governmental defense order is a great and important victory.”
ROSATOM’s nuclear weapons complex (NWC) supports the nuclear deterrence policy this country is pursuing. It operates together with enterprises of the defense industry complex of Russia.
In the area of nuclear and radiation safety, one of the most important events of 2011 was the commissioning of the dry storage facility for spent nuclear fuel at MCC.
In the area of nuclear and radiation safety, one of the most important events of 2011 was the commissioning of the dry storage facility for spent nuclear fuel (SNF SF) at MCC. On the 19-th of December ROSATOM Director General Sergey Kirienko approved a SNF SF availability record. This means that one of the largest projects of ROSATOM in the field of SNF management has been successfully implemented.
The dry (air-cooled) storage facility is designed to host SNF from Russia-designed RBMK-1000 and VVER-1000 reactors. It is a unique structure which does not have world analogues in terms of its size, safety level and engineering solutions. The facility construction started in 2004. The successful implementation of the project is another step towards establishing a technological complex for closing the nuclear fuel cycle at the Mining and Chemical Combine.
The dry storage facility design was reviewed by international experts. “All IAEA requirements are observed. The facility is very seismically sound and meets all regulatory requirements,” MCC Director General Petr Gavrilov noted.
In February 2011, an indigenous petaflop-class supercomputer was commissioned to bring Russia to the top ten world leaders in supercomputer capacity.
By the end of 2011 capacity of supercomputers designed by RFNC VNIIEF was brought to 1.7 petaflops and made accessible for more than 1,000 users in 36 organizations. The supercomputer resources are used 98-99% with round-the-clock operation.
The development of indigenous supercomputers is a key direction of modernization of the country’s economy. The development of such high technology project allows reducing dependence on international producers. Such projects are very important for retaining and advancing the country’s scientific potential, because they provide a work load for research institutes which not only keep them up but also supports their development.
During the navigation season of 2011 Rosatomflot’s nuclear icebreakers supported 34 transit trips of ships via the Northern Sea Route; this is by 8.5 times more than in the previous year.
During the navigation season of 2011 Rosatomflot’s nuclear icebreakers supported 34 transit trips of ships via the Northern Sea Route. Ships steered by nuclear icebreakers transported 820,789 tons of liquid and bulk cargoes, with 10 ships sailed in ballast. For comparison, in 2010 four transit trips were performed to carry 110,000 tons of cargoes, with 2 ships sailed in ballast.
On the whole, 567 ship steering operations, transit trips exclusive, took place on the Northern Sea Route in 2011. In February-April in the White Sea (Vitino Seaport) 67 ships were steered. In the Gulf of Finland, the Vaigach nuclear icebreaker did 258 steering operations from February till April.
Also, in 2011 a speed record of passing the route was broken. On the 30-th of August the Sovkomflot’s suezmax tanker Vladimir Tikhomirov finished a trip via the Northern Sea Route. It took her just 7.4 days at an average speed of 14 knots to cover the route. She was steered by Rosatomflot’s nuclear icebreakers 50 Let Pobedy and Yamal. The record was set owing to well-concerted and professional actions of crews of all ships involved in the operation.
These records demonstrate that steering via the Northern Sea Route is more economically effective for Russian and international companies because they take less time than trips via the Suez Channel and much safer since there are no pirates. Advancement of operations at this Arctic route strengthens profile of Rosatomflot among large commercial companies and lays account with further commercialization of this area. In long term, more active operations on the Northern Sea Route will secure geopolitical and economic leadership of Russia in the Arctic.
On the 18-th of December Phase One of Mo-99 production line was commissioned in frames of ROSATOM’s project of development of molybdenum-99 production at NIIAR.
The project to set up Mo-99 production at NIIAR has been implemented by ROSATOM in accordance with the project launched by the Commission for Modernization of Russian Economy under the President of Russia. The project active phase started in mid-2010 and on the 18-th of December Phase One of the production was commissioned.
A total cost of the project is about RUB1 billion. Commissioning of Phase Two of the molybdenum-99 production in the Research Institute of Atomic Reactors in Dimitrovgrad will take place in 2012 as planned. With commissioning of Phase Two, Mo-99 output should reach 800 Curies per week. ROSATOM is faced by a task of a sizable increase in the Mo-99 export potential and next year it is planned to start selling this isotope across the world.
The commissioning of new Mo-99 production capacities in 2011 allowed replacing reactors in Obninsk-based IPPE shut down for a scheduled outage and meet the market needs.
The Standard & Poor’s rating agency raised the term rating of Atomenergoprom from ÂÂÂ- up to ÂÂÂ with the “Stable” forecast.
In December 2011 the Standard & Poor’s rating service raised the long-term credit rating of the Russian state-owned holding Atomenergoprom from ÂÂÂ- up to ÂÂÂ. At the same time, the short-term rating À-3 and national rating ruAAA were confirmed. The rating forecast is “Stable.”
Atomenergoprom for the first time prepared an audited financial statement as per IAS for 2010. Standard & Poor’s believe this conditioned a better transparency of the company and lower information risk.
The Standard & Poor’s report notes that the vertically integrated business model and secured monopoly in the area of the civil nuclear industry in the Russian Federation positively influence business solvency of the company. Ratings of Atomenergoprom reflect a very high probability for the company to receive timely and sufficiently prompt support from the Russian Government in case of a financial stress. Besides, Atomenergoprom has strong positions in the world market in segments such as uranium mining, conversion and enrichment, and in fabrication of fuel rods.
A rating assigned by leading international rating agencies is the most important indicator which influences the cost of credit financing attracted by a company. An increase in the rating with stable forecast will allow Atomenergoprom to borrow money at a lower rate from a broader circle of investors.
In December at the Nuclear Industry Suppliers’ Forum ATOMEX 2011, the head ROSATOM S. Kirienko noted that according to the 2011 results, an economic effect of optimization of procurement procedures would amount to RUB23 billion.
S. Kirienko also said that priorities of the procurement system were reliability, safety and quality; and only under these terms price was reduced. “An outcome of the 9-month work in 2011 is RUB17.4 billion that is comparable with results of 2010. A number of open tenders have nearly doubled as compared to the last year: from 24,000 in 2010 up to 46,000 this year. Purchases made through open tenders only were RUB370 billion just for 9 months of 2011,” Kirienko emphasized.
“The next year we plan for 45,000 open procurement procedures worth more than RUB390 billion,” the ROSATOM Director General said, adding that after refining the latest data from enterprises “these numbers will slightly grow.”
Rosenergoatom was granted a construction license for Baltic NPP.
In November 2011 Rosenergoatom Concern was granted a Rostechnadzor license for construction of Unit 1 of Baltic NPP (Neman District, Kaliningrad Region).
According to provisions of the Convention on Nuclear Safety and the Convention on Environmental Impact Assessment in a Transboundary Context (Espoo Convention), ROSATOM sent materials of the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) of Baltic NPP to all bordering states. By date, official consultations on the EIA have been held in Sweden, Latvia, Poland, Estonia, Belarus, Germany, Denmark, Finland and Norway.
“ROSATOM has always expressed readiness to provide the necessary information on Baltic NPP at the first request from foreign colleagues, and in future we are ready to give additional explanations. We believe that provision of information in such public-sensitive sphere as nuclear power is absolutely necessary. Our consultations in the spirit of the Espoo Convention are one of manifestations of the openness policy ROSATOM is implementing both in Russia and abroad,” S. Boyarkin, Program Director of the Capital Projects Office of ROSATOM, points out.
In January 2011 the agreement between Russia and the USA concerning the cooperation in the peaceful use of atomic energy came into force.
The agreement which allows the U.S. companies to cooperate with Russia in the peaceful uses of atomic energy came into force after an exchange in diplomatic notes between the two countries in Moscow.
The document will facilitate the joint work on design of reactors which reduce a risk of nuclear proliferation. It creates conditions for research and development in frames of which the American national laboratories and industry, in a partnership with Russian colleagues, will explore areas such as fuel fabrication, innovative types of fuel and advanced reactor designs.
The agreement supports American and Russian commercial interests by simplifying the process of establishment of joint ventures and permitting sales of nuclear materials and equipment to each other. Experts estimate that this will put relations between Russia and the USA in the nuclear sphere on a more sound footing. The American and Russian companies will be able to jointly develop state-of-the-art nuclear reactors, approaches to the nuclear fuel cycle and advanced technologies which are safe and reliable.
Russia and the USA will be able to cooperate in joint development of technologies that facilitate arms control and nonproliferation, create a legal framework for joint studies into conversion of research reactors from highly enriched to low enriched uranium.
The 123 Agreement will facilitate the cooperation in nuclear forensic, preventing nuclear materials from getting in hands of terrorists and providing conditions for broadening the technical cooperation in the joint development of international security measures of the next generation.
In December the Japanese Parliament ratified the Agreement on the Cooperation in the Peaceful Use of Atomic Energy between Russia and Japan.
On the whole, the bilateral agreement on the cooperation in the peaceful use of atomic energy is aimed at creating new opportunities for producers in Russia and Japan. In this country, it means a perspective of broadening the business of ROSATOM’s companies, such as Techsnabexport, NIAEP, Atomenergomash, Uranium Holding ARMZ and other. Political constraints are lifted and now the two countries can start implementing specific mutually beneficial projects.
Russia and Japan signed the agreement on the cooperation in the peaceful use of atomic energy in 2009, and the Russian Parliament ratified it in the end of 2010.
ROSATOM is building up investments in research and developments (R&D). As compared to 2006 they have growth by seven times.
ROSATOM is actively developing innovative technologies and mastering production of new materials.
In particular, the development of standard optimized large power water-water reactors VVER-TOI (standard optimized informatized reactor) is nearing the end; this will allow reducing construction costs by 20% and expediting the construction process up to 40 months. The design is expected to submit for licensing as planned in December 2012.
Also, the development of a design of the small lead-bismuth-cooled power reactor SVBR-100, which is carried out jointly with EuroSibEnergo, is nearing completion. According to a presidential decree, in October 2011 AKME-engineering was given the status of a full-fledged participant of Russia’s nuclear market and entered the community of 36 national legal entities which have the right to own nuclear materials and installations.
The project of development and construction of a pilot power unit with the SVBR-100 reactor is implemented through the public-private partnership by AKME-engineering in the framework of the federal target program “Nuclear Power Technologies of the New Generation in 2010-2015 and until 2020” and is on the list of projects of the Commission for Modernization and Technological Development of Russia under the President of Russia in the area “New Technological Platform: closed nuclear cycle and fast neutron reactors.” Construction of the pilot commercial power unit with a SVBR-100 reactor is planned for 2013-2017; its first criticality and first power are set for the second half of 2017. The pilot power unit should become the prototype of series-built nuclear facilities for regional and local energy systems.
In 2011 the Russian producer of superconductors for the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) project – Chepetsky Mechanical Plant (CMP) – reached its design capacity. Planned output of superconductors is 50 tons of strands (superconducting complex-structure wire of copper and niobium-tantalum shapes) per year. After completion of the ITER order, the plant plans to supply superconducting materials for medicine and industry applications. In particular, it is planned that superconductors will be actively used in manufacture of domestic tomographs.
In December, in Smolensk on the premises of the Smolensk State University the 14-th Nuclear Information Center was inaugurated.
The inauguration ceremony was attended by representatives of the Smolensk regional and city administrations, ROSATOM, Smolensk nuclear power plant, as well as representatives of the scientific and pedagogical community.
It is the 14-th center in the country. Similar centers already operate in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Vladimir, Yekaterinburg, Ulyanovsk, Voronezh, Kaliningrad, Murmansk, Nizhniy Novgorod, Novosibirsk, Rostov-on-Don, Tomsk, and Chelyabinsk.
Each information center is a state-of-the-art multimedia cinema which combines a panoramic 3D projection, computer graphics and animation, stereo sound, interactive consoles and personal displays. The technologies in use “immerse” a spectator in the virtual reality. The basic product of the information center is a 45-minute multimedia show staged as a virtual performance “The World of Atomic Energy.” The show program is universal and designed for an unprepared audience of 2-11-grade schoolchildren (though the demonstrated programs are interesting for adults as well).