The Energy Race and Why Russia is Winning

Russian dominance in fields of the energy sectors is not limited to fossil fuels.  The “fast breeder” technologies which are gaining international interest coupled with the implementation and distribution of relatively clean source reactors in areas of the globe not hitherto using nuclear energy offer an alternative in the field of energy production. 

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While the west is mired in the fracking debacle (which is environmentally unsound as scientific studies done in North America have shown to cause earthquakes and contaminate aquifers and fresh water sources) Russia is leading the free world in alternatives to fossil fuel based energy sources and offers a cleaner and safer approach in nuclear based energy production.
Clearly the challenges to the petro -dollar based economy are viewed as an economic threat by interests who place profits ahead of innovation and advancement; preferring instead to continue the “Fukushima Model”.
The expected surge in maratime shipping through northern Arctic regions is also anticipated and planned for by Russian scientists and economists which is yet another reason for the west to  attempt their “isolationist” policies.
If the sixties competition between the west and Russia (SU)  was defined as the “Space Race” the emerging and increasingly apparent competition now is the “Energy Race” which the west as proponents of 20th century technologies are far behind. 
The following is a translation from the  POSTED story on VK.
✔ Atomic vernissage for foreign guests

On the 60th anniversary of the first nuclear power plant “Rosatom” launches a new generation of reactor and demonstrate their capabilities in the Arctic

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Kola Peninsula, where the base of the nuclear icebreaker fleet and operates the first nuclear power plant built in the Arctic Circle is now covered with greenery. Sun at night hardly comes, but in the mountains and high hills is still snow. It was so – harsh and alluring – this region saw representatives of the International Atomic Energy Agency, visited sites on the state corporation “Rosatom” in the Murmansk region.

As the world’s first nuclear power plant, fired at Moscow in June 1954 – exactly 60 years ago, these unique objects in northern Russia prove the relevance and competitiveness of nuclear technology in comparison with other forms of power generation, transport and power plants.

Another signal confirming its leading position in the Russian development of new technologies was the launch in late June BN-800 reactor at Beloyarsk nuclear power plant. This nuclear power plant in the Urals not accidentally attracts professional nuclear engineers around the world. According to the deputy general director of “Rosatom” Alexander Lokshin, reactors “fast breeder” – it tomorrow nuclear power industry, without them is impossible to imagine further development. Moreover, the technology of “fast” reactors have very few countries, and Russia is the undisputed leader. Such power units and associated infrastructure will extend the fuel base of nuclear energy and to remove, minimize the problem of radioactive waste, by involving already used nuclear fuel is recycled.

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“Rosatom”, which have great potential of new technologies and projects, is interested in expanding international cooperation, stressed the head of the corporation, Sergei Kiriyenko. Including the new markets for themselves where previously worked mainly French, German and American companies. Latin America, Southeast Asia, Middle East and South Africa, Russian nuclear experts are considering including in its priorities. Confirmation of this – working meetings, negotiations and has signed agreements with potential partners in these regions of the world. Another – about the construction of the first nuclear power plant in Jordan – expected by the end of summer, said CEO “Rusatom Overseas” Djomartov Aliyev.

Official representatives from Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and also from Vietnam, Singapore and South Africa can not miss this summer at nuclear facilities in the Russian Arctic.

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According to the deputy director general of the IAEA Alexander Bychkov, “Rosatom” previously sent invitations to all ambassadors accredited to the agency headquarters in Vienna. And this is not the first gesture of goodwill on the part of Russian nuclear state corporation and guidance when its objects invite officials and experts working on an ongoing basis with the IAEA.
Reach $ 100 billion by the end of 2014 the portfolio of foreign orders, “Rosatom” for the next ten years

– And to go or not, everyone decides for himself – says Bychkov. – No formal settings on this account agency does not …

– The first such visit was organized last year at Kalinin NPP – recalled Advisor to General Director of “Rosatom” on international issues Vladimir Kuchinov. – And this time decided to show that the peaceful atom and Russian nuclear technology safely and effectively operate in the Far North. And the problems that went from the past, here is also able to overcome, not shifting them on to future generations.

The official program began with a tour of the new shore facility in Saida, where is placed on long-term – up to 100 years – and controlled storage scrapped reactors and recycled nuclear submarines. Since then, as this particular activity has moved from the Navy to conduct “Rosatom” and, in particular, its subsidiary “SevRAO” here conducted extensive rehabilitation work and a modern infrastructure for complex and potentially dangerous technological operations.

Chapter “SevRAO” Valery Panteleyev showing guests have an actual object placed on it and reactor compartments, did not fail to note that such a result was possible due to financial and technical assistance from Germany, as the most active participants of the program to reduce nuclear heritage and overcome the consequences “Cold War.”

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– Attempts by some politicians in the West and in the United States to intimidate Russia sanctions on work plans and business relations with our partners in Germany had no effect, – said the head of “SevRAO.” – As before, once a month we meet, we estimate made, adjust something, we envisage new challenges and the best ways to solve them …

Half a century on the Kola Peninsula nuclear arms race has left many traces in particular that Russian specialists with the participation of foreign partners consistently clean. As a result, a unique experience, which can be widely used in other countries for the decommissioning of dangerous objects. All the necessary technology thoroughly practiced “Rosatom” and its divisions in the final disposal of nuclear submarines, the treatment of spent nuclear fuel and rehabilitation of coastal maintenance bases adopted in the Navy.

This activity, according to the issues and the general reaction of representatives of IAEA appreciated. A delegation included representatives of 15 States, including (in addition to those mentioned above), Algeria, Armenia, Egypt, India, China, Nicaragua, Pakistan, Turkey and Japan.
Permanent representatives of 15 countries, working at the IAEA visited Kola NPP and nuclear fleet base

Kola nuclear power plant – the first nuclear power plant built in the Arctic Circle – diplomats and experts were able to visit the reactor and engine room, ask questions to the plant manager Basil Omelchuk evaluate the work of staff on duty at the main control room, test your knowledge and skills in the fitness center, which then workers are proud of.

With no less proudly showed guests knowhow Kola nuclear power – its own special set of processing liquid radioactive waste (LRW). He developed and launched here on an industrial scale in 2006. As explained by the deputy chief engineer for safety and reliability Igor Marakulin their method allows to concentrate the main radionuclides from large volumes of liquid radioactive waste into a relatively small, like 200-liter drum, filter containers that provide secure storage of content for 300-500 years.

Technology is called ion-selective sorption. It is a unique purely Russian development and reduces the amount of radioactive waste to be disposed of 50 times, say at the plant. And that is the result of such processing is a salt melt, not belonging to the category of radioactive waste. Under certain circumstances it may be an industrial raw material source.
Aleksander Emelianenko (Murmansk region)

Commissioning of this complex allowed to solve the problem at Kola NPP processing so-called resid accumulated during plant operation. Director of NPP detailed answers to visitors’ questions and made it clear that this method can be serious prospects at other plants, not only in Russia.

Behind the walls of the reactor compartment and complex LRW IAEA representatives showed “echo Fukushima in action.” It took less than a minute the operator to respond to the introductory task and run a backup diesel generator. Such plants and used to be on the Kola nuclear. Given the post-Fukushima requirements were purchased and installed additional generators and thoroughly thought through their emergency circuit connection in case of need. Similarly, the picture looks and mobile pumping stations. As a result, representatives of the IAEA is not even any questions about their work.

This, however, is clear: at Russian nuclear power plants have already been many, but for the majority of existing nuclear icebreaker appeared for the first time. And because of questions to the captain, crew members and the general director of “Rosatomflot” Vyacheslav Ruksha was particularly large – about the life of the reactor and the enrichment of fuel in it, about the thickness of the ice, which is able to overcome the nuclear-powered icebreaker, training and watchkeeping regime on a ship …

In the coming years, said Vyacheslav Ruksha, the workload for “ATVs Arctic” – as it is called nuclear icebreakers – sharply. Increase in traffic from the current 1.5 million tons to 17-18 associated with the beginning of large-scale LNG production on the Yamal Peninsula. The second priority for the “Atomflot” stressed Ruksha was and will be the development of the international transit shipping on the Northern Sea Route. It will be implemented in close and mutually beneficial cooperation with major ship owners and shipping companies in Europe and Southeast Asia, such as “Novatek”, French Total, China’s CNPC.

To ensure their neighbors year-round navigation in the Arctic and provide effective navigation along the Northern Sea Route, Russia, as previously reported, has started construction of a new generation of nuclear-powered icebreakers. The first of three ships in this series since 2013 is built on the Baltic Shipyard in St. Petersburg. With the same shipyard contracts for the next two.

According to the plan the new icebreakers will put into operation with the 2017-2018 period. Until that time, the entire burden will fall on the four currently operating nuclear ship “Vaygach”, “Taimyr”, “Yamal” and “50 Years of Victory”.

– Another nuclear icebreaker called “Soviet Union”, built in 1989 and is now in reserve, to be restored in 2017 and is connected to the work on the Northern Sea Route – Ruksha said during a visit to Murmansk permanent representatives of the IAEA.

Simultaneously with the “Soviet Union” will be restored and extended the technical readiness of the resource of a unique transport vessel with a nuclear power plant – LASH “Northern Sea Route”. At one time he had already carried out tasks for cargo on Arctic routes and now, to the delight of the crew returned to active life.
Thiep Nguyen, Ambassador to the International Organizations in Vienna, Permanent Representative of Viet Nam to the IAEA headquarters:

– On this trip I was in two persons – as Permanent Representative of Viet Nam to the International Organizations in Vienna and the elected Chairman of the Board of Governors. Therefore with great pleasure accepted the invitation of “Rosatom” and joined a group of colleagues from 14 countries. My task as ambassador defined tasks that derive from agreements between Vietnam and Russia in the field of nuclear energy. It was important to see another operating NPPs in Russia, to meet with its characteristics and the important experience that is obtained in the processing of radioactive waste. This is a common problem for the nuclear industry, and the solutions found by experts Kola NPP, seem to me valuable. I think that they are already in demand in many countries will be needed tomorrow.

I am optimistic and confident about the future of cooperation between Russia and Vietnam in the field of nuclear energy. And wanted to see as soon as possible in his country a nuclear power plant, similar to Kola. I hope that the progress towards this goal will also help our visit. In the report on its results, I intend to say that we have full confidence in Russia, “Rosatom” and that the proposed foreign partners Russian projects and technologies in the nuclear sector to meet the highest safety standards.

And speaking from the position of Chairman of the IAEA Board of Governors, I note that the agency faces big challenges that can only be solved with the active partnership of all participating States. Russia in this respect, show us an example.

Alexander Bychkov, IAEA Deputy Director General:

– Strictly speaking, the IAEA secretariat no special purposes before this trip did not set. This Russia as the party of grace working in Vienna invited the ambassadors to visit important sites in its territory. The action is definitely useful and productive is because given an opportunity after having, as a rule, diplomatic education, to see in practice that with which they are dealing within its powers in Vienna. I will not speak for everyone, but many on this trip was very impressed by the nuclear icebreakers, which was able to visit. Like the whole story related to their past work in the Arctic. This is an inspiring example of the use of nuclear energy in the construction of transport and power plants.
Toshiro Ozawa, Ambassador to the International Organizations in Vienna, Permanent Representative of Japan to the IAEA headquarters:

– Just a fantastic experience of visiting existing nuclear-powered icebreaker “Yamal” and the first nuclear-powered icebreaker “Lenin”, which has now become a unique museum. At the facility in Saida Bay showed us and gave explanations qualified as made final disposal of nuclear submarines, where until when will the reactor compartments is what will happen to them, and how to ensure safety at all stages of the technology cycle. As for the Kola NPP, I want to note the exceptional professionalism of the plant manager Mr. Omelchuk. Dealing simultaneously with fifteen ambassadors, he showed impeccable communication and very adequately presented us with his company and the Russian nuclear industry as a whole.

After the accident at the nuclear power plant “Fukushima” all over the world pay more attention to security. And here, at the Kola plant, I also saw important improvements that have been taken for this purpose. Increased the number of mobile diesel generators, pumping stations, which ultimately enhances overall security and stability of the nuclear power plant in emergency and critical situations. Observed strengthening of ties between the IAEA, WANO, and – most importantly – through inspections and insurance companies.

With regard to processing waste at Kola NPP and the applicability of this technology, we have the “Fukushima”, I will say this: the scale of problems here at all different. Our problem in Japan – a huge number of low-level waste, which, on the one hand, entered the ground water, and on the other – keep in contact with high-level materials. We intend to solve their problem in two ways. First, let’s clean those liquid wastes that are in containers. For this we use a method that allows you to display all 63 species of radionuclides except tritium.

The second direction – creating in the soil and underground kinda ice wall to stop the penetration of radionuclides in underground utilities and groundwater.

Once again, I note that our problems in comparison with the objectives that decide on the Kola NPP, different origin and a completely different scale. But, nevertheless, I listened with great interest and colleagues looked at what and how they are at doing. Following the visit, I will prepare a report to his government, which will be reflected and the issues associated with the processing of liquid radioactive waste
Aleksander Emelianenko (Murmansk region). WG

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