24 November 2022

The prospects for SMR projects in Russia and the world were discussed at ATOMEXPO-2022

A plenary session "Great opportunities for SMR" was held at "ATOMEXPO-2022" in Sochi where the prospects and current agenda for the development of SMR projects in hard-to-reach and isolated regions of the world were discussed.

The session was attended by Kirill Komarov, First Deputy Director General for Development and International Business of ROSATOM, Taung Khan, Minister of Electrification of Myanmar, Taalaibek Ibraev, Minister of Energy of the Kyrgyz Republic, Kirill Bychkov, First Deputy Chairman of the Government of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia), Roman Kopin, Governor of Chukotka Autonomous Okrug, Mikhail Chudakov , Deputy Director General and Head of the IAEA Department of Nuclear Energy, Georgy Fotin, Director General of KAZ Minerals and others. The plenary session was moderated by Anna Lazareva, journalist, TV presenter of the Russia-24 channel.

The participants discussed on-land and floating versions of SMR projects, the transition from the traditional energy system to more flexible solutions that meet the principles of responsible consumption and respect for the environment, ensuring basic generation anywhere in the world, creating balanced and stable energy ecosystems in hard-to-reach regions remote from the central power grids.

As noted by Kirill Komarov, First Deputy Director General for Development and International Business of ROSATOM, SMR can find their niche in the energy mix of countries all over the world. SMR is a low-carbon source of energy at a predictable price for decades, that will provide consumers with energy independence, which is especially important in the current market situation. There is a worldwide demand for environmentally friendly, cost-effective and flexible solutions for hard-to-reach areas, island countries, the exploration of a natural resource deposit, and SMRs are ideally suited to this. The advantages of such projects include space saving and modularity, that means the ability to replicate modules as the demand for electricity grows.

Mikhail Chudakov, the Deputy Director General and Head of the IAEA Department of Nuclear Energy, mentioned that today there are more than 80 SMR projects in 20 countries, and Russia holds a leading position, as it already has ready-made reference solutions, due in particular to the accumulated experience in operating SMR technologies in the nuclear icebreaker fleet. According to him, today there is a huge interest in SMR technologies in the world, including from such countries as Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines and Brazil.

As stated by Taalaibek Ibraev, Minister of Energy of the Kyrgyz Republic, Kyrgyzstan is also considering the prospects for applying such solutions. Today it is a country with a growing economy that seeks to unlock its economic and industrial potential and develop new energy-intensive facilities. SMR is in line with the carbon reduction goals set by the Republic. Among the advantages of SMR, he singled out a high level of safety, independence from weather conditions, lower capital costs compared to the construction of a large NPP, and a shorter construction period.

Taung Khan, Minister of Electrification of Myanmar, noted that Myanmar is interested in cooperation with Russia and ROSATOM in the field of electrification, and sees significant benefits in the use of SMR technologies.

The world's only floating nuclear thermal power plant (FNPP) "Akademik Lomonosov" is operated in the Chukotka Autonomous Okrug. A project is being implemented to build the first Russian on-land SMR in the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia). Many countries of the world, including Argentina, Armenia, India, China, Nigeria, Poland, Puerto Rico, Romania and others, are showing interest in the SMR technologies, and the leading players in the nuclear market are thinking about implementing their own SMR NPPs.

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