Russia Sets Sights On Nuclear Development In ‘Brics’ Countries

By David Dalton
28 March 2013

28 Mar (NucNet): It is vital for African countries to consider the use of nuclear power if they are to meet their energy needs and fulfil their economic potential, a conference in South Africa has been told.

Kirill Komarov, deputy director-general for development and international business at Russia’s sate nuclear corporation Rosatom, told the 5th Brics Summit in Durban that Africa “won’t to be able bring all its potential to life” without meeting its energy needs for its growing economy.

He said it is “vital” that African countries create a viable energy mix and this is why more and more African countries are planning for nuclear power. Mr Komarov said these efforts “must be supported by the global community”.

Mr Komarov said only the Brics nations – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – and other countries in Africa have the potential for “significant” economic growth and that countries with developed nuclear technologies should transfer the necessary technology and knowledge.

He said: “Solutions to construct new nuclear power plants must be offered on an integrated basis, with unconditional priority being given to safety.”

He said “a responsible vendor” of nuclear technology should provide “an integrated solution” for emerging countries including help developing a national legislative and regulatory basis for nuclear energy, education and training, nuclear fuel cycle and radwaste management solutions, the use of local industry, and financing support.

Mr Komarov said the Fukushima-Daiichi accident had not “dramatically affected” the positive trend for global development of nuclear power and most countries, including Russia, had the political to develop national nuclear power programmes.

Last year Rosatom signed an intergovernmental agreement with Nigeria to cooperate on the construction of a nuclear power plant. Rosatom has also been working with Namibia and Tanzania in uranium exploration and mining.

In South Africa, cooperation has included enriched uranium supplies for Koeberg, the country’s only commercial nuclear power plant.

Mr Komarov said Brics countries were “world leaders in nuclear new-build with 74 reactor units in commercial operation, 45 under construction, and 130 planned for construction.

He said Rosatom had doubled its portfolio of nuclear plant projects abroad with foreign orders exceeding 70 billion US dollars (54 billion euro) and projects to construct 28 reactor units, including nine in Russia and 19 abroad.

Russian president Vladimir Putin echoed Mr Komarov’s comments, saying during an official visit to South Africa this week that Russia was interested in constructing nuclear reactors in South Africa.

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