The State Atomic Energy Corporation ROSATOM

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Management of natural capital, environmental safety and environmental protection

 РОСАТОМ » Capital management efficiency » Management of natural capital, environmental safety and environmental protection

Vladimir Grachev
Advisor to the CEO

– Last year, ROSATOM’s Environmental Policy was updated. What is new about it?

– The environmental policy has been in effect in ROSATOM since 2008, and in 2013, it was updated in accordance with the Basics of the State Policy in the Field of Ecological Development of the Russian Federation for the Period until 2030, which was approved by the President of Russia in April 2012. The Basics of the State Policy define the tasks of the state in the field of ecology and mechanisms of solving problems in that field. The document reflects the main global and national environmental problems, establishes strategic goals, which take into account the national and international experience in environmental protection and ensuring environmental safety. The Basics of the State Policy provide for improvement of the system of control and legal support in the field of environmental protection, development of a new system for the regulation of the operations of industrial enterprises and a system of economic incentives to modernise them.

The Corporation was directly involved in drafting this document. And, naturally, its approval required bringing the existing Environmental Policy of ROSATOM in accordance with the new provisions of the Basics of the State Policy. All environmentally significant organisations in the sector have updated their environmental policies as well.

– What areas of environmental protection are less developed, in your opinion? What mechanisms are provided to solve these problems?

– In the immediate future, serious changes are expected to be introduced to the Russian regulatory framework, and the Corporation has to foresee their effects. In particular, the new developments will deal with the introduction of changes to the Federal Law “On the Environmental Protection”, in part related to the improvement of the standard-setting process in the field of environmental protection and to the introduction of measures to economically motivate economic subjects to implement the best technologies, as well as to harmonise the Russian legislation with the requirements of the Espoo Convention and the Protocol on the Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA).

The issue of obtaining permits for radioactive releases and discharges by the Corporation’s organisations is very acute. The methodology for calculating atmospheric radioactive release guidelines was approved by Rostechnadzor, but it is merely of a declarative nature, and its practical application requires special activities, for example, it will be necessary to produce Methodological Recommendations on the application of these methodologies in our organisations. As regards discharges of radioactive substances to water bodies, there is not yet an approved document which sets the guidelines for radioactive substance discharges; this is one of the problems the Corporation faces in its environmental protection activities.

– ROSATOM spends serious significant amount of money on environmental protection. In the reporting year, these expenses amounted to nearly RUB 20 billion. Do you think it is much or not?

– Compared to other nuclear companies, for example, in terms of investments in the authorised capital spent for environmental protection, the Corporation’s indicator is sufficiently high. It is RUB 6.03 billion. For the sake of comparison, KHNP (Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power), which operates 23 nuclear reactors totalling 20,716 MW and which generates in total 26.4 % of the electricity in South Korea (the total capacity of 28 Russian operating reactors is 20,230 MW), it is approximately, as recalculated, RUB 0.22 billion.

On the whole, in 2013, ROSATOM spent for environmental protection 4.54 % of the total spending for environmental protection in the Russian Federation. ROSATOM’s share of the total (Russia-wide) volume of releases of pollutants to the atmosphere, discharges of sewage water and generation of production and consumption waste is 0.16, 0.59 and 0.49 %, respectively. In other words, the negative impact on the environment produced by ROSATOM is ten times less than the amount of funds it spent for environmental protection and the mindful use of natural resources. This illustrates that the Corporation pays great attention to environmental protection and ensuring ecological safety, including in terms of finances.

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