The State Atomic Energy Corporation ROSATOM

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International cooperation


 РОСАТОМ » Strategy implementation » Strengthening as a global player in the world market for nuclear services » International cooperation



Nikolay Spasskiy
Deputy CEO for International Relations

– How efficient, do you think, was ROSATOM’s international cooperation in the reporting year?

– For me, the past year was one of most difficult ones in terms of challenges met and, at the same time, one of the productive in all my years with ROSATOM.

First of all, last year, we and the IAEA jointly held the St. Petersburg Ministerial Conference on nuclear power prospects in the 21st century. My experience says conferences and other similar events are rarely substantial. This case was an exception. This was the most representative and most substantive international conference in all the decades of the existence of nuclear power. It drew more than 500 participants from 87 countries, including over 60 ministerial level guests, and seven international organisations. The conference allowed drawing the line under the Fukushima chapter and defining concrete perspectives and priorities. And the main thing was to fix the leading role of Russia in nuclear power development in the world.

The past year also saw the opening of a number of new markets. The entire Corporation worked on that, and our structural unit contributed to that as well. The results of this work were made public and formal already this year. First of all, there was the conclusion of governmental agreements with Hungary and Finland. But the major effort to prepare them was made in 2013.

Then, there was substantial and interesting work with India to solve the issue of civil liability for nuclear damage. This was work where the result was not guaranteed. Its success has become apparent this year.

– Can the current political situation (including the Ukraine crisis) affect somehow the implementation of ROSATOM’s international goals and objectives?

– In brief, it can, of course. Speaking in more detail, I think crises help rather than hinder. I would have a reservation; certainly, if it does result in a collapse and chaos. Crises help set priorities in a clearer way and consolidate efforts in a more efficient manner. Therefore, I am confident that the Corporation will emerge from the current international complications stronger and more self-assured, having consolidated its positions in the global markets.

– What are ROSATOM’s near- and mid-term international cooperation plans?

– In terms of geography, there are strongholds in all promising regional markets. In other words, plans to build at least one NPP of Russian design in each of the large regions, i.e. Middle East, North Africa, in the south of Africa, South America, etc.

In terms of economy, it is to transfer our international cooperation to the modern market principles to the maximum degree.

In terms of internal logic (maybe it is the main thing), it is to restructure all our work with the account taken of fulfilment of the internal order. This task has to be completed in the next two or three years.

In 2013, ROSATOM’s international activities focused on creating favourable international legal and political conditions for the Corporation’s global expansion and becoming a leader in the world market of nuclear technologies, on strengthening the nuclear security and nuclear non-proliferation regimes as well as promoting the interests of the Corporation with regard to international organisations and forums.

Conclusion of intergovernmental and interagency agreements

In 2013, work continued to broaden the international legal framework for the promotion of the Russia nuclear power technologies across the world. Over the reporting period, 11 intergovernmental agreements and seven interagency arrangements were concluded (compared to 8 and 14 in 2012 and 4 and 8 in 2011, respectively). The number of countries with which there are existing or signed intergovernmental agreements concerning the peaceful use of atomic energy reached 60.

Table. Cooperation with principal partners in strengthening the international legal framework

Partner-countries Results
Hungary A draft agreement was prepared for signing concerning cooperation in the peaceful use of atomic energy, which also provides for construction of new nuclear power units at Paks NPP.
Finland A draft agreement was prepared for signing concerning cooperation in the peaceful use of atomic energy, which will substitute the framework agreement expired in 2004.
Republic of South Africa A draft agreement on the strategic partnership in the field of the nuclear power and industry was prepared for signing.
Mexico The framework intergovernmental agreement on cooperation in the peaceful use of atomic energy was signed.
U.S.

The intergovernmental agreement on cooperation in nuclear- and energy-related scientific research and development, which defined specific areas of science and technology cooperation in line with the innovative development tasks of the Russian economy, was signed.

In the framework of implementation of the umbrella agreement on the Multilateral Nuclear Environmental Programme in the Russian Federation of 21 May 2003 (MNEPR), the U.S.-Russia intergovernmental Protocol and Agreement to the MNEPR Framework Agreement were signed. The Protocol was signed to substitute the U.S.-Russia International Agreement Concerning the Safe and Secure Transportation, Storage and Destruction of Weapons of 17 June 1992 (Nunn-Lugar Programme). For the purposes of implementation of the protocol and the agreement, memoranda were drafted and adopted to stipulate control and information exchange mechanisms. The protocol is subject to ratification and was submitted to the Government of Russia for submission to the State Duma of Russia.

Belarus

The intergovernmental agreement on early notification of a nuclear accident and nuclear safety information exchange, aimed at fulfilling the IAEA recommendations regarding the conclusion of bilateral or multilateral arrangements in relation to the subject matter of the Convention on Early Notification of a Nuclear Accident, was signed.

The intergovernmental agreement on cooperation in the field of nuclear safety was signed. The agreement reflects the significance, which Russia, as the contractor country, attaches to the array of issues of ensuring safety, and is evidence of our ability and readiness to render assistance in building the nuclear safety infrastructure in a new nuclear country.

Ukraine The intergovernmental agreement on early notification of a nuclear accident and nuclear safety information exchange, aimed at fulfilling the IAEA recommendations regarding the conclusion of bilateral or multilateral arrangements in relation to the subject matter of the Convention on Early Notification of a Nuclear Accident, was signed.
Armenia The intergovernmental agreement on cooperation in the field of nuclear safety was signed. The signing of this agreement shows the progressive development of relations with Armenia in the field of nuclear power, including strengthening the nuclear safety of Metzamor NPP.
France At the XVIII meeting of the intergovernmental commission chaired by the heads of government of France and Russia, the French-Russian declaration on bilateral nuclear power cooperation was adopted.
Sri Lanka The memorandum of cooperation in the field of the use of atomic energy for peaceful purposes was signed.
Israel The memorandum of cooperation in nuclear medicine was signed.
Cuba The memorandum of cooperation in nuclear medicine was signed.
United Kingdom The memorandum of understanding regarding economic cooperation in the field of the peaceful use of atomic energy was signed with the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change.

Support of long-term projects on building up the international cooperation infrastructure in 2013

In the reporting year, political support was rendered to the implementation of large-scale projects with traditional partners of ROSATOM, in particular those related to the first power programme of Unit 1 of Kudankulam NPP in India and the first concrete at Unit 4 of Tianwan NPP in China.

The process of establishing a Russian-Kazakh joint venture - the Uranium Enrichment Centre (UEC) – was completed. The project was implemented in the framework of agreements reached by the Presidents of Russia and Kazakhstan and laid down in the Integrated Programme of the Russian-Kazakh Cooperation in the Peaceful Use of Atomic Energy. The joint venture purchased 25 % plus 1 share of JSC UECC. The JSC UEC will have access to uranium enrichment services amounting to 5 million SWU per year.

Interaction with related agencies and organisations of Belarus was carried out on a continuous basis. The first concrete was poured for the foundation plate of the safety system building of Unit 1 of Belarus NPP.

Work has been started on the site of Ruppur NPP in Bangladesh. An Atomic Energy Information Centre has been opened in the capital of Bangladesh based on the framework of the Memorandum signed in 2012 to this end.

Practical and infrastructural issues of implementation of the Akkuyu NPP construction project in Turkey were being solved.

In 2013, political and legal support was rendered to ROSATOM’s Mining Division with the aim of broadening the global uranium mining base in the interests of Russian nuclear industry companies. In particular, a deal was made to consolidate 100 % of the shares of ROSATOM’s affiliate, Uranium One Inc.

Support was rendered to the construction projects of Ninh Thuan-1 and the Nuclear Science and Technology Centre, as well as to the training of specialists for the nuclear sector of Vietnam, which is a ROSATOM’s strategic partner in Southeast Asia.

ROSATOM won the tender for construction of the first NPP in Jordan.

Political support was rendered for the signing of the contracts for construction of NPP and fuel supplied to the future NPP Hanhikivi-1 in Finland.

ROSATOM initiated drafting changes to the Decree of the President of Russia No. 556 “On Restructuring of the Nuclear Power and Industry Complex of the Russian Federation”, which regulates in particular the issue of nuclear material transfer to the territory of a foreign state for fabrication of nuclear fuel for research reactors.

In pursuance of the Decree of the President of Russia No. 603, ROSATOM continues developing its system of overseas representatives. In November 2013, the first off-site meeting of ROSATOM’s representatives in Russian embassies in China, India, Iran, Japan, Kazakhstan and Turkey and Russian trade missions to Argentina, the Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, the United Kingdom, the U.S. and Vietnam was organised in Moscow.

See also the Section “International Business”.

Main problems that hindered the building and broadening of international cooperation in 2013:

  • political instability in some regions of the world;
  • post-Fukushima syndrome persisting in some countries;
  • unfair competition of certain foreign players in the international market.

To mitigate these problems, ROSATOM timely reported the country’s leadership, appropriately built up its negotiating capacity as agreed on with the MFA of Russia, the Ministry of Economic Development of Russia and other agencies, carried out awareness-raising activities making public its approaches at international conferences and forums. As a result, all key projects of ROSATOM were continued or completed in the past year.

Table. Participation of ROSATOM in activities of international organisations

International organisation Interaction results
International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)

ROSATOM jointly with the IAEA held the Ministerial Conference on Nuclear Power in the 21st Century in St. Petersburg (Russia) on 27–29 June 2013. The conference became the largest event in the history of the world nuclear power: the forum was attended by over 500 delegates from 87 countries and seven international organisations; more than 60 guests held the rank of minister or were officials of equal rank. The conference set the general direction of nuclear power development for many years ahead. It explicitly demonstrated that the post-Fukushima syndrome was going away and that nuclear power remains an important constituent of the world energy mix. The final document emphasised that “nuclear power remains an important option” which can “substantially contribute to covering the growing energy demand, to improve energy security, reduce the impact of volatile fossil fuels prices and mitigate the effects of climate change.”

ROSATOM CEO Sergey Kirienko took part in the work of the WANO General Assembly on 16-20 May 2013.

During this period, a visit to Russia by IAEA Director General Y. Amano to participate in the WANO events was organised.

Two Russian projects – on nuclear medicine and land rehabilitation – were included in the IAEA Technical Cooperation Programme for 2014-2015.

On 5-6 February 2013 a familiarisation visit by a group of permanent representatives of the IAEA Member States in Vienna to Kalinin NPP was organised.

ROSATOM took an active part in the International Conference on Nuclear Security: Enhancing Global Efforts, which was held in Vienna, Austria, on 1-5 July 2013.

Nuclear Energy Agency of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD/NEA)

The Russian Federation ascended the OECD/NEA on 1 January 2013. Russia’s ascension to the OECD/NEA provides additional conditions for the promotion of Russian nuclear power technologies in the world markets, for full-fledged participation in decision-making on future parameters of nuclear power development and for effective protection of Russia’s interests.

The participation in the NEA Data Bank allows ROSATOM to use in full its extensive and useful information, including on properties of reactor materials, and computer codes.

A group working on the Russian VVER-TOI reactor design was established in the framework of the Multinational Design Evaluation Programme (MDEP). This will help bring the reactor technology certification requirements existing in Russia in compliance with the international practices. Finland, India and Turkey have become members of this MDEP working group.

Russia joined two international post-Fukushima projects of OECD/NEA aimed at solving tasks of safety enhancement of Russia’s NPPs.

Council for Cooperation on the Peaceful Use of Atomic Energy under the Integration Committee of the Eurasian Economic Community (EurAsEC) On 1 January 2013, implementation of the interstate target programme “Rehabilitation of Territories of the EurAsEC Member States Affected by Uranium Mining” was started.
CIS Member States Commission on the Peaceful Use of Atomic Energy

The Council of the CIS Heads of Government on 31 May 2013 approved the following intergovernmental-level documents:
- Agreement on coordination of the interstate relations of the CIS Member States in the field of the peaceful use of atomic energy;
- Protocol on amendments to the Agreement of the main principles of cooperation in the peaceful use of atomic energy of 26 June 1992;
- Provision on the Base Organisation of the CIS Member States for the information exchange regarding the operation and safety improvement of research nuclear installations (according to this Provision, Russian NIIAR has become such organisation).

Work is under way to draft the concept of nuclear and radiation safety of CIS Member States in the field of the peaceful use of atomic energy (the document is under review by concerned CIS Member States’ agencies).

In 2013, all financial commitments of the Russian Federation with regard tointernational activities were fulfilled.

Strengthening the nuclear non-proliferation regime

In 2013, highly enriched nuclear fuel totalling 128.9 kgU was repatriated from the Czech Republic, Hungary and Vietnam.

The intergovernmental agreement with Uzbekistan concerning repatriation of irradiated nuclear fuel of the research reactor was prepared for signing.

The intergovernmental agreement was signed with the U.S. in the format of diplomatic note exchanges for 10 years (until 27 May 2024). The agreement concerns cooperation in repatriation of Russia-flagged nuclear fuel of research reactors. The notion of “liquid nuclear fuel” was introduced to this document to ensure repatriation of highly enriched nuclear fuel from Uzbekistan.

In the discharge of the obligations regarding national contributions to organisation of summits on nuclear security, in preparation for the 2014 Hague Summit, the international workshop on nuclear safety culture was organised at ROSATOM-CICE-&T in December 2013. The workshop was attended by representatives of 14 countries and the IAEA.

Fulfilment of international obligations and Russian legislation on export control in 2013

In the framework of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), the work on updating control lists of nuclear and dual-use commodities was completed. Sectoral technical experts participated in this work. The work to introduce agreed changes to the Russian legislation nears completion.

The Export Board of ROSATOM reviewed 166 draft contracts (agreements, deals) without appeals and in a timely manner. The review statements, based on the review findings and taking account of the experts’ comments, were sent to the relevant organisations and sectoral enterprises.

In the reporting year, there were no violations in the area of export control by ROSATOM’s organisations.

Plans and objectives of expanding international cooperation and influence for 2014 and on the mid-term horizon

In 2014:

  • the contractual documents with India will be finalised to allow starting construction of Units 3 and 4 at Kudankulam NPP;
  • the following intergovernmental agreements are to be signed:
    • with Hungary on construction of two new power units at Paks NPP;
    • with Finland on cooperation in the peaceful uses of atomic energy;
    • with Uzbekistan on cooperation in importing irradiated nuclear fuel of the IIN-3M research reactor to Russia;
  • work will continue with South Africa regarding the broadening of the legal contractual framework;
  • the intergovernmental agreement on construction of a NPP in Jordan will be drafted;
  • preparation for diplomatic note exchanges with Japan on nuclear material which will be in Russian installations under the intergovernmental agreement on the peaceful uses of atomic energy will be completed;
  • a new intergovernmental agreement on the peaceful uses of atomic energy with Argentina will be drafted;
  • the 25th Fusion Energy Conference (FEC 2014) will be held in St. Petersburg under the auspices of the IAEA;
  • ROSATOM will participate in the Nuclear Security Summit in The Hague;
  • representatives of ROSATOM will be sent to Bangladesh and Belarus to further broaden ROSATOM’s overseas representation network.

The main tasks of the international activities of ROSATOM in mid-term are further work with foreign states and international organisations to promote ROSATOM’s offer of integrated services in building and maintaining NPPs abroad, further expansion of the international legal framework of cooperation, the fulfilment of Russia’s international obligations and strengthening the nuclear non-proliferation and nuclear security regimes.





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