CO2 emissions lessened in 2022, but remain on unsustainable growth trajectory: IEA 

Global energy-related carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions rose by under one percent in 2022 — less than initially feared — as the growth of solar, wind, electric vehicles (EVs), heat pumps and energy efficiency helped limit the impact of increased use of coal and oil amid the global energy crisis, says an International Energy Agency (IEA) report published earlier this month. 
The report titled “CO2 Emissions in 2022”, however, cautioned that although the rise in emissions last year was far smaller than the exceptional jump of over six percent in 2021, emissions remain on an unsustainable growth trajectory, and called for stronger actions to accelerate the clean energy transition and move the world onto a path towards meeting its energy and climate goals. 

Though CO2 emissions grew last year by less than 1 percent, these reached a new high of nearly 37 billion tonnes aided by extreme weather phenomena and the shutdown of an unusually large number of nuclear plants.  

“Extreme weather events including droughts and heatwaves, as well as an unusually large number of nuclear power plants being offline, contributed to the rise in emissions”, the IEA said.  

Global energy-related CO2 emissions grew in 2022 by 0.9 percent, or 321 million tonnes, reaching a new high of more than 36.8 billion tonnes, according to the report. 
The report is the first in a new series called the “Global Energy Transitions Stocktake”, which will bring together the IEA’s latest analysis in one place, making it freely accessible in support of the first Global Stocktake in the lead-up to the COP28 United Nations Climate Change Conference in November 2023. 
The rise in emissions was significantly slower than global economic growth of 3.2 percent, signalling a return to a decade-long trend that was interrupted in 2021 by the rapid and emissions-intensive economic rebound from the Covid 19 crisis. An additional 550 million tonnes of emissions were avoided by increased deployment of clean energy technologies, the report said. 
“The impacts of the energy crisis didn’t result in the major increase in global emissions that was initially feared — and this is thanks to the outstanding growth of renewables, EVs, heat pumps and energy efficient technologies. Without clean energy, the growth in CO2 emissions would have been nearly three times as high,” said IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol. 
“However, we still see emissions growing from fossil fuels, hindering efforts to meet the world’s climate targets. International and national fossil fuel companies are making record revenues and need to take their share of responsibility, in line with their public pledges to meet climate goals. It’s critical that they review their strategies to make sure they’re aligned with meaningful emissions reductions,” he added.  
CO2 emissions from coal grew by 1.6 percent as the global energy crisis continued to spur a wave of switching from gas to coal in Asia, and to a lesser degree in Europe. 
According to the report, while the increase in coal emissions was only around one-quarter of 2021’s rise, it still far exceeded the last decade’s average growth rate. However, the increase in emissions from coal more than offset the 1.6 percent decline in emissions from natural gas. 

CO2 emissions from oil grew even more than those from coal, increasing by 2.5 percent but remaining below pre-pandemic levels. Around half of the year-on-year increase in oil’s emissions came from aviation as air travel continued to rise from the lows caused by the pandemic . 
China’s emissions were broadly flat in 2022 as strict Covid-19 measures and declining construction activity led to weaker economic growth and reductions in industrial and transport emissions. 
Instead, the European Union’s emissions fell by 2.5 percent, owing to record deployment of renewables that helped ensure the use of coal was not as high as anticipated. 
The report said that a mild start to the European winter and energy saving measures in response to supply disruptions also contributed to lower emissions. 
In the US, emissions grew by 0.8 percent as buildings increased their energy consumption to cope with extreme temperatures. Excluding China, emissions from Asia’s emerging and developing economies increased by 4.2 percent, reflecting their rapid economic and energy demand growth. 
The global CO2 emissions numbers in the report are based on the IEA’s detailed region-by-region and fuel-by-fuel analysis, drawing on the latest official national data and publicly available energy, economic and weather data. 
According to the IEA, the report covers CO2 emissions from all energy combustion and industrial processes, including information on methane and nitrous oxide emissions, thus providing a complete picture of energy-related greenhouse gas emissions in 2022. 

Fuel transport gateway installed at unit 1 of first nuclear plant in Bangladesh

The transport lock has been installed in the reactor building of unit 1 of the first nuclear power plant (NPP) in Bangladesh, coming up at Rooppur, according to an announcement earlier this month by the Russian state atomic energy corporation Rosatom.  

Rosatom is the equipment supplier and technical consultant for the project to build two VVER-1200 type units of 1,200 MW capacity each at the site located on the eastern bank of the river Padma.     

A statement by Rosatom’s engineering division ASE, which is implementing the Rooppur NPP project, said the transport lock will be used for the loading of nuclear fuel and its unloading at the power plant, as well as for delivering certain types of equipment for the construction.  

The transport lock is 12.7 metres long, 10 metres wide, and weighs 235 tonnes, making it one of the biggest pieces of equipment on the project in terms of dimension. 

After the NPP start-up, fuel simulators will be delivered through the lock, and it will ensure full maintenance of the reactor, the statement said.  

“Installation of the transport lock in the design position is an important stage for the completion of civil works in the reactor compartment building,” ASE Vice President and Rooppur NPP Construction Project Director, Alexei Deriy, said.  

Further work on the assembly and adjustment of the transport lock will be carried out after the jacketing of the first unit’s dome, the statement added.  

In late November 2022, workers finished the installation of steel structures for the external containment dome at the reactor building of unit 1. The height of the containment reached 63.9 metres, according to Rosatom.  The installation of the reactor pressure vessel for unit 1 was completed in November 2021.  

Flushing of systems with the open reactor commenced at unit 1 in early December last, as part of pre-commissioning operations. Flushing of active and passive safety systems with the open reactor is one of the most important pre-commissioning operations. This is the first of a whole series of inspections of equipment and process systems. The flushing helps to ensure that all the equipment has been installed correctly and is ready for operation. Besides, it checks the operability of pump units of the safety systems and normal operation systems. 

Both the state-of-the-art generation III+ VVER-1200 reactor units at the Rooppur NPP, located 160 km from the Bangladesh capital Dhaka, will be equipped with active as well as passive safety systems, including molten core catchers.

Growing opportunities of localisation in Indo-Russian nuclear cooperation  

There are increasing opportunities for further indigenisation of production in the construction of units 5 and 6 of the Kudankulam nuclear power plant (KNPP) in Tamil Nadu state, being built with the assistance of the Russian state atomic energy corporation Rosatom, according to a senior Rosatom official. 

Additional opportunities for local equipment manufacturers will be created through the proposed construction of a second nuclear power plant in India with Russian assistance, which is currently under negotiation between the Indian and Russian governments, Olga Lukerchik, Chief Expert at Rosatom’s engineering division ASE, said at a panel discussion in New Delhi earlier this month. 

The panel discussion on “Equipment Manufacturing Capacity build up and expectations from DAE (Department of Atomic Energy) for Atmanirbharta (Self-reliance),” was held during the Nuclear Energy Conclave organised by the India Energy Forum.  

The first two units in KNPP have been commissioned in 2014 and 2017, respectively, while construction work is underway at the site to erect 4 more units of 1,000 MW each. 

“Undoubtedly, an important issue is the involvement of Indian manufacturers in the Kudankulam NPP construction project. The successful operation of the first and second units, part of the supplies for which were carried out by Indian companies, may be considered as a positive example of our cooperation today,” Lukerchik said in her presentation. 

“We set ourselves the goal of expanding the opportunities for Indian companies to participate in Rosatom projects. In order to make this possible, it is necessary to carry out work on the harmonisation of regulatory and technical requirements between manufacturers and project documentation. With the active support of our Indian partners, I am confident that this challenging undertaking will succeed,” she added.  

The event hosted more than 100 senior representatives from leading Indian and foreign agencies and companies in the nuclear field. Along with the Rosatom speaker, the session was attended by representatives from the Department of Atomic Energy, Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL), Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, BHEL, Larsen & Toubro and other leading enterprises.    

The state-run operator NPCIL’s former Chairman S.K. Jain had told Nuclear Asia earlier that a crucial element of the nuclear cooperation with Russia is the understanding that it would significantly increase Indian industrial manufacturing capacity in the area of sophisticated technology. Thus, a supplementary agreement signed in 2014 with Russia mentions “Localization of Manufacturing in India for the Russian-Designed Nuclear Reactor Units”, which provided for indigenous manufacturing of equipment and fuel assemblies for Russian designed nuclear plants in India.  

While critical components such as reactor pressure vessels, coolant pumps and steam generators, among others, are supplied by Rosatom companies, the share of Indian industry in manufacturing equipment in the turbine Island and in the rest of the NPP has always been at a high level ever since the construction of the first unit at Kudankulam, Jain said.  

“From a beginning in the last century, when 100 percent of the project was supplied by the Russians on a turnkey basis, the circumstances changed in the new millennium. The USSR had split up, and with sanctions ended, India was able to sign civil nuclear cooperation deals with many countries, obtaining more favourable terms, including assurances on indigenisation of production,” Jain said.  

“Right from the start at Kudankulam, all the civil works for erection (of the NPP) were handled by the Indian side, while the Russians provided the technical expertise in terms of the warranties and guarantees. We have now moved further ahead on localisation, to the extent that, for instance, the entire electrical system, the water system of the plant are supplied by India,” he added.  

In the early part of the last decade, Russia had offered to localise the production of major reactor components and sub-systems for building new NPPs in India. During his 2014 visit to New Delhi, Russian President Vladimir Putin had described nuclear export to India as “not just trading goods or services or even technology – it is the creation of an entire industry, a new industry for India.” As a result, the two countries formally incorporated “localisation of manufacturing of equipment and fuel assemblies” in the 2014 Indo-Russian strategic vision document, which paved the way for the construction of the KNPP Units 3 and 4.  

While Rosatom has repeatedly expressed its commitment to progressively raise the local component in the remaining units, an NPCIL study on Kudankulam has indicated a planned increase in the construction and manufacturing workshare for Indian companies in KNPP Units 3-6. 

“Russians have been very open as far as technology is concerned and have not hesitated about sharing knowhow on items like pressure vessel technology, for instance. Whatever we have asked for, they have given,” Jain said.  

From India’s perspective, nuclear cooperation with Russia would significantly help increase Indian manufacturing content and would be a boost for domestic industry. India has fully developed its indigenous capability with Pressurised Heavy Water Reactors (PHWRs) as seen in achieving criticality in 2020 with the 700 MW third unit at the Kakrapar NPP in Gujarat state. In the wake of India’s nuclear development programme, Indian industry has also successfully acquired capabilities to develop major reactor components, sub-systems, and assemblies.  

There is another dimension of “localisation” in Indo-Russian cooperation in the atomic sphere – one that involves joint projects in third countries. A beginning has been made in the area of joint projects with the ongoing construction of the first NPP in neighbouring Bangladesh at Rooppur, in which Rosatom is also the equipment supplier and technical consultant. In 2018, Bangladesh became the first initiative under an Indo-Russian agreement to undertake atomic energy projects in third countries. However, since India is still not a member of the Nuclear Suppliers’ Group (NSG), it cannot directly participate in the construction of nuclear reactors overseas. India’s role in its maiden nuclear venture abroad is restricted to supply of some non-critical equipment and materials, and training of personnel.  

MBIR fast neutron research reactor vessel installed in design position 

The vessel of the world’s largest multipurpose fast neutron research reactor (MBIR) was installed last month in its design position at the construction site in Russia, according to an announcement by the Russian state atomic energy corporation Rosatom. 

The construction site is at Rosatom’s Research Institute of Atomic Reactors (RIAR) in Dimitrovgrad located in the Ulyanovsk region of Russia. RIAR is a part of Rosatom’s scientific division called Science and Innovation. 

A Rosatom statement said the installation of the vessel was one of the key events in assembling the reactor plant and will make it possible to finish installing the dome of the reactor building. 

“Installing the reactor vessel in its design position is a significant achievement of the work of a large team of like-minded scientists, engineers, designers, and builders. This is an important milestone in the MBIR reactor construction project, bringing us closer to installing reactor equipment and reaching the end of construction, which is already ahead of schedule,” Rosatom Deputy Director General for Science and Strategy, Yuri Olenin, said in a statement.   

“This means that we will get an advanced research infrastructure in a shorter amount of time, which will advance the study of two-component nuclear power engineering technology and our efforts to close the fuel cycle; it will help accelerate and justify the creation of safe fourth-generation nuclear power plants, and foster breakthrough research over the next 50 years,” he added.  

The MBIR reactor vessel has a length of 12 metres, a diameter of 4 metres, and a weight of more than 83 tonnes. “It was delivered to the site in April 2022 – 16 months ahead of schedule. The equipment was manufactured at the Rosatom’s Atommash plant in the city of Volgodonsk. Currently, about 1,400 workers (including engineering and technical personnel) and more than 80 units of construction machinery are engaged at the construction site,” the statement said.  

According to Rosatom, after its commissioning, the MBIR will be the most powerful (150 MW) operating research reactor in the world. In addition, it will permit conducting reactor and post-reactor experiments, as well as refine technology to produce isotopes and modified materials. 

The MBIR’s main purpose is to conduct mass reactor tests of innovative materials and prototypes of core elements for nuclear power systems of the fourth generation, including fast neutron reactors with fuel cycle closure, as well as  small and medium power thermal reactors.  

The success of the ongoing experiments on closing the nuclear fuel cycle is of utmost importance to the nuclear industry that is faced with the serious challenge of stopping the accumulation of spent fuel and ensuring the recycling of fissionable materials, that is, the fabrication of fresh uranium-plutonium fuel from reprocessed irradiated fuel. 

Rosatom says the MBIR’s unique technical characteristics will provide the nuclear industry with a technologically advanced research infrastructure for the next 50 years and will allow solving a wide range of research problems, paving the way for the creation of new competitive and safe nuclear power plants, while ensuring an enormous enhancement of the opportunities for experimental research. 

Currently, an International Advisory Board to determine the research program for the MBIR is being set up. The Board, which will

include leading Russian and international experts, and its technical committees drawn from various fields, would be vested with all the powers required to manage the research side of the MBIR project. 

No earthquake damage reported at Turkish nuclear power plant under construction

A devastating 7.8 magnitude earthquake and aftershocks hit parts of Turkey and neighbouring Syria on February 6, 2023, which has, till date, tragically caused the death of over 46,000 people. However, no damage has been reported to Turkey’s first nuclear power plant (NPP) coming up at Akkuyu, located some 430 km to the west of the quake’s epicentre .

Akkuyu did not experience powerful ground shaking, while tremors with a magnitude of 3.0 were recorded at the NPP site, according to a statement by the Russian state atomic energy corporation Rosatom, which is assisting in the construction of the Akkuyu NPP.

“Earthquake that occurred on February 6 on the border between Turkey and Syria did not damage the Akkuyu NPP. Tremors with a force of about 3 points on a 12-point scale were detected at the site. Akkuyu experts carried out diagnostics, which did not reveal any damage to building structures, cranes, equipment,” Rosatom said.

The simultaneous construction of all four units of the plant with VVER-1200 reactors is continuing, according to officials at the Akkuyu NPP which is being designed to endure powerful tremors.

“The Akkuyu NPP project is designed to withstand an earthquake with a magnitude of up to 9 points. The station is also protected from sea level rise of up to 8.63 m (metres),” the statement said.

“According to calculations, the maximum height of a potential tsunami in the region of the nuclear power plant construction site can be up to 6.55 m, with the probability of such a tsunami occurring once every 10,000 years,” it added.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) also confirmed that there was “no impact” at Akkuyu from the earthquakes in Turkey, and the nuclear power plant under construction was “unaffected”.

“As of now, no impact from earthquakes on nuclear safety & security in Türkiye, its Nuclear Regulatory Authority told IAEA; no issues so far related to radiological safety & security of radioactive sources, & the country’s under construction nuclear power plant is unaffected,” the IAEA said in a tweet following the tremors.

The building and installation work of all four Akkuyu NPP power units are being carried out simultaneously, making it the world’s largest nuclear construction site. All the units are to be equipped with the state-of-the-art Generation III plus VVER-1200 reactors of 1,200 MW capacity each fitted with both active and passive safety systems.

Turkey plans to bring the 1,200 MW unit 1 online in 2023. With the commissioning of three more similar units, the Akkuyu NPP will have a total capacity of 4,800 MW, which is expected to meet around 10 percent of the country’s electricity needs.

A World Nuclear Association’s information paper on Nuclear Power Plants and Earthquakes says that “reactors of both western and Soviet design have been subjected to major seismic activity in North America and Europe without damage. In December 1988, a magnitude 6.9 earthquake, resulting in the deaths of at least 25,000 people, occurred in northwestern Armenia. It was felt at the two-unit Armenian nuclear power station located approximately 75 km south of the epicentre, but both Soviet-designed PWRs operated normally and no damage was reported. This was the first Russian nuclear power plant specifically adapted for seismic areas, and it started operating in 1976.”

Earlier this month, Rosatom also announced that a console truss was installed at Akkuyu unit 3. This is an important element of the safety features called the core catcher, which, in the event of an emergency, reliably retains fragments of the core melt. “The farm-console weighing 180 tons is responsible for the organisation of communications: water supply, steam removal, ventilation, passage equipment. Thus, gas discharge pipelines ensure circulation of saturated steam and do not allow the pressure in the reactor shaft to exceed the permissible values,” the statement said.

Last month, the installation of an internal containment shell was completed at the Akkuyu NPP unit 1, the construction of which is planned to be completed this year. After concreting the dome part of the internal containment shell, the final stage of construction and installation works of the outer containment will begin, the statement added.

Canada launches new small modular reactor funding programme

In another instance of the renewed interest globally in nuclear energy, the Canadian government has launched a new funding programme to support research and development in the country of small modular reactors (SMR) — the next generation of nuclear technologies. 
The new programme will provide 29.6 million Canadian dollars ($24 million) over four years to develop supply chains for SMR manufacturing and fuel supply and security to support the crucial elements necessary for Canada’s SMR industry to thrive, according to a statement issued by Natural Resources Canada. 
It will also fund research on safe SMR waste management solutions to ensure that SMRs, and the waste they generate, will be safe now and into the future, the statement said. 
On February 6, 2023, Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada had announced a similar fund programme to support university applicants in their efforts to address waste generated from SMRs and develop SMR supply chains, the statement added. 
Last year, through an inter-provincial Memorandum of Understanding, the provincial governments of Ontario, Saskatchewan, New Brunswick and Alberta put forward a nuclear plan that will transition them toward SMRs with the first 300-megawatt plant to be built in Darlington, Ontario, by 2028. The project would support Canadian efforts to become a global SMR technology hub in a market that is estimated will be worth 150 billion Canadian dollars ($120 billion) per year by 2040. 
SMRs, which are nearly 300 megawatts or less, have a smaller footprint and a shorter construction schedule, compared to traditional nuclear generating stations. Energy experts say there is no path to bringing the world’s carbon emissions to zero by 2050 without nuclear power. 

A recent study published by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) says that accelerating a transition away from fossil fuels globally will require putting new low-carbon options on the table, and nuclear energy is without question one of those options. The study concludes that as the developed world reconsiders the value of atomic energy, a reconsideration of its potential to address the global development challenge, as well as the global climate challenge, is long overdue. 

First nuclear power plant in north India is under construction

The first nuclear power plant (NPP) being built in the northern part of India is coming up in the state of Haryana at Gorakhpur about 150 km north of the national capital, Delhi. 

India’s Atomic Energy Minister Jitendra Singh said last week that, for the first time in India, NPPs were being built in areas of the country other than the south and the west. 

Speaking to media persons in the capital, Singh said that in a bid to increase India’s nuclear capacity, the government had earlier given approval for the construction of 10 reactors. In 2017, the government approved the fleet mode construction of ten indigenously made pressurised heavy water reactors (PHWRs) of 700 MW capacity each.  

In July 2020, India achieved criticality with its first indigenously built 700 MW pressurised heavy water reactor for unit 3 of the Kakrapar NPP in Gujarat state in western India.  The unit was connected to the grid in 2021 and is expected to start commercial operations soon. 

“The Department of Atomic Energy has also been given permission to set up joint ventures with public sector undertakings for resources to open atomic energy plants, having the potential to fulfill India’s energy needs in times to come,” the Minister said.  

A Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) release said the Gorakhpur NPP consisting of two PHWR units of 700 MW capacity each of “indigenous design is under implementation near Gorakhpur village in Fatehabad district in Haryana.” 

“Till date, an amount of Rs.4,906 crore (over $593 million) has been spent out of total allocated funds of Rs.20,594 crore (around $2.5 billion),” it said.  

“Construction of other main plant buildings/structures – fire water pump house, safety-related pump house, fuel oil storage area, ventilation stack, overhead tank, switchyard control building, safety related and non-safety related tunnel and trenches, retaining walls and garland drain are progressing well,” the statement said. 

According to the DAE, purchase orders for major long manufacturing cycle equipment and components like primary coolant pumps, Calandria, reactor headers, refuelling machine heads, Moderator and other D20 heat exchangers, among others, are already in place.  

End shields and all steam generators for the first unit have been received at the site. Manufacturing of other equipment is in various stages and delivery at site is expected well in time to meet the construction schedule, the statement added.

Major lithium deposits found in India for the first time 

For the first time, India has found massive lithium deposits in the northern territory of Jammu and Kashmir, according to an official announcement. 

The Geological Survey of India (GSI) has found lithium reserves of around 5.9 million tons (MT) in the Reasi district of Jammu and Kashmir, the Secretary of the Mines Ministry, Vivek Bharadwaj, said earlier this month.  

“GSI has, for the first time, established lithium inferred resources (G3) of 5.9 million tons in the Salal-Haimana area of Reasi district of Jammu and Kashmir. GSI should carry forward this momentum and continue the field programmes with the same vigor,” Bharadwaj said, addressing the 62nd meeting of the Central Geological Programming Board.  

Lithium is a key material that was previously unavailable in India, leaving the country entirely reliant on imports. The significance of the discovery can be gauged by the fact that at current lithium prices the find is valued at INR 34 trillion ($41 billion). Lithium is used mainly in the battery industry, which is growing exponentially in India, given the government thrust for electric vehicles (EV) development.  

Lithium is also used in solar panels and for other battery storage systems such as in the electricity sector. In May 2021, the Indian government approved the Production Linked Incentive (PLI) Scheme for manufacturing of Advanced Chemistry Cells (ACC) in the country. The total outlay for the scheme is INR 18,100 crore (over $21 billion) for a period of five years. 

The Mines Secretary also said that the lithium found in Jammu and Kashmir is of high quality, with a grade of 500 parts per million (ppm), compared to the normal grade of 200 ppm. The assessment of the mineral concession is analysed using the United Nations Framework Classification (UNFC), which is a three-dimensional system considering geological, feasibility, and economic factors. The geological axis has four stages: Reconnaissance (G4), Prospecting (G3), General Exploration (G2) and Detailed Exploration (G1). 

The recent lithium discovery is classified as G3, and it will now be followed by G2 and G1 studies before the final extraction of the metal. Further exploration and a detailed mapping, including geochemical and geophysical surveys and drilling, are required to arrive at a G1 estimate. Simultaneously, an economic analysis will also be carried out to determine economically viable extractable mineral content. 
In India, mineral extraction is regulated by law, while lithium-bearing minerals are classified as atomic minerals and regulated by the Atomic Mineral Concession Rules, 2016. The licensing process for extraction includes, sequentially, a Reconnaissance permit, Prospecting License, and a Mining Lease. 
It may take years for the actual extraction of lithium from the latest G3 find in India.  With 5.9 million tons (MT) of resources, India will globally rank sixth behind Bolivia (21 MT), Argentina (20 MT), Chile (11 MT), Australia (8 MT), and China (7 MT). Worldwide resources are estimated at 98 MT, with actual reserves at 26 MT. Only about 130,000 tons of lithium was produced in 2022.  

Main coolant pipeline welding completed at unit 2 of first nuclear plant in Bangladesh 

Welding of the main coolant pipeline (MCP) has been completed at unit 2 of the first nuclear power plant (NPP) in Bangladesh, being constructed at Rooppur, according to an announcement earlier this month by the Russian state atomic energy corporation Rosatom.  

Rosatom is the equipment supplier and technical consultant for the project to build two VVER-1200 type units of 1,200 MW capacity each at the site located on the eastern bank of the river Padma.   

Rosatom said that its engineering division ASE took 60 days to dock, weld and heat treat the perlite part of 28 welded joints, and another six days to complete the surfacing with austenitic stainless steel that will protect the pipeline from an aggressive environment. 

The main coolant pipeline (MCP) is a system of pipes connecting the key equipment of the NPP’s primary circuit. It consists of four loops, each connected to the reactor and includes a main circulation pump and a steam generator. The total length of the MCP is 140 metres, its weight is 238 tonnes, and the inner diameter is 850 mm, the statement said.  

“During the NPP operation, coolant with a temperature of 320 degrees will be circulating through the MCP. Therefore, the pipeline welding is a very responsible process involving only the most experienced welders. Besides, various types of welding shall be used to weld seven centimeters of joint. Each weld joint passes seven inspections at different work stages, which guarantees its reliability and quality,” ASE Vice President and Rooppur NPP Project Director, Alexey Deriy. said. 

Around 100 employees of Energospetsmontazh were engaged in the work, while Rosatom subsidiary NIKIMT-Atomstroy specialists provided technical support and expert consulting for the operations, the statement added.  

Both the state-of-the-art generation III+ VVER-1200 reactor units at the Rooppur NPP, located 160 km from the Bangladesh capital Dhaka, will be equipped with active as well as passive safety systems, including molten core catchers. 

IAEA, Russian officials have fresh talks on safety of Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant 

Russian officials and a delegation of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) held a fresh round of consultations in Moscow last week on cooperation in ensuring the safety and security of the Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant (NPP) in Ukraine in the current situation of conflict in that country.   
IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi and Russian state atomic energy corporation Rosatom’s Director General Alexei Likhachev took part in the talks on February 9, along with other officials, said a statement by Rosatom, which currently operates the Zaporizhzhya NPP.  
Likhachev informed Grossi of the steps the Russian side is taking to ensure the safety and security of the Zaporizhzhya NPP and provide comfortable social and living conditions for staff members and their families at the nuclear power station, the statement said. 

The IAEA Director General spoke about the progress of his initiative to establish a nuclear safety and security protection zone at the Zaporizhzhya NPP, it said.  

“In this regard, Alexey Likhachev expressed the readiness of the Russian side to continue work on this initiative of the IAEA Director General”, the statement added 

According to Rosatom, the discussions also covered issues on current and future cooperation between Russia and the IAEA in other areas and that the parties confirmed their agreement to continue contacts. 

Following Grossi’s return to the Agency headquarters in Vienna, an IAEA release cited the IAEA Director General as saying that “both in Kyiv and Moscow, we are continuing our determined diplomatic work aimed at establishing the zone as soon as possible. This week’s meetings in Moscow were important in this regard, enabling us to discuss the plan in detail with senior representatives of the Russian government. I remain hopeful that the zone will be established.”

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