Agreement to develop small nuclear plant to supply power to Sovinoye goldfields.

An agreement has been signed to develop a small nuclear power plant (SNPP) to provide environment-friendly and stable power to the Sovinoye gold deposit in the Chukotka region located on the north-eastern tip of Eurasia in the Russian Far East.  

The agreement, reached at the Eastern Economic Forum held at Vladivostok, Russia, in September 2023, was signed between two subsidiaries of the Russian state atomic energy corporation Rosatom – its mining division Atomredmetzoloto and Rosatom’s integrator for small nuclear plants, RAOS.  

A Rosatom statement said the agreement provides for implementing a small nuclear power plant project based on the advanced reactor “Shelf-M technology with power of up to 10 MW, which is considered to be an efficient solution to satisfy the need for power supply of the Sovinoye deposit as well as the adjacent promising ore fields and the residential settlement of Leningradsky.” 

G20 highlight need for civilian nuclear energy, small modular reactors

G20 leaders at their New Delhi summit meeting earlier this month reiterated their commitment to the use of civil nuclear energy as one of the ways to achieve the global climate goals and facilitating universal energy access for all.  

The New Delhi Leaders’ Declaration issued at the G20 summit spoke of “accelerating clean, sustainable, just, affordable and inclusive energy transitions following various pathways, as a means of enabling strong, sustainable, balanced and inclusive growth and achieve our climate objectives.” 

“For countries that opt to use civil nuclear energy, will collaborate on voluntary and mutually agreed terms, in research, innovation, development & deployment of civil nuclear technologies including advanced and Small Modular Reactors (SMRs), in accordance with national legislations,” the Declaration said.  

Leningrad nuclear power plant to begin production of radioisotope Lutetium-177

The Leningrad nuclear power plant (NPP), operated by the Russian state atomic energy corporation Rosatom subsidiary Rosenergoatom, has received permission from the country’s nuclear regulator Rostechnadzor to produce a new radioisotope – lutetium-177 – Rosatom announced earlier this week. 

Lutetium-177 has demonstrated high efficiency in the diagnosis and targeted therapy of several oncological diseases. These radiopharmaceuticals are used to effectively treat a variety of diseases, such as tumors that can appear in the stomach, rectum, pancreas, small and large intestine, adrenal glands and thyroid gland.  

“They are also increasingly used in the treatment of tumors of the meninges – meningiomas and prostate cancer. Treatment with lutetium-177 also works well for cases where the disease is in an advanced stage, metastases, in particular, with cancer that is resistant to hormonal drugs and chemotherapy, and if the tumor cannot be removed surgically,” a Rosatom statement said.  

Agreements inked for container transit, logistics hub to ship via Northern Sea Route

An agreement was signed earlier this week on the Northern Container Transit (NCT) project to set up the first regular container line to ship transit cargo between eastern and western Eurasia via the Northern Sea Route (NSR). 

The cooperation agreement, realised at the just concluded Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok, Russia, was signed by the Russian state atomic energy corporation Rosatom and the country’s state-run oil and gas giant Gazprom subsidiaries Gazpromneft Marine Bunker and Gazpromneft Shipping. 

A Rosatom statement said the agreement provides collaboration in the construction and operation of the Arctic fleet that will be constructed as part of the NCT project. This collaboration comprises studying the possibility of supplying the project with the infrastructure required to organise its operations on liquefied natural gas (LNG) and working out best possible conditions for bunkering the fleet with LNG or other types of fuel.  

India’s first indigenously built 700 MW reactor becomes fully operational

India’s first fully indigenously built 700 MW pressurised heavy water reactor (PHWR) – unit 3 at the Kakrapar Atomic Power Project (KAPP) in Gujarat state – has begun commercial operations. 

Unit 3 of the KAPP operated by the state-run Nuclear Power Corp of India Ltd (NPCIL), which achieved its first criticality, or controlled self-sustaining nuclear fission chain reaction, in July 2020, was connected to the grid on January 10, 2021.  

The third unit reactor is now operating at full capacity. A fourth unit at Kakrapar, also of 700 MW capacity, is currently under construction.   

India lands on the Moon!

India’s moon lander successfully set its four legs softly and safely on the lunar soil as planned and became the fourth nation in the world to achieve the feat. 

The lander landed near the South Pole of the moon after travelling about 3.84 lakh km for over 40 days. 

With the landing, a major portion of the Rs 600 crore ($72.1 million) Chandrayaan-3 mission has been realised. The remaining portion is the moon rover rolling down from the lander, moving around and doing the programmed experiments. 

Global quantum communications market will be worth $20 billion by 2035: Experts

The widespread practical use of quantum computing will begin as early as 2025, and by 2030, technological leadership will be impossible without quantum technologies, according to experts who participated at the international conference “Future Technologies Forum: Computing and Communication. The Quantum World” held in Moscow last month.  

At the Forum with the motto “Ahead of the Time”, experts also forecast that the global quantum communications market will be worth about $20 billion by 2035.  

An official statement said “the main objective of the Forum is to foster cooperation between the government, science and business to develop and implement technologies that will enable Russia to keep up with global trends and claim global technological leadership.” 

BRICS Health Ministers agree on formation of a Nuclear Medicine Working Group

Health Ministers of BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) countries at their meeting in Durban, South Africa, earlier this month agreed on the formation of a Nuclear Medicine Working Group of the grouping members, according to an official statement issued following the meeting.  

The ministers also agreed on the formation of a BRICS Countries Conference in Nuclear Medicine to enhance execution of related activities by member states.  

“BRICS countries currently have varying degrees of nuclear medicine capabilities and recognize that collaboration will enhance and accelerate further development for each of these countries. Member states agree on the formation of a Nuclear Medicine Working Group, and BRICS Countries Conference in Nuclear Medicine to enhance execution of related activities by member states,” the statement said.  

Permit granted to begin work on construction of Paks II nuclear power plant in Hungary

The Russian state atomic energy corporation Rosatom has received permission last week to start the main phase of construction for two new units at the Paks II nuclear power plant (NPP) project in Hungary.  

According to a Rosatom statement, the permit received on August 18, 2023, from the Hungarian state-run operator Paks II Ltd, will allow Rosatom to initiate the manufacturing of long-cycle equipment like reactors and steam generators, among others, as well as commence the construction of all buildings and structures. 

Work currently underway at the site includes soil reinforcement, preparation for the construction of anti-filtration curtains, and construction of temporary facilities in the work area, such as an auxiliary office and production buildings, the statement said.   

Passive Heat Removal System installed in unit 1 of Bangladesh’s first nuclear plant 

The installation of eight heat exchangers of the Passive Heat Removal System (PHRS) has been completed in unit 1 of the first nuclear power plant (NPP) in Bangladesh located at Rooppur.

According to a statement earlier this month by the Russian state atomic energy corporation Rosatom, each heat exchanger, a metal structure weighing over 32 tonnes, has a length of 8,530 centimetres (cm) and a width of 5,904 cm. 

The PHRS is a passive safety system that ensures the long-term removal of heat from the reactor core into the atmosphere in the absence of all sources of power supply. 

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