Doing away with diesel using small modular reactors

In yet another diversification of its clean energy business, Russian state atomic energy corporation, Rosatom, has opened an energy storage business unit based around lithium-ion batteries. The company, which is also Russia’s biggest electricity provider, has announced that it has completed the incorporation of its energy storage business development arm called Renera.

A Rosatom statement said that the newly incorporated Renera, besides the electric vehicle (EV) segment, will develop and trade module type lithium-ion traction batteries for electric vehicles, as well as energy storage systems for emergency power supply, renewable energy resources and smoothing load demand on the grid.

Renera was previously Cathode Materials, a company launched by Rosatom’s nuclear fuel supply arm TVEL. Renera’s current project portfolio includes over 120 ongoing and completed projects for supply of lithium-ion energy storage devices — contracts previously concluded by TVEL Fuel Company subsidiaries Cathode Materials, NPO Centrotech and Novosibirsk Chemical Concentrates Plant, the statement said.

Rosatom, which is already operating in the renewable energy sector through its wind power unit NovaWind, described lithium-ion batteries as “one of the most cost-efficient and technologically advanced solutions for intralogistics,” as well as “explosion-proof, environmentally-friendly” modules which are sealed and do not require maintenance.

“Module type lithium-ion traction batteries are widely in demand in the electric vehicle market and are one of the most cost-efficient and technologically advanced solutions for intralogistics. These batteries can be recharged at any time and do not require a separate charging room. Lithium-ion batteries are sealed and do not require maintenance, they are also explosion-proof, environmentally friendly and operate over a wide temperature range,” the statement said.

“We offer a comprehensive solution for our customers, from a feasibility study to installation of equipment and post-warranty service. We are committed to comply with individual customer requirements for technical specifications and offer flexible commercial conditions. We already accomplish projects under a rent scheme and plan to start leasing and life cycle agreements”, Renera Director General Emin Askerov said.

Rosatom is the eqipment supplier and technical consultant for the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project (KNPP) in India’s Tamil Nadu state, the first two units of which have already been commissioned. Construction work has started on building 4 additional units of 1,000 MW each at the KNPP. Rosatom is also similarly collaborating in the construction of Bangladesh’s first NPP at Rooppur, which will have two Generation III+ VVER-1200 reactor units to provide a total capacity of 2,400 MW.

Meanwhile, TVEL, which provides nuclear fuel for more than 70 power plants worldwide, announced last week that, having mastered a unique technology for the production of magnets for wind turbine generators, the company has started production in Russia of rare-earth magnets for wind power generation.

“The first sets of magnets have been manufactured and shipped to the customer. In total, the contract between Elemash Magnit (an enterprise of TVEL Fuel Company of Rosatom in Elektrostal, Moscow region) and Red Wind BV (a joint venture of NovaWind and the Dutch company Lagerwey) foresees manufacturing and supply over 200 sets of magnets. One set is designed to produce one power generator”, a TVEL statement said.

“The project includes gradual localization of magnets manufacturing in Russia, decreasing dependence on imports. In this regard, our company does have the relevant research and technological expertise for creation of Russia’s first large-scale full cycle production of permanent rare-earth magnets,” said TVEL President Natalia Nikipelova.