Atomexpo 2024: More than 80 agreements were concluded within the framework of the forum

Baurzhan Ibrayev
Baurzhan Ibrayev Chairman, Central Asia Advisory Board New Nuclear Watch Institute

On 25-26 March 2024, one of the largest events in the global nuclear industry took place in Sochi, Russia - the International Forum "Atomexpo 2024," which was attended by 4,500 participants from 75 countries, and more than 200 companies showcased their exhibits.

The main topics of the forum traditionally included the development of nuclear energy and its infrastructure, new technologies in nuclear energy, non-nuclear technologies, energy storage systems, nuclear medicine, and others. The forum format included an exhibition of new technologies and an extensive business program.

The opening ceremony of the forum was well attended, among others, by:

  1.  Director General of Rosatom State Corporation Alexey Likhachev
  2. Director General of the IAEA Rafael Grossi
  3. Head of the World Nuclear Association (WNA) Sama Bilbao-y-Le├│n

Prior to the forum, a partner meeting of TVEL Corporation within the framework of the business dialogue with Russian and foreign partners "Global Partnership for Sustainable Development" took place on March 23, 2024, in Sochi. The business program of the business dialogue included topics such as "Compliance with Historical Priorities as the Basis for the Prosperity of the World Nuclear Industry," "Key Directions for the Development of Russian Nuclear Fuel for NPPs," as well as presentations by K.B. Komarov (Rosatom), N.V. Nikipelova (TVEL Corporation), Pal Kovach (Paks NPP), and Ilkhom Sadikov (IAEA of Uzbekistan).

During the forum itself, more than 80 agreements were signed, indicating the continuation and development of cooperation with Rosatom by foreign countries despite sanctions. Documents aimed at strengthening cooperation with Burkina Faso, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan, Mali, China, Serbia, and others were signed. Throughout the history of the forum, the number of such agreements has exceeded 500, with their total value estimated at $63 billion.

Sessions dedicated to fourth-generation nuclear technologies and the development of dual-component nuclear energy based on fast neutron reactors and closed nuclear fuel cycles to address environmental and energy sustainability issues attracted significant interest. The General Director of Rosenergoatom, Alexander Shutikov, presented the experience of operating fast reactors at the Beloyarsk NPP. "Last year, the BN-800 completely transitioned to MOX fuel loading, solving one of the main tasks of the closed nuclear fuel cycle. The next task is seen as transitioning to a new type of fuel for burning minor actinides. Taking into account the already tested structural and technological solutions on the BN-600 and BN-800, as well as the application of new innovative solutions, the design of a new power unit BN-1200M is planned. The application of new innovative solutions will allow it to become part of the fourth-generation nuclear energy system." Also, within the framework of the forum, a solemn ceremony of launching the test production of innovative nuclear fuel for the fourth-generation reactor BREST-OD-300 was held via video conference. It was noted that a strategic task for the Russian nuclear industry is the development of innovative technologies, including small modular reactors and fourth-generation reactors.

A new feature of the forum held for the 13th time was the demonstration of Rosatom's commitment to the climate agenda. "Atomexpo-2024 has one distinction - it is the first completely carbon-free forum. All sources of energy at the forum are green. The motto of the forum is 'Clean Energy. Creating the Future Together,' " noted Rosatom Director General A.E. Likhachev.

NNWI was presented for the first time at this important forum, and numerous meetings with colleagues from many countries highlighted the importance of strengthening and expanding international cooperation in the peaceful use of nuclear energy.

The most important conclusion from the forum's work is the demonstration of the nuclear community's climate responsibility and readiness to contribute to achieving global sustainable development goals.

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