The management of Rosatom, a leader in Nuclear Energy, with over 70 years’ expertise in the nuclear field has announced its preparedness to offer a complete nuclear power cycle as an alternative source of energy to support government’s industrialisation policy.
The company is ready to extend its world class range of services, including the construction of nuclear power plant, fuel supply to plant, nuclear medicines, operation, technologies for safe storage of nuclear waste and decommissioning of nuclear plant to Ghana and other Africa countries.
Mr Dmitry Shornikov, President, Rosatom Sub-Saharan Africa, in an interview with the Ghana News Agency explained that the company currently had the most nuclear reactor units under construction worldwide, six under in Russia and 33 abroad.
He noted that the company was currently the number one in the global uranium enrichment market, holding 36 per cent and supplies fuel to 78 power reactors in 15 countries across the globe, holding 17 per cent of the global nuclear fuel market.
‘We are currently one of the global leaders in terms of the number of research reactors under operation, 52 research reactors in total. Rosatom is the only company in the world with a closed nuclear fuel cycle, this is made possible by the power startup of our BN-800 fast neutron reactor, which boasts the highest output as well as the World’s only nuclear icebreaker fleet,’ he stated.
Mr Shornikov explained that, it was crucial for Ghana in its quest to industrialise, to consider the optimum energy mix design, bearing in mind economics, security of supply and environmental impact.
‘Hydrocarbons such as coal for instance are economically viable and offer stable power but are unfortunately very harmful for the environment. Renewables such as wind and solar are great for the environment but are intermittent by nature, and only produce electricity when the wind is blowing or the sun is shining, and there is unfortunately no economically viable methods of storing power at this point.
‘Nuclear is one of the only power sources that is capable of ticking all three boxes and is therefore crucial to help balance any energy mix. In order to combat the current energy challenge faced by Ghana, the country needs access to affordable and clean baseload power.
He cited a recent analysis conducted by the Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI), which found that nuclear plants created some of the largest economic benefits when compared to all other generating sources.
According to the NEI the operation of a nuclear plant requires the highest number of skilled workers per kWh produced when compared to any other technology and on average these jobs pay 36 per cent more than the average salaries in the area where the plant is constructed.
Touching on the economic benefits of a nuclear plant, the Sub-Saharan Africa President remarked that a new plant construction would create a direct demand for thousands of locally sourced skilled labourers, including welders, pipefitters, masons, carpenters, millwrights, sheet metal workers, electricians, ironworkers, heavy equipment operators and insulators, as well as engineers, project managers and construction supervisors.
Mr Shornikov clarified that there would be thousands of indirect jobs created through localisation, including engineering services and the manufacture of components such as pumps, valves, piping, tubing, insulation and reactor pressure vessels.
Making reference to the NEI, he asserted that a single new nuclear power plant required approximately 300,000 cubic metres of concrete, 66,000 tons of steel, 70 Km of piping, 500 km of electric wiring, and 130,000 electrical components.
Mr Shornikov added that nuclear plant implementation could attract investments aimed at maintaining the well-being of the region and developing science, technologies, medicine and the service sector, adding that, in the long term, the continuous development of a nuclear energy plant would transform the country into a major economic force on the continent and on the global market.