Russia’s Rosatom State Nuclear Energy Corporation, widely known as nuclear energy solutions provider across the globe, is all set to establish Europe’s largest lithium battery production facility in its homeland in the wake of the rapidly increasing demand for electric vehicles across the globe.
“We are ready to join hands with our Indian partners for setting up the lithium battery production units in India also,” said Vadim Titov, president, Rusatom – International Network, an arm of Rosatom.
During an informal chat with three select Indian journalists, who were recently taken to the Leningrad Nuclear Power Station, Russia’s largest nuclear complex located on the southern shore of Gulf of Finland, Mr. Titov said Rosatom was establishing very huge lithium battery production plant in Russia, probably the largest such facility in Europe as it believed that energy-storage approach would be the part of the future. Hence, it was in the process of constructing the facility.
When asked about its possible ventures with India in this rapidly growing portfolio, Mr. Titov said it could be expected in near future as the Russian firm was open to such cooperation.
He also said Rosatom, now providing nuclear energy solutions to various countries, was open to join hands with India in several other emerging areas such as the production of carbon fibre, a material of the future with high thermal conductivity, nuclear medicine, modern radiation technologies and wind energy.
Rosatom, being a company producing modern carbon fibre materials, was in talks with the India. Some exact projects would be finalised soon in this area, he hoped.
Rosatom, besides generating electricity through its nuclear reactors, was generating 600 MWe wind power in Southern Russia and this technology could be provided to the foreign partners.
Expressing satisfaction with the progress of the work in Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project (KKNPP) where the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) is actively involved in the construction of four more VVER – 1,000 MWe reactors with Russian technical knowhow after operating two reactors, he said the Indian market was promising as the economy was growing. So, energy companies, including Roasatom, had a good chance in India in the energy sector and other emerging new areas.
Mr. Titov said the ongoing ‘energy turbulence’ due to the oil price fluctuation and the increasing operational costs of electricity generation units from other sources, especially fossil fuels, had resulted in more countries moving towards stable, reliable and ecological-friendly nuclear power programmes, the cost-effective solution to this serious problem.
“Hence, it has created the nuclear renaissance. France is getting 70% of its power from nuclear reactors. President of France Macron just announced plans about constructing a minimum of six huge nuclear reactors in France. Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic and Bulgaria have decided to go in for nuclear energy. Hence, we’re getting more inquiries in the midst of stiff competition from other players in the field, but we, having vast experience and successful track record from the planning, building and safely operating the nuclear power plants, are fully prepared to face this competition,” he said.
Rosatom was ready to establish the small modular nuclear reactors, a technology mastered by Russians for constructing floating nuclear reactors, could be taken to the area where the energy demand is high.
On the performance of the Leningrad Nuclear Power Plant (LNPP), where 2 RBMK – 1,000 MWe and 2 VVER – 1,200 MWe reactors are now operating while 2 RBMK -1000 reactors are in the process of being decommissioned due to age, he said the LNPP was the absolutely crucial source of clean energy as it was generating power for nearly half a century as it meets 60% of electricity needs of the areas surrounding St. Petersburg.
Two aged previous-generation graphite-based RBMK reactors are being replaced by Generation 3 Plus VVER -1,200 MWe units by Rosatom.
“Construction of two more VVER – 1,200 MWe reactors is under consideration in this site to replace the old RBMK reactors. Definitely, four VVER -1,200 MWe will be there in Leningrad Nuclear Power Plant,” Mr. Titov said.
(This correspondent visited Russia recently on invitation)