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Russia, South Africa set to further strengthen nuclear links via Engineering News

Russia is hopeful about its chances of supplying South Africa with new nuclear power plants (NPPs) to help meet the country’s future energy needs. During last month’s visit to Russia by President Jacob Zuma, South African Energy Minister Dipuo Peters held talks with Rosatom director-general Sergey Kiriyenko.

Rosatom is Russia’s State-owned nuclear energy company responsible for all aspects of the country’s nuclear energy, including mining uranium, producing nuclear fuel and designing, building and operating NPPs. It also undertakes basic and applied nuclear science, owns and operates the world’s only fleet of nuclear-powered icebreakers and produces radio isotopes for nuclear medicine.

Further, it undertakes nuclear and radiation safety and nuclear decommissioning activities (not to be confused with the activities of Russia’s independent Federal Environmental, Industrial and Nuclear Supervision Service). A spin-off activity is the development and manufacture of carbon-fibre-based composites.

The Rosatom group comprises more than 240 companies and other entities and employs some 270 000 people. It is responsible for generating 16% of Russia’s electricity and mines 8% of the world’s uranium, has 17% of the global nuclear fuel market and provides 40% of the world’s uranium enrichment services. The company’s civil nuclear energy activi- ties – from mining to producing electricity – are concentrated in its Atomenergoprom subsidiary (the name is an acronym for Atomic Energy Power Corporation).

Atomenergoprom is itself composed of more than 80 companies.

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