Dialogue as Equals. Meeting of the participants with ROSATOM Director-General Alexey Likhachev
Nuclear power is in demand in many countries across the world – Europe included – and the sector must continue to expand
I would say that virtually all countries with a fast-growing economy are making nuclear power part of their strategic development plans. This is true of China, India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Turkey, and Egypt. Many other countries – whether already possessing a nuclear industry, or creating one – are setting strategic objectives. And even countries which one would have thought of as fully rearmed from a technological point of view – France, Hungary, Poland – are continuing to work on expanding their nuclear power capacities — Alexey Likhachev, Director General, State Atomic Energy Corporation ROSATOM.
Without upsetting anyone, we believe that any developed country needs to have nuclear power as part of its energy mix — Alexey Likhachev, Director General, State Atomic Energy Corporation ROSATOM.
Nuclear power is an economically efficient option in terms of resources and the lifespan of power stations
In terms of using metal, we require a mere fifth of what a wind farm needs. And in terms of space, we’re looking at one 30th–35th the territory when compared to the area needed by the industry’s peers to have the same generating capacity — Alexey Likhachev, Director General, State Atomic Energy Corporation ROSATOM.
Perhaps the main thing that sets us apart from all other forms of energy I deeply respect – even beloved forms of green generation at times – is the fact that we’re working away 24/7. In the end, wind power depends on the wind, solar power depends on the sun, tidal power depends on the tide, and hydropower on the availability of water – none of this needs explaining. In this sense, we just keep working, and we’re not forecasting the lifespan of our generation capacity to be 20–25 years, like some power stations. We’re exclusively projecting 60 years, and possibly more — Alexey Likhachev, Director General, State Atomic Energy Corporation ROSATOM.
Any source of energy leaves a carbon footprint
Strictly speaking, there is no form of electric power generation which does not leave a carbon footprint. In general, the greenhouse effect is not only caused by emissions of carbon dioxide, but also of water vapor, methane, nitric oxide, and ozone. This entire gas spectrum gives rise to carbon units of sorts — Alexey Likhachev, Director General, State Atomic Energy Corporation ROSATOM.
Attempts by some European countries to stop using nuclear power could lead to heat supply problems
The share of nuclear power in Germany’s energy mix is gradually declining. At its peak it was at 30%; however, today it is at 11%. The trouble is that nuclear power is not at all being replaced by alternative energy sources in Germany, but by coal. I deeply hope that these are fake videos, but nevertheless, there are videos in Germany explaining to people how to survive the winter due to there not being enough heating supply. In them, a well-dressed actor wearing mittens explains how to tape up windows and how to put candles in flower pots to heat homes — Alexey Likhachev, Director General, State Atomic Energy Corporation ROSATOM.
The development of nuclear power is being hindered by political factors and public fear caused by past disasters
Efforts are being made to oppose us. These are economically motivated, as there are other sources of energy which different groups want to promote themselves. There are also political circumstances. Without pointing fingers, there are those who do not want Russia to remain a global leader in nuclear power — Alexey Likhachev, Director General, State Atomic Energy Corporation ROSATOM.
In the grand scheme of things, we have only been around a very short while. Of course, there have been man-made disasters. Everyone knows about them: Three Mile Island in 1979, Chernobyl in 1986, and Fukushima in 2011. It has instilled the idea in humanity that there is an invisible threat, that radiation is dangerous, — Alexey Likhachev, Director General, State Atomic Energy Corporation ROSATOM.
It will be possible to strengthen nuclear power’s standing around the world once it has been proven to be indispensable
We are not afraid of anyone; we have no fear of anything. We talk openly about nuclear power, about our plans, about the new – fourth – generation of safe reactors. We will demonstrate that we not only have the right to live, but much more – that it is impossible to imagine human development, including in terms of space – outer space – without nuclear power, — Alexey Likhachev, Director General, State Atomic Energy Corporation ROSATOM.
As soon as you consider the long lifecycle of power generation, both in terms of the carbon footprint, and the economy, then it becomes clear that there is nothing wrong with using nuclear power — Alexey Likhachev, Director General, State Atomic Energy Corporation ROSATOM.
The material was prepared by the Russian news agency TASS