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France and Russia believe in successful future of nuclear sector - Rosatom CEO

June 28, 3:54 UTC+3 PARIS

Alexei Likhachev said that negotiations are underway with the French side on a modernization program for nuclear reactors to extend their operating life

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CEO of Russia’s state nuclear corporation Rosatom Alexei Likhachev

CEO of Russia’s state nuclear corporation Rosatom Alexei Likhachev

© Michail Metsel/TASS

PARIS, June 28. /TASS/. Russia and France are successfully cooperating in the nuclear sector and are convinced it has good perspectives globally, CEO of Russia’s state nuclear corporation Rosatom Alexei Likhachev, said in an interview with France’s Le Figaro on Thursday.

"We maintain partner relations with France in various regions of the world. Apart from that, Rosatom has close bilateral ties with such French corporations as EDF, Orano, Framatome, and Schneider Electric," he said. "Both France and Russia believe in the successful future of the nuclear sector."

"Rosatom also has a joint venture with Alstom [a French machine-building corporation], which manufactures turbines for both the Russian nuclear equipment market and for exports to other countries, including Turkey, Finland and Hungary. Thanks to these contracts, our portfolio with the French partner is about seven billion euro. The French nuclear sector has up to one billion euro from each nuclear reactor built by Rosatom, thanks to the contracts for such equipment as turbines and control systems," Likhachev noted.

He said that negotiations are underway with the French side on a modernization program for nuclear reactors to extend their operating life.

He also said that an important memorandum of understanding was signed with EDF on Wednesday in the R&D area. "We want to conduct joint research in the sphere of equipment lifecycle control, as well as in the sphere of digitalization and simulation, additive technologies, and a number of aspects of fast fission reactors," he said, adding that the two countries are cooperating in the area of designing and testing fourth-generation reactors.

"During French President Emmanuel Macron’s visit to St. Petersburg in May, we signed a strategic document on Russian-French partnership in the area of peaceful use of nuclear energy with the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission. The document covers a great number of sectors," Likhachev said. In his words, technologies to be developed under the document will "enhance safety to exclude possibilities of ‘classical’ accidents." These technologies will also make it possible to use fuels more than once and "hence, bring down the need for nuclear waste storage."

When asked to share Rosaton’s formula of success on the global market for nuclear technologies, its CEO said, "There are three major reasons for that. The first one stems from our history: we have built a powerful nuclear industry which managed to overcome all the difficulties emerging on its path." "Second, at the turn of the 21st century Russian President Vladimir Putin took a decision to consolidate all companies of this sector and now Rosatom is the world’s only full-cycle corporation, from uranium production to waste disposal, let alone maintenance of nuclear plants," Likhachev noted.

And the third factor, in his words, is that the company’s international strategy is based of cooperation with foreign partners, the French ones in particular.

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