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Rosatom invites Japan to team up for joint nuclear power projects

April 13, 2015, 14:32 UTC+3 TOKYO
The Russian concern is ready to offer Japan its solutions in the spheres of security, radioactive waste management, decontamination and decommissioning of nuclear power plants
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© ITAR-TASS/Evgeniy Kurskov

TOKYO, April 13. /TASS/. Russia’s nuclear power concern Rosatom has invited Japan to cooperate in nuclear power industry projects, including the upgrading of Japan’s nuclear power plants.

"We support Japan’s nuclear power industry workers in their determination to develop this branch of the economy," the concern’s deputy general director for development and international businesses, Kirill Komarov, told TASS in an interview on Monday. "We are prepared to be a pro-active partner in a number of joint projects, including those for upgrading nuclear power plants, disposal of nuclear waste and withdrawal of NPPs from operation."

"Rosatom has been a reliable provider of uranium products for Japan’s nuclear power industry. It will be prepared to resume cooperation when Japan’s reactors have been restarted. We appreciate cooperation with our Japanese counterparts and will be prepared to develop it in every possible way to the benefit of the Japanese market and the markets of third countries."

"Japan is aware that the shut-down of nuclear power plants in the context of major shortages of other energy resources, such as coal, oil and gas, is capable of slowing down economic development," Komarov said. "Japan has made a decision not to abandon nuclear power and to opt for restarting the suspended nuclear power plants after verifying their reliability. The Japanese government approved of that plan in April 2014. Nuclear power has long become the country’s traditional industry."

Rosatom offers Japan liquid radioactive waste treatment system

"Relations with Japan are regulated by the Intergovernmental Agreement on cooperation in the peaceful uses of atomic energy," Komarov said. "So, Rosatom is ready to offer Japan its solutions in the spheres of security, radioactive waste management, decontamination and decommissioning of nuclear power plants, as well as its experience, knowledge and technology for prompt rectification of the consequences of accidents."

He said that in 2014 Russian nuclear scientists offered Japan’s Mitsubishi Research Institute a combined technology to solve the problem of purification of tritium liquid radioactive waste. "Based on international tender results, the proposal was selected for implementation from 29 projects, along with the bids of the North American companies Kurion Inc and GE-Hitachi Canada Inc," Komarov said.

"The creation of project and design documentation for the demonstration plant, which will confirm the possibility of creating a cost efficient industrial complex for removing of tritium from liquid radioactive waste is now coming to an end," Komarov said. "During 12 days the plant will process a small amount of solution simulating contaminated water from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant." On the demonstration project results, Japan’s Ministry of Industry and Trade will select a system for industrial tritium removal from water with a view to creating an LRW treatment complex at the Fukushima Daiichi NPP site in Japan.

Contaminated water at the Fukushima Daiichi NPP is being treated with EnergySolutions’ Advanced Liquid Processing System, which removes 61 radionuclides, but not tritium. Tritium is a radioactive isotope of the element hydrogen and has a radioactive half-life of 12.3 years. According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, exposure to tritium increases the risk of developing cancer.

"The cost of our portfolio of contracts with Japanese companies, signed for the next 10 years is more than $1 billion," he said. "We make partial shipments of enriched uranium even now as Japanese companies continue to buy some amount for their depots." Rosatom has already developed a new supply route through Vostochny port — a major step in the infrastructure development: "Last year, we made a few trial shipments to meet the needs of the Japanese side. Thus we have developed an important new scheme of deliveries not only to Japan, but also to other countries in the region."

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