On 21-23 March 2017, Brussels hosted the First European Power Generation Week, organised by Platts international news agency and supported by State Atomic Energy Corporation ROSATOM. This year, the organisers decided to merge Europe’s two largest industry events, the 8th European Power Summit and the 12th European Nuclear Power Conference, into one three-day event.
Besides Rosatom, the event was attended by approximately 200 representatives from Europe’s leading energy, financial, and consulting companies, as well as officials from supervisory bodies and other stakeholders.
The three-day programme consisted of a number of panel discussions focusing on the latest nuclear and renewable energy developments; the global challenges facing the industry in Europe and more widely; and new ways to attract investment. Special attention was given to the role of nuclear energy in the green economy.
Artur Borocz, Project Director at AtomEnergoPromSbyt, delivered a speech on “Network infrastructure of NPPs as a contribution to interconnections development and power supply reliability” during the session on market integration within the 8th European Electricity Summit, held on March 21-22. “Nuclear new build is essential to meet Europe’s decarbonisation targets as formulated in the Winter Package. Combining renewable energy and nuclear power can provide a synergistic effect and economic development while maintaining environmental sustainability”, said Borocz. In his presentation, he also focused on how the Baltic NPP project compliments Europe’s decarbonisation policy: “The proposed project, Baltic NPP, in the Kaliningrad region could be a perfect example how third countries can contribute to the European energy transition by providing reliable and carbon-free base load power and interconnecting regional markets. Different views within the EU on nuclear power are raising serious questions on execution of committed climate targets. The Baltic NPP with a 2,400MW twin-reactor, if integrated into the EU interconnected grid, can help to avoid yearly emissions of about 19 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent, which results in better air quality and higher life standard for the entire region”.
The main topic at the 12th European Nuclear Power Conference, held on March 23, was new build strategy. Participants discussed how to develop skills in the nuclear sector, how to improve links between academia, R&D and industry, how to strengthen nuclear safety, and the latest waste storage and spent nuclear fuel technologies. The regional development of nuclear energy in Europe, North America and the Middle East was also assessed.
Andrey Rozhdestvin, Head of ROSATOM´s regional office for Western Europe (ROSATOM France) took part in the session “Global Country Focus on Nuclear Power”. He talked about the present challenges facing the world nuclear industry and the company's activities in this regard. “The global nuclear industry is currently facing a number of challenges that we can overcome through cooperation. This is achieving the highest standards of nuclear safety but keeping the costs reasonable, building NPPs on time and on budget and gaining the public support, in particular in the area of the back end of the nuclear fuel cycle, and decommissioning”. The Director of ROSATOM France noted that the Russian company was seeking to address these challenges by developing new nuclear technologies, not only light-water reactors, but also fast reactors, innovative fuel cycle technologies, and ITER. “Last year, we commissioned the first Generation III+ reactor and a brand new BN-800 sodium cooled reactor”, he highlighted. “We have accumulated a significant backlog of contracts in Russia and overseas, and we demonstrate every day that it is possible to build on time and on budget, that nuclear remains profitable even if the highest standards of safety are industrially implemented. Speaking about the latter – the European companies are important partners for Rosatom for both national and overseas nuclear power projects, including for the sensitive components such as I&C and turbine hall”.
The conference was attended by representatives from major energy companies such as Pöyry, Fennovoima, EDF, BKW, ENTSO-E, Vattenfall, 50Hertz Transmission GmbH, Iberdrola, Fortum, Horizon Nuclear Power, and WindEurope, as well as those from European and international organisations, including the Directorate-General for Energy (European Commission), World Nuclear Association, International Atomic Energy Agency, Nuclear Energy Agency (OECD) and others.