(By Wana Kalala in Doha, Qatar)
THE 11th ATOMEXPO International Forum, the largest exhibition and business platform for discussing the current state of the nuclear industry, is scheduled to open today in Russia’s southern city of Sochi. The forum, which has been held annually since 2009, provides an occasion for discussion of the current state of the nuclear field and sets future trends for the nuclear sector’s further development.
The two-day event is being organised by the Russian State Nuclear Corporation (ROSATOM) and will be held at Sochi’s Main Media Centre. Hundreds of delegates are expected from across the globe, and participants include leaders of the nuclear power industry, representatives of international, national and public organisations, Russian and foreign companies, as well as key experts in the nuclear field.
Zambia’s delegation to the forum is being led by Dr Roland Msiska, head of the Zambia Atomic Agency. According to a draft programme of the 2019 ATOMEXPO, Dr Msiska is today scheduled to participate in a roundtable discussion on ‘Nuclear for better life’, which is the main theme of the forum.
The discussion will also feature ROSATOM director general Alevey Likhachev. Key themes of other roundtables include the non-energy use of nuclear and radiation technologies in industry, science, medicine, and agriculture; digital solutions for infrastructure projects; knowledge management; and human capital development, among other topics. Last May, Zambia and ROSATOM signed a general contract for the construction of a Centre for Nuclear Science and Technology (CNST) in Chongwe.
The project will be implemented in several stages within 3-6 years from the commencement date under the contract. Construction of the centre is the first joint project in the field of nuclear technologies. The research reactor (RR) is the heart of a CNST. Globally 243 research reactors are in operation in 55 countries, including Ghana, Nigeria, Egypt, Morocco, Libya, Algeria, Congo and South Africa, and 10 more are now under construction.
Zambia will become the ninth African country to possess a research reactor of 10 MW. Its main applications in industry are transport installations, seawater desalination, hydrogen production, district heating, industrial radiography and other non-destructive testing methods, material modification and security screening systems.
Ghana, Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda have been embracing prospects of adopting nuclear energy to bridge their energy deficit. South Africa is currently the only country in Africa with an operational nuclear power plant. And according to Sputnik News, Zambia is among 25 applicants shortlisted for the second ATOMEXPO Awards ceremony to be held later today.
“This international professional award is presented to companies/organisations for their contribution to the development and use of nuclear energy for the benefit of humankind,” stated Sputnik News.
“This year…applications were received from companies from: Argentina, Bangladesh, Bolivia, China, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Egypt, France, Germany, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Japan, Kenya, Mongolia, Morocco, the Philippines, Russia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, the United States, Uzbekistan, and Zambia. The competition will also feature projects carried out by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and cross-regional projects.”
There are five categories for nomination in the competition: ‘Nuclear Technologies for a Better Life’ (non-energy application of nuclear technologies); ‘Innovations for the Future’ (the best breakthrough and innovative technological projects); ‘Best Launch’ (best projects in connection with the launch of national nuclear energy programmes); ‘Public Communication’ (the most effective communication projects); and ‘Human Capital Development’ (the best projects aimed at developing human resources and staffing).
Important documents are further expected to be signed on the sidelines of the forum, including agreements on strategic cooperation and partnership, commercial contracts, and project development documents. A wide range of advanced nuclear technologies as well as new products and solutions, including those not related to energy, will be presented in the 13,000 square metre exhibition area.