MOSCOW, December 28, 2017 /PRNewswire/ --
Russia's government declared 2017 to be the Year of Ecology and the environmental policies of Rosatom, the country's State Atomic Energy Corporation, did not go unnoticed by the expert community. On December 18, Rosatom, a world leader in clean and safe energy production, received the Vladimir Vernadsky National Environmental Award in Moscow.
Rosatom is currently participating in the construction of 33 nuclear power plants in 12 countries. Environmental protection and the rational use of natural resources are among the company's highest priorities. Recently Rosatom has focused efforts on fighting global climate change, one of the major challenges of our time.
Scientists blame global warming and rising sea levels for many of the extreme climactic conditions being experienced by countries in warm and cold climates alike. Due to the massive amounts of C02 being emitted across the globe, the earth's forests cannot cope with our current levels of pollution and we face potentially dire environmental consequences. Current atmospheric C02 levels were recently estimated at a critical 400 ppm.
That's why governments, companies and NGOs worldwide have responded by calling for the development of the new low-carbon economy. This includes both new technologies for energy conservation and alternative "green" low-carbon energy sources.
Most experts believe that a proper mix of solar, hydro and nuclear power can save the planet's environment. Safe, reliable nuclear power plants can become the deciding factor in solving the climate change problem. According to the International Energy Association, all of the world's nuclear power plants combined have prevented the emission of 56 billion tons of carbon dioxide over the last 46 years of their existence. This is equivalent to two years' of global power generation at current levels.
Today nuclear power generates 392 GW annually worldwide, saving 2 billion tons of carbon dioxide emissions every year. This is comparable with the cleansing effect of all of the earth's forests combined, which consume 2.5 billion tons of CO2 annually.
According to the International Energy Agency, compliance with the Paris climate agreement foresees a doubling of current nuclear capacity to approximately 930 GW worldwide by 2050. This would be complemented by other renewable sources of energy such as wind, solar and hydropower. That's why Rosatom is also pursuing other alternative sources of energy: last year the company won a tender for construction of three wind farms in southern Russia. It's also invested in building small hydropower plants.
Nonetheless nuclear technologies are constantly being modernized and improved. A major priority for Rosatom is developing a closed fuel cycle based on fast-neutron reactors. In Russia, the BN-800 fast-neutron reactor is already successfully operating, providing full utilization of uranium-238. So, in the coming decades, nuclear power can become not only carbonless, but also renewable.
Rosatom comprises 340 companies and research institutions operating in the nuclear industry. Rosatom offers integrated services covering the entire scope of the nuclear industry, from uranium enrichment to nuclear power plant construction.
SOURCE Rusatom International Network Communications Department