mikhail chudakov, iaea deputy director general and head of the department of nuclear energy speaks to snerdi about his trip to china, the future for nuclear power, the international cooperation between snerdi and iaea, his personal vocational development and his encouragement to the young engineers in snerdi.
1. we know that you have a compact schedule to china this time. can you describe your feelings to the visit so far?
ddg: i am impressed that china’s developing is very fast. of course i knew about this, because looking on the biggest numbers of nuclear power plants that put into operation for last years. but when you see it in reality, new construction, new generation and young managers are very impressive actually. and i believe that nuclear power in china will be locomotive engines that bring nuclear power in all other roles in first position in order to fulfill our obligation to climate changes, to save our goals of government executives.
2. what are the main priorities of your visit this time? do you have any unexpected or surprised discoveries during the trip?
ddg: actually, the priorities, i want to say that are new designs, all new nuclear power plants and manufacturing that i manage to do it. and thank you very much for giving me the opportunity to visit all nuclear power plants, the biggest site - qinshan site with 9 units, and also new units – ap1000. and also i could see shanghai manufacturing for production of heavy equipment and all main equipment for nuclear power. and i was impressed that how the chinese is greatly developing and looking the nuclear power.
3. you have visited gen ii npp – qinshan, gen iii ap1000, and you will keep on going to beijing visit htgr (high temperature gas-cooled reactor) and fast reactor projects. what do you see as the future of nuclear power in china? which kind of reactor you would like to say that will be more competitive in the whole industry.
ddg: we are talking a lot about gen iv, new reactors, effective fusion and future reactors and etcetera. but we should understand that now we are looking at gen ii, and we cannot just avoid or stay without gen ii, because they are already in operation, we should organize and welcome them. and we are looking with gen iii reactors, passive safety system reactors. these reactors are all modernized after fukushima. of course the nearest 30 to 40 years, almost all reactors will be in operation. maybe gen ii will be withdrawn from operation, some gen iii will start operation, and gen iii , and then gen iv comes. that’s all spectrum operate nuclear power plants we need, in order to reach the sustainable development goals and in order to prove that the co2 emissions not allow the average temperature to increase more than 2 degrees, so called 2 degree scenario. so, china is doing well, and i think that china is on the right way. they are developing all directions of future nuclear power.
4. do you have any suggestion on strengthening the cooperation between snerdi and iaea?
ddg: we would like to say snerdi for full cooperation, and we already have very good cooperation with snerdi. this technical meeting on advanced reactors’ construction demonstrates that there was very good cooperation. snerdi has organized a lot of meetings and we often can see that representatives from snerdi top management, like dr. zheng in international atomic energy agency. by the way, in the week of our general conference on scientific forum, he is making presentation on the topic of nuclear power and climate. we are happy to see him there. and we should maybe think a little bit, how to involve more newcomer countries and to share our experience, international experience, chinese experience, and to bring these experiences to newcomer countries in order to guarantee the safe and reliable development of nuclear power in these countries.
5. specialized and highly trained talents are critical to the sustainable development of nuclear power. but the whole world is facing the challenges of attracting high-standard human resources in the nuclear industry. we are very curious about you. personally, why do you choose nuclear as your career?
ddg: nuclear is in my whole life. i am in my whole life in operation. and when i graduated from school, i go to the nuclear institute, the moscow physics engineering institute, and already studied to be involved in nuclear field. after doctor graduation, i work on the construction on new units of kalinin nuclear power plants. then i move to headquarter to rosenergoatom in moscow. then i work in wano, work as a plant manager of bilibino nuclear power plant. i am happy that i go to the nuclear power and nuclear industry from very beginning. why i choose this profession? they are also, in 80s before chernobyl, great development in nuclear industry. then of course after chernobyl incident, there was a slowing down. now we can see that inspired of chernobyl and fukushima, new progress, and new sounds arise in nuclear development industry. especially you could see in your country, in china. i believe in nuclear and whole my life i am working with nuclear. i strictly believe that without nuclear, we cannot develop better life. i strictly believe in nuclear. and i believe that look less and less from the accidents happened in chernobyl and fukushima, nuclear could look whole century new design, 60 years, if you prolong operation plus 30 years. and of course nuclear needs more and more talented and young people and young generation. we are happy to see that in china, new engineers, more and more and more, are in nuclear industry. we are happy to meet young chiefs, young engineers, and young plant managers actually, showing that china is on the right way for developing the nuclear industry and capacity building for its future.
6. do you have any words that you would like to share with our young engineers?
ddg: i would like to assure them that they are on the right way. they are the future for the nuclear. nuclear is the main solved energy for the future. they should strictly believe that nuclear can be safe and reliable. i know it, being myself, a reactor operator and looking myself as plant manager. in the high-level safety culture, and safe design, you can operate 100 years nuclear power plant all cycle without any problems. and i wish nuclear industry in china, safe and reliable operation of all nuclear power plants and new constructions.