Energy transition must be systematic, cautious and must build for decades to come-Russian nuclear agency head
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The energy transition must involve a carefully considered, systemic approach to the energy balance, calculated for decades to come, the head of Rosatom, Russia’s state nuclear power corporation, told a session of the Russian Energy Week moderated by Sergey Brilev, President of the Global Energy Association.

     “When we speak of the energy transition about the ‘greening’ of all forms of energy, we must not approach it in vulgar or whimsical terms,” Aleksey Likhachev told a session entitled ‘Small-scale nuclear power, providing energy for regions and industry’.

    “This is a deep and serious task and in solving it we are laying the foundation for decades, or perhaps even centuries that lie ahead.”

    The energy balance for individual countries and for broader regions assumes an assessment of such factors as sustainability, reliability, safety and cost – as well as the predictability of that cost. It is only recently that climate indicators have become criteria that are just as important in assessing the operation of energy systems.

    “Careful account must be taken and not just of CO2 emissions. There must also be a systemic assessment of different energy sources, an understanding of the conditions in which they can operate and what their long-term prospects are,” said Likhachev, the state corporation’s Director General. “And the main thing is the extent to which the energy balance is sustainable for the planet, a region or an individual country.”

    Likhachev said an understanding of the importance of any one energy resource, like nuclear power, must not be seen in terms of a crisis in a related sector, like the gas industry.

    “What we would like is to come to these conclusions without any sort of shock,” he said. “Otherwise, we will be wasting our efforts and resources on finding a way out of crisis.”

     Rosatom, he said, was committed to developing new technologies.

     “We must keep moving towards generation IV reactors and a closed fuel cycle, to recycling fuel, to reducing radioactive waste to a minimum,” Likhachev said. “The strategic aim is an equivalent exchange with nature – whatever radiation we take, we put back the same.”

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