Rosatom proposes smart water, combatting climate change


Speaking at the technical hub at African Utility Week in Cape Town, Andrei Grinevich, head of international affairs at the Smart Utilities division of Russia's state atomic energy corporation Rosatom, highlighted the company's innovative Smart Water offer.
The integrated solution uses both traditional thermal and/or nuclear power plants.

"Rosatom has a great deal of experience in the design, construction and operation of water treatment plants integrated with both nuclear and thermal power plants, including the world's first desalination plant which was integrated with a nuclear power plant in Aktau, Kazakhstan," said Grinevich. He also introduced the participants to new technology such as Zero Liquid Discharge (ZLD) technology, which utilises similar principles as traditional seawater desalination but for industrial use.

The main principle of ZLD is to give oil and gas refineries the opportunity to be eco-friendly. The technology is based on multi-stage evaporation, where waste water is evaporated leaving behind an easy to handle solid residue.
He said regions with arid climates may be interested in seawater desalination plants for industrial and municipal needs. These can be integrated with various energy sources such as traditional thermal power plants as well as innovative solar power plants and wind farms.

The nuclear industry is still misunderstood by the general public and plagued by sceptical misperceptions of its value for the future of the earth, according to Dmitry Shornikov, CEO of Rosatom Central and Southern Africa.

"Rosatom seeks to challenge mainstream perceptions of nuclear and offer it for what it truly is: a clean, safe and affordable source of energy, which should stand proudly alongside wind, solar and hydro," Shornikov said at African Utility Week.

Rosatom hosted an event where it screened the film "Wild Edens: Russia", a project it initiated to draw attention to the crippling effects of global warming on the earth's fragile eco system.   

He said, according to recent data, world sea levels have risen by over 20 centimetres since 1870 and the planet's average surface temperature has seen an increase of over one degree Celsius since the late 19th century.

"At first glance these figures may seem insignificant, but they are triggering massive environmental consequences, including droughts, extreme weather patterns as well as the melting of the Arctic ice sheets, among many others," noted Shornikov.

He added that humankind already has the tools to hinder the devastating effects of climate change and preserve the planet for generations to come.
According to the International Atomic Energy Agency, nuclear power plants produce virtually no greenhouse gas emissions or air pollutants during their operation and only very low emission levels during their entire life cycle.
"It's no understatement to say that, together with renewables, nuclear power forms a 'green square' of energy production that has the potential to save this planet," he said.

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