Russian nuclear corporation Rosatom’s African subsidiary, Rosatom Africa, sponsored an all-expenses-paid trip to Russia for winners of its yearly student competition, held for the third time last year.
The students visited the Novovoronezh nuclear power plant (NPP), as well as its training facility, in December. The plant is considered a pioneering facility, having been the first NPP to launch and operate each generation of water-to-water energetic reactor technology. The students were also treated to a cultural tour of Moscow, which included Red Square and the Museum of Cosmonautics.
The competition was aimed at encouraging students to do their own research into various nuclear applications and the benefits they might have for Africa. Interested students were required to film a 60- to 90-second video on their findings.
The video was shared on YouTube, with a private link also sent to Rosatom Africa. Participants also had to submit a short curriculum vitae. Students could compete as individuals or in teams of two.
The shortlisted videos were displayed on the Rosatom Facebook page, and the three videos with the most likes won the trip.
Topics for the videos included debunking the myths around nuclear, the nonenergy benefits of nuclear, nuclear as the future of a low-carbon energy mix and the benefits of nuclear energy for Africa.
The winners were Abd El Rahman Ghoneim, of the University of Alexandria, in Egypt; Masanja Masamaki and Lekhotla Mohlakwane, of the University of Pretoria; Koketso Kgorinyane and Maitshoko Pinkie Mereotlhe, of North-West University; and Eric Ochieng Okumu, of the Technical University of Kenya.
Rosatom and its global subsidiaries have held several online olympiads and student competitions to ignite interest among participants to pursue careers in the nuclear industry, while encouraging them to excel in subjects such as mathematics and science.
The company also offers 60 bursaries to African students to read for nuclear-related degress at one of its leading Russian institutions.
• Nadine James visited Russia courtesy of Rosatom Africa.