A subsidiary of Russia’s State-owned nuclear group Rosatom has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the South African Young Nuclear Professional Society (SAYNPS) at the recent SAYNPS Nuclear Youth Summit 2017. The subsidiary concerned is Rusatom International Network (Rusatom being the correct spelling).
“It is very important to develop international communication between South Africa and Russia,” affirmed Rosatom Regional VP: sub-Saharan Africa Viktor Polikarpov. “This MoU is a further step towards the transparency of nuclear technologies in South Africa and will bring new and exciting opportunities to young Africans.”
The MoU creates the framework for cooperation between the two organisations in order to improve nuclear energy education and public acceptance in South Africa. This will be done in several ways, such as organising international nuclear power technology conferences and exhibitions. Other such activities will include regular exchanges of experiences, and showcasing opportunities for young Africans to study at South African and Russian educational institutions.
Participating in a panel discussion on the topic “Localisation for the youth of Africa”, Polikarpov highlighted his group’s commitment to human resources and scientific development in its customer countries. “We constantly work on skills improvement and offer training to employees working in the national nuclear industry, which ensures our projects’ successful implementation.”
The Russian group has a wide spectrum of educational and training courses available, for both professionals and students, covering the energy engineering disciplines. These are based on the more than 50 years of experience built up by Russia’s nuclear energy sector. Furthermore, Rosatom provides bursaries to African students wishing to study the nuclear discipline they are interested in, at a leading Russian institution.
The group also runs an annual student competition. This year, the theme is nuclear applications for Africa. Students have to do research into different nuclear applications and the good they might be able to do for the continent, subsumed under four main topics. These are: debunking the myths around nuclear; non-energy benefits of nuclear; nuclear as the future of a low carbon energy mix; and the benefits of nuclear energy for Africa.
Entrants must then record their findings in a 60 second to 90 second long video; an independent panel will then select the top ten videos, which will then be posted on Rosatom’s Facebook page. The creators of three videos that get the most “likes” will win all-expenses paid trips to Moscow, in December. The competition closes on October 27.