December saw Russia sign various nuclear agreements with Uzbekistan, Brazil and Sudan as well as strengthening is co-operation with the Philippines.
On 29 December, an agreement was signed with Uzbekistan on cooperation in the peaceful use of nuclear energy. It creates the legal basis for bilateral cooperation for the: improvement of Uzbekistan’s national infrastructure and training of personnel; the construction of nuclear plants and research reactors, as well as support throughout their life cycle; exploration and development of uranium deposits; remediation of uranium tailings; and production of radioisotopes. The agreement envisages the formation of joint working groups for the implementation of specific projects and scientific research, as well as the exchange of experts, the organisation of seminars and symposia.
In early November, during a visit to Tashkent by Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, a memorandum on cooperation between Rosatom and Uzbekistan's Academy of Science was signed, along with an agreement on production and provision of nuclear fuel by Uzbekistan for Rosatom.
Under a five-year agreement signed with Brazil’s National Nuclear Energy Commission (CNEN) on 27 December, Russia’s JSC Isotope (part of Rosatom) is to supply isotope products to Brazil. Under the agreement, in addition to Russia's current weekly supplies to Brazil of molybdenum-99 (Mo-99) and iodine-131, JSC Isotope will supply lutetium-177, yttrium-90, cobalt-57, and sources of ionising radiation based on iridium-192 and germanium-68/gallium-68 generators.
The agreement is an "important stage" in the development of Russian-Brazilian cooperation in the field of nuclear medicine, Rosatom said. It opens up new opportunities for expanding the range of isotope products its supplies, both for medical and industrial purposes. Brazil has been using Russian-produced Mo-99 since 2015 and, since 2016, Russia has been meeting Brazil's need for I-131, which is used in the diagnosis and treatment of thyroid diseases, Rosatom said.
Russia and Sudan signed an agreement on 25 December. Rusatom Overseas and Sudan’s Ministry of Water, Irrigation and Electricity of the Republic of Sudan signed an agreement on the development of a nuclear power plant construction project in Sudan. As part of a feasibility study, a site will be selected, and the technology, capacity, equipment, terms, and financing schemes determined, Rosatom said.
On 19 December, the Philippines Department of Energy (DOE) began drawing up plans for a nuclear energy saying it was producing the plans with technical assistance from Rosatom. DOE also announced that Rosatom had submitted a pre-feasibility study and assessment of the mothballed Bataan NPP. The Bataan nuclear station, about 100km northwest of the capital Manila, has a single Westinghouse pressurised water reactor that was completed over 20 years ago but has never operated. Work on the unit was halted in 1985 following environmental protests and contractual disputes between the Philippine government and Westinghouse. Earlier in June 2017, during the Atomexpo exhibition in Moscow, Rusatom International Network signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with A Brown Company of the Philippines to develop economic, scientific and technical cooperation and to jointly exploring possible areas of application of radiation technologies in industry, medicine and agriculture.
Some agreements were signed with France including an MOU and "cooperation programme" with Areva NP to further develop collaboration in fuel fabrication, automated process control systems, as well as maintenance of equipment and machinery for nuclear power plants.
A cooperation programme for 2017-2019 was signed by Rosatom and French energy company Engie detailing more than 20 specific projects covering nuclear power plant maintenance and nuclear fuel cycle services.
Rosatom subsidiary JSC Rusatom Service also signed an MOU with France's National Institute of Nuclear Science and Technology (INSTN) aimed at expanding bilateral cooperation in the education and training of nuclear energy personnel.
Another MOU was inked with Hungary's MVM Ltd on strengthening the companies' cooperation in the maintenance, service and fuel supply of the Paks NPP in Hungary.
An MOU to cooperate in repairing welding joints in steam generator vessels for VVER-440 units was signed between JSC Rusatom Service and the Czech Republic's Skoda JS. The aim of the MOU is to develop cooperation between the two companies and identify specific projects for collaboration. Rosatom also signed an MOU with the Czech Power Industry Alliance (CPIA) aimed at developing cooperation in nuclear energy.
Kazakhstan, Bolivia and South Korea
Rusatom International Network signed an MOU with Kazakhstan's ANTARES Group on strategic cooperation relating to the construction of small-scale hydropower facilities and the use of nuclear power in the medical and agricultural sectors, as well as cooperation in the supply of isotope products to Kazakhstan.
Rosatom Latin America and the Higher University of San Andres (Bolivia) also signed an MOU on cooperation.
Rosatom subsidiary JSC RASU signed an MOU with Doosan to develop cooperation in the area of automated radiation monitoring systems and neutron flux detectors for Korean-designed nuclear power reactors, both in South Korea and elsewhere.