Rosatom chief hopes for business-as-usual before May

07 April 2020

Rosatom plans to resume normal working by the end of this month and sees no need to change the schedule of its new-build projects overseas, Director General Alexey Likhachov said in a video-address to the state nuclear corporation's employees.

Rosatom Director General Alexey Likhachov (Image: Rosatom)

The video was part of the latest edition of the company's in-house publication Strana Rosatom, which was publlished on 4 April.

Referring to Russian President Vladimir Putin's extension of a nationwide paid holiday until the end of April in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Likhachov said: "If the epidemiological situation in the regions allows, then we plan to enter the usual mode of activity before the end of April. But I would stress that this decision should be taken individually at each enterprise and in close cooperation with the regional authorities and sanitary and epidemiological monitoring authorities."

"Projects abroad will go as planned," he added. "Although we don’t see additional serious risk of needing to change the schedules of our construction projects this year, we can't predict how the situation in a particular country will develop."

Thanks to the coordinated efforts of its IT and security services, Rosatom was able to create an additional 3500 remote-working jobs within days, he said. "That was a lot of work for those people who ensure the functioning of our networks, servers and technical support. Now we will use this new, remote form of working widely."

The coronavirus pandemic has "created many problems", he said, "but every crisis is a chance to mobilise and discover new opportunities". For example, isolating employees working in the main control rooms of nuclear power plants from other members of staff has made the company "reassess the organisation of workflows", he said.

Likhachov also said that there had been 10 cases of Rosatom employees displaying symptoms of COVID-19, of which "at least one" had tested positive. These 10 included six in Moscow (from Rosenergoatom, ASE, Rosatom Corporate Academy and RosBurMash), and three from the Beloyarsk nuclear power plant and Mining and Chemical Combine. He added however that "overall" the situation in the Russian nuclear industry was "under control".

"Everything related to the operation of nuclear power plants and other facilities for the use of nuclear energy is working normally. Everything related to the enrichment of uranium, the transportation of nuclear materials, the implementation of the state defence order, and the implementation of foreign projects are also going smoothly and systematically,” he said.

He also praised those Rosatom employeers who have volunteered to assist medical staff and to deliver food and medicines to elderly people in their respective regions. And he called on all his staff to ensure that "discipline, cohesion and mutual support" see the company through the crisis.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News