Director General of Rosatom State Corporation Alexei Likhachev gave updates today, in a recorded video message, on the status of Russia's nuclear industry in the light of the Covid-19 pandemic. This message also addressed the employees of the nuclear sector in the country.
Likhachev said in his video message that nuclear industry, under the conditions of extraordinary measures aimed at combating novel coronavirus, was able to find and maintain a balance between the implementation of the production programme and the necessary quarantine restrictions.
“You need to understand that we have to live and work for at least a few more weeks in this way. The number of cases is growing almost every day. Until [yesterday] Monday evening there has been 86 cases - 19 were in hospitals. I am glad to report that everyone has mild to moderate symptoms. 51 people recovered, said Likhachev.
He also noted that the infection cases are spreading to regions. “This poses a direct threat to our “nuclear” cities. To date, the situation in Sarov, Elektrostal, and Desnogorsk is particularly worrying. In Sarov, the situation is exacerbated by the outbreak of the disease in the nearby Diveevo monastery. Yesterday we received information about several positive tests in Bilibino, we are monitoring them, ”said the head of the State Corporation, indicating that this is why restrictions on entry to many cities of the industry’s enterprises continues.
Likhachev called for a further increase in the readiness of medical institutions, strengthening their material base, and the acquisition of the necessary equipment. He pointed out that it is important to keep work on providing all the requirements of the sanitary-epidemiological services and spoke about the efforts to purchase medical equipment and personal protective equipment (PPE) for medical units in the cities where nuclear industry enterprises are located. “Deliveries will begin this week. These are thousands of sets of overalls for doctors and hundreds of units of medical equipment. At the request of the Federal Biomedical Agency of Russia, only 192 units of artificial lung ventilation devices will be delivered. The first batches of equipment will go to those cities where the number of cases is rapidly increasing. These are Sarov, Zarechny, Penza Region, Kurchatov, Udomlya, Obninsk, ”he said.
In his message, the head of Rosatom referred to a number of positive events. On April 27, the draft program "Development of equipment, technologies and scientific research in the field of atomic energy use" was sent to the federal executive bodies, the Kurchatov Institute and the Academy of Sciences for approval. “I have already said that the President of the Russian Federation signed a corresponding decree. This program will be implemented as the 14th national project.”
He also mentioned the signing of a contract between Atomflot and the Zvezda shipyard for the construction of a new generation nuclear icebreaker Leader. It will become the most powerful ship of this class. In addition, pre-launch work is underway at the Belorussian and Leningrad Nuclear Power Plants, as well as preparations for the delivery of fresh nuclear fuel site in Belarus. “At this site, the planned rotation of personnel continues. Last week there was another group of workers, 43 people. In the coming days, several more groups of Rosatom employees and contractors are preparing to be sent to Belarus,” he added.
Another significant issue that he tackled was situation of construction sites in foreign countries. “Work is on schedule. There are no coronavirus cases yet, and there was a partial replacement of personnel in Turkey. On 22 April, 93 people were transferred on a special flight between St. Petersburg and Adana, organised in coordination with the Government of the Russian Federation. On the same plane, 31 people returned to Russia from the Akkuyu site after their contracts ended. Now they are quarantined in one of the boarding houses in Sosnovy Bor.”
Source - Rosatom