May 22, 2017 – Workshop on Russian-Sudanese cooperation in peaceful uses of atomic energy was held by ROSATOM in Khartoum, Sudan, for the first time. The Workshop was organized by Rosatom International Network through its Regional Office Rosatom Middle East and North Africa, and the Ministry of Water Resources, Irrigation and Electricity of Sudan. It was initiated in furtherance of agreements made after 4th Joint Russian-Sudanese Intergovernmental Commission on Trade and Economic cooperation held in December 2016 in Moscow. The event brought together Russian and Sudanese experts on a public debate focused on various applications of nuclear technologies both in energy and non-energy needs. Attendees of more than 80 representatives of Sudanese high-level ministerial officials joined the workshop, such as Ministries of Health, Mining, Environment, Oil, Industry, High Education, Foreign Affairs, Interior, Justice, Security Forces, Civil Defence and Sudan Atomic Energy Commission.
The workshop was inaugurated by the Minister of Water Resources, Irrigation and Electricity Mr. Mutaz Musa who addressed the audience by highlighting the importance of the event as an exceptional chance to open new opportunities of mutually beneficial interaction and cooperation in nuclear sphere and non-atomic solutions:
"This Workshop is focusing on the cooperation between Sudan and Russia in the field of peaceful applications of atomic energy. However, the cooperation between the two countries is far beyond this field, we emphasize the importance of supporting and developing bilateral relations in different knowledge-intensive fields and sectors and today’s event is a serious step forward for both sides".
Speaking about the need for electricity in Sudan increasing rapidly for both industrial and domestic sectors, the DG of General Directorate of Nuclear Power, Ministry of Water Resources, Irrigation and Electricity Mr.Nasir Ahmed El Mustafa presented current status and progress of Sudanese Nuclear Power Programme dedicated to determine the optimal energy generation mix, including the nuclear power for electricity generation: "As a newcomer to today we are here to know more about Rosatom’s capabilities, programs, long-term expertise and the availability for assistance that could be provided to countries willing to construct nuclear facilities for electricity generation”, he said.
From Rosatom’s side, several presentations were made by representatives of leading companies in Russian nuclear industry such as Rusatom Overseas, Atomenergomash, Rusatom International Network (including its MENA office). Presentations covered overview of Rosatom projects and significant experience in the MENA region, integrated offer of Rosatom in nuclear field for construction NPPs as well as Nuclear Research and Technology Centers, including review of cutting edge and referenced technologies based on projects, approach in the field of nuclear infrastructure development, flexible financial solutions and so on. Additionally, Russian side presented solutions in water purification, desalination and demineralization, HR solutions and solutions in ensuring public acceptance of nuclear technologies carried out by Rosatom and based on best international practices and its own expertise.
As according to Mr. Musa Omer, Manager of Nuclear Power Program Implementing Organisation of Sudan (NEPIO), Sudanese party "believe this joint workshop will trigger the evolvement of peaceful application of nuclear technologies in our country in general. Moreover we are looking forward to productive cooperation with Russia in the development of power and research reactors".
Special attention of the audience was given to Mini-Hydro generation in Sudan and the potential for expanding its use in the remote areas of the country where centralized power supply is hardly possible due to technical and financial issues, as stated by the Head of Mini-Hydro Department, Ministry of Water Resources, Irrigation and Electricity Mr. Ahmed Osman.
Atomenergomash presented a simple and cost efficient solution that may be applied in remote areas of Sudan and operated both as an independent power source and as an alternative to inefficient and environmentally unfriendly power sources. The main advantages of the small hydropower plant include the low electricity cost, short lead time, easy and fast assemblage. This solution is based on small hydro-power plant manufactured by GANZ (a manufacturing company of Atomenergomash) requires no dam construction and makes no damage to river and other reservoir ecology, speakers stated.