Rosatom plans to "increase interaction" with the Federal Agency for Special Construction, or Spetsstroy, through its capital construction subsidiary.

The state nuclear corporation created OTsKS - the Russian acronym for Rosatom Branch Centre for Capital Construction - in August 2012 to manage its capital investment program in Russia and internationally. Spetsstroy comes under the Russian Defence Ministry, which coordinates and controls its activities.

Rosatom and Spetsstroy signed an agreement in May laying the foundations for joint planning, long-term programs of bilateral work, an expanded application of the methods and means of managing construction sites, as well as the introduction of innovative solutions in the construction of facilities.

The two sides discussed closer ties at a meeting in Moscow on 24 October between Spetsstroy chief Alexander Volosov and Gennady Sakharov, Rosatom's director for capital investments.

"The two companies have made great strides in the development of bilateral relations," OTsKS said. "In particular, a package of four contracts was signed to build facilities for defence and nuclear and radiation safety, implemented as a set of measures in conjunction with Rosatom's Block Management Innovation."

OTsKS and Spetsstroy aim to work together to have a "positive impact on improving the quality and reducing the time and cost of construction work," it said. There must be bilateral cooperation on the development of engineering activities, vocational training, industry standardization and certification, as well as the introduction of a "system for production efficiency". To date this year, Spetsstroy has increased the volume of its construction work in the nuclear power industry "almost seven times" compared to 2013, OTsKS said without elaborating.

OTsKS created a governing board and advisory council, which in August made a list of 20 projects. Three pilot projects are to be introduced next year. The first is for National Research Moscow State University of Civil Engineering (MGSU) together with the National Research Nuclear University and Rosatom subsidiary Atomenergoproekt (AEP) to develop a technique "to strengthen weak soil" through its partial substitution with sandy or gravelly soil. The second is for MGSU and AEP to develop innovative dry shielding for the VVER reactor design using serpentine concrete based on Portland cement with the use of admixtures. The third is for MGSU and AEP to develop dry concrete mixing techniques for nuclear power plant construction.

Rosatom subsidiary companies had to complete their transition to new rules on planning capital construction projects developed by OTsKS, by the end of 2013. Its main customer is Rosenergoatom - Rosatom's nuclear power plant operator subsidiary - which is building about ten units in Russia, with 12 more planned by 2025.

Source: World Nuclear News