Innovations for the future

Soviet physicists pioneered the use of nuclear fusion. The first toroidal magnetic confinement devices were developed in the 1950s. The concept was proposed by academicians Andrey Sakharov and Igor Tamm. The Russian acronym 'tokamak' has been borrowed by other languages around the world, in the same way as the word 'sputnik'.

ROSATOM is actively participating in international 'mega science' projects, including a project to build the world's first experimental fusion reactor, ITER. If it succeeds, the ITER project will provide humanity with an almost inexhaustible source of energy.

Researchers from ROSATOM will also conduct experiments in inertial confinement fusion. In 2019, a target chamber, where targets will be irradiated by laser beams, was assembled for the world's largest laser facility currently under construction in Sarov. The idea for this facility was proposed in 1961 by Nikolay Basov and Oleg Krokhin.

ROSATOM is implementing a long-term project, Proryv (Breakthrough), aimed at developing fast neutron reactors and closing the nuclear fuel cycle. It will result in the development of technologies that will help to solve the problem of radioactive waste accumulation and make nuclear power plants more cost-effective. The ultimate goal is to create a two-component nuclear power system with a closed fuel cycle, in which power units equipped with thermal-neutron VVER reactors, which are the mainstay of the global nuclear power industry, will be operated alongside power units equipped with fast neutron reactors. As a result, the nuclear industry will shift to a circular economy consistent with sustainable development principles and objectives.

In 2019, ROSATOM started to implement a Single Industry-Wide Plan of R&D Topics, which is designed to promote R&D efforts in development areas prioritized by ROSATOM, including development of the VVER technology, small-scale reactors, new materials, hydrogen energy, nuclear fusion, superconductivity, nuclear medicine, etc.

Innovative solutions developed by ROSATOM are also actively used in other high-technology industries. In 2019, the Astronomical Roentgen Telescope X-Ray Concentrator (ART-XC) developed by researchers from ROSATOM in cooperation with the Space Research Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences was launched into space as part of the Spektr-RG space observatory. The aim of the observatory is to survey the universe in the X-ray region of the electromagnetic spectrum. Researchers intend to use the unprecedentedly sensitive instruments of the Spektr-RG observatory to study large galaxy clusters and black holes in greater detail.

Overall, more than 50 projects targeted at energy and non-energy markets were underway in 2019 as part of ROSATOM's Innovative Development Programme. The new version of the Programme includes national projects, prioritized projects promoting scientific and technological development in the nuclear industry, and innovative digital transformation projects. ROSATOM engaged the Russian Academy of Sciences, the National Research Centre Kurchatov Institute, 30 universities and 50 third-party research institutions in its R&D initiatives.


Key Results in 2019
Key Results in 2018