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Alexey Nurlybaev, General Director of SPC "Doza": "Potential for cooperation between Russian nuclear industry companies and China is very high"


30.07.2021

At the beginning of June 2021 the scientific and production company (SPC) "Doza" developed and supplied the first batch of radiation monitoring equipment for the generation IV demonstration project of China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) nuclear reactor CFR-600.

The construction of a fast nuclear reactor located in Xiapu county, Fujian province, began at the end of 2017, commissioning is scheduled for 2024. It is designed to generate 1,500 MW of thermal power and 600 MW of electric power.

SPC "Doza" has delivered several types of its instruments to China, they will be used to provide radiation monitoring of the nuclear reactors operation. In the scope of delivery there are the company's own developments, as follows:

Alexey Nurlybaev, General Director of SPC "Doza", has told us some details about the supply of equipment and other developments of the company.

- Alexey, please, tell us what SPC "Doza" is today?

- Our company, like one of many others, was created in the early 1990s by people from research and development institutes who were engaged in metrology the science of measurement accuracy. Initially, our profile was a production of dosimeters and radiometers. Then, in the early 2000s we already moved to more complex systems, including the construction of automated radiation monitoring systems.

It is worth noting that we are a scientific and production enterprise, i.e. our activity combines a scientific foundation and our own production. The scientific foundation is people who deal with research, development and design. All of this forms a basis of our serial products. It is a vertical integration in which our specialists perform everything: from the idea to the finished product with its subsequent maintenance, installation, etc. We expand our production actively. For instance, recently we have started a serial production of semiconductor detectors, which are unique for our country. No one else produces such detectors in Russia, and other manufacturers are forced to contact us for their supplies, accordingly.

- Was it your first delivery to China?

- Our key sales market is located in Russia, and our customers are mainly: the State Corporation "Rosatom", its divisions and a number of other enterprises. But at the same time we are permanently looking for ways to enter foreign markets and China is the most interesting of them. First of all, because it is the fastest growing nuclear energy market in the world today. Secondly, China is a long-standing strategic political and economic partner of Russia, in this regard interaction is much easier than with many other countries.

It is not our first work with China. We have already supplied equipment for Tianwan NPP, which was built according to a Russian project. However, it cannot be called a foreign supply in the full sense, because Rosatom built this station and we in fact supplied the equipment to this corporation, whereas we wanted to try to work directly, as we believe that our company is innovative enough and can successfully make relevant offers for our Chinese customers.

Radiation monitoring equipment includes many different sensors that are connected to each other through intermediate units. Information is displayed on a computer where you can see everything: the premises, values of radiation factors, etc. By supplying our equipment now, we cover main radiation monitoring factors. These are aerosols, noble gases, iodines, gamma monitoring, i.e. these are various types of radiation that need to be monitored at NPP. SPC "Doza" offers the widest possible range for radiation monitoring. If we talk about the supply for the nuclear reactor CFR-600, to begin with, we limited ourselves to four types of monitoring. But it entails further scaling, as we supplied the equipment for one room at first. In another room such monitoring is also necessary. And traditionally they try not to mix equipment of different manufacturers to facilitate operation and maintenance. Therefore, we always count on the fact that the system that is being built at NPP will be built from the instruments and equipment of one manufacturer. We hope that now after the pilot delivery and successful tests we will succeed in going on to export our instruments to China.

- Were there any difficulties in working with China?

- Certainly there are some difficulties, but we can cope with them. At the same time China is close to us in a certain way, since the scientific base was partly built on the Soviet system. China is close to us in regulatory requirements, certification and test flow chart, etc.

China has many features of doing business. China is a country where we would never go without a local partner. And there are countries where this can and should be done. So when I am thinking about the possibilities of Russian industry in the Chinese nuclear industry, it seems to me that it is important to establish links between Russian manufacturers, developers and potential Chinese partners, but not customers. When we take part in Rosatom's foreign projects, there are no questions. They collected everything here, took it to China and started building there. But if we are talking about purely Chinese projects, nothing will work without partners. Moreover, taking into account the fact that the topic is very difficult, those partners must be technically competent, prepared from the point of view of doing business with Russian companies, and in fact there were not as many of them as we would like.

We found good partners, a state-owned Chinese company that is also engaged in scientific activities and manufacturing of equipment in our field of industry, and they were just looking for opportunities to expand their line with the help of a foreign partner. Our acquaintance has been going on for several years, and I can't say that it was easy, because they took a very serious approach to analyze what we offer. We delivered test equipment, showed how it works, provided an opportunity to conduct numerous tests, both at their enterprise and at existing enterprises in China. As a result, we finally moved on to real deliveries. It should be understood that our equipment is in demand in a much larger volume than the volume we have just delivered, and we are certainly aimed at continuing to successfully export our technologies.

- What other countries, besides China, are you interested in as significant potential partners?

- SPC "Doza" has a wide geography of supplies. First of all, these are the regions that are most interested in Russian industrial equipment. These are Southeast Asia, the Middle East, North Africa, and even such countries as Brazil.

If we talk, for example, about Europe, it is much more conservative, barriers are being built there, including artificial ones, to prevent Russian equipment from entering this market. Of course we are trying to develop there too, but now it is much more comfortable for us to communicate with partners from the regions that I have outlined above.