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Russia concerned about coronavirus and nuclear safety, as four nuclear workers test positive4

Four nuclear workers test positive for coronavirus as Rosatom steps up pandemic response  Bellona, April 1, 2020 by Charles Digges The staff of at least one nuclear power plant in Russia has been put into isolation due to concerns over the spread of Covid-19, as Rosatom, Russia’s state nuclear corporation, announced a raft of measures to protect the employees of its sprawling domestic and international apparatus.

Four Russian nuclear workers have tested positive for the coronavirus and the staff of a nuclear power plant has been put into isolation while state nuclear corporation Rosatom implements a raft of measures to protect employees of its sprawling domestic and international apparatus.

As Moscow – and the rest of the world – institutes lockdowns for its citizens, Rostom says it is erring on the side of caution to protect its highly skilled workers against an international pandemic that has infected some 877,000 people around the planet. As of March 31, Russia claims 2,337 of those cases………

On Monday, Alexei Likhachev, Rosatom’s CEO said in a video address on the company’s website that he had instituted corporation-wide health checks and sanitation practices at nuclear facilities in Russia, and had sent home all employees who could feasibly work remotely.

But he left broader decisions about staff quarantines up to local authorities, both in the Russian regions where Rosatom operates facilities as well as in foreign countries.

To that end, he said that Rosatom is continuing the construction of nuclear stations abroad despite the global coronavirus outbreak. But he added that the majority of business trips scheduled for Rosatom employees had been cancelled. …….

Throughout the world, nuclear operators are grappling with the advance of the coronavirus, which causes the Covid-19 illness. Some countries, like the United States, are suggesting that nuclear power plant operators should be isolated on site to prevent their specialized staff from falling ill.

The United Kingdom has already shut down one of its nuclear fuel reprocessing sites after a portion of its technicians were forced to self-isolate after being exposed to the virus.

In France, the Le Hague reprocessing facility has likewise been stalled. And while France’s national operator EDF has refused to comment about the level of absenteeism or the number of confirmed coronavirus infections among its staff, it says its nuclear power plants could operate for three months with a 25 percent reduction in staffing levels and for two to three weeks with 40 percent fewer staff.

Rosatom’s 250,000 employees operate 38 nuclear reactors throughout Russia and staff numerous mining, technological and sales concerns throughout Europe, Asia and the Middle East. The corporation also has 36 power units at different stages of implementation in 12 countries around the world. It is currently constructing seven reactors overseas: two each in Bangladesh, Belarus and India, plus one unit in Turkey.

April 2, 2020 - Posted by | health, Russia

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