By Staff Reporter /

Rosatom, a prominent Russian company specializing in nuclear technologies, orchestrated a journey to St. Petersburg, Russia, for eight triumphant participants of the 6th ‘Atoms Empowering Africa’ online video competition.

Hailing from Egypt, Ghana, Tunisia, and Nigeria, the winners embarked on a unique adventure that combined a firsthand exploration of nuclear facilities with visits to renowned historical sites in Russia.

“Rosatom has been hosting the ‘Atoms Empowering Africa’ online competitions since 2015, aiming to engage talented African youth and encourage their interest in nuclear technology studies while promoting science and engineering,” stated a spokesperson from the organization.

To participate in the competition, entrants crafted and shared videos on Facebook, with a panel of experts comprised of nuclear industry representatives and media professionals tasked with selecting the most captivating and innovative entries.

Notably, in 2021, several gifted video creators were chosen to embark on a fully funded tour of Russia as a token of appreciation from the competition’s organisers.

But due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, the fortunate winners had to wait for two years before finally realizing their long-awaited journey to Russia.

Once in Russia, the competition victors were granted an exceptional opportunity to immerse themselves in the country’s nuclear infrastructure. A visit to the ‘Grand Maket’ Museum introduced them to the cutting-edge nuclear icebreaker ‘Arctic’ and a Generator 3+ power unit featuring the VVE-1200 reactor.

This advanced reactor not only boasts impressive safety during operation but can also function autonomously and even operate without external power supply.

The highlight of the tour was an exclusive visit to the Leningrad NPP, Russia’s largest operational nuclear power plant situated in Sosnovy Bor. A typically restricted area for foreign visitors, the LNPP welcomed the ‘Atoms Empowering Africa’ winners, granting them an insider’s look into its intricate infrastructure, including the turbine room, cooling towers and splash pools.

A standout experience for the winners was a training session on a simulator, providing a glimpse into the plant’s operations.

Alexander Belyaec, chief engineer of LNPP-2, highlighted the significance of African youth expressing interest in Russian nuclear technologies.

Emmanuel Adom, a participant in the trip, expressed his awe at the LNPP, stating “Witnessing an NPP firsthand feels incredible and awe-inspiring. Knowing it contributes about 30% to the northwestern region of Russia’s electricity supply and 55% to Saint Petersburg and Leningrad region is mind-boggling. I’d love to return to this place again and again.”

Munachimso Oguine, another participant and a student at the National Open University of Nigeria, praised St. Petersburg as an unforgettable experience. “The people in Russia are remarkable. Even if they don’t speak English, the go out of their way to assist, often using sign language. They are kind, helpful, and open-minded. I’m eager to return,” she enthused.

In the photo: The young Africans touring Russian nuclear facilities.