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See Inside Scientific American Volume 309, Issue 4

See Russia's Reactors on Your Smartphone

And see where the country’s radiation monitors are located
former village of Kopachi



Flickr/Matt Shalvatis

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Russia is eagerly trying to sell a variety of new nuclear reactors to countries worldwide, and is also expanding its domestic fleet. Skeptics say the state-owned reactor manufacturer, Rosatom, may be speeding ahead too quickly, jeopardizing the safety of those power plants.

Company officials are pushing back by holding media interviews, offering reactor visits and even by publishing two free apps for smartphones and tablets.

The first, simply called Rosatom, reveals the location of each Russian nuclear facility as well as radiation monitors across the country that would pick up any potential leaks. The app also has a global map showing all reactors worldwide, indicating which are operating, being built, planned or shut down. You get some pretty photos of Russian reactors, too.

The second app, Rosatom VVER-1200, provides a three-dimensional look inside the company’s leading design for home and export, the VVER-1200, along with descriptions of the reactor equipment.

Neither app will hold your attention for hours on end, but they are interesting enough. And it is intriguing to see how an entity that most Westerners might consider far away and secretive is reaching out. One note: the apps appear to be in Russian only, but if you download either one, an English version appears on your screen. That’s handy.

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