Chelyabinsk administration wants South-Ural NPP

Publish date: May 22, 2000

The Russian Ministry for Atomic Energy is still indecisive whether to proceed with the project.

PRIME-TASS reported that in the nearest future it is planned to resume the construction of South-Ural nuclear power plant in Chelyabinsk County referring to Vladimir Utkin, deputy governor of Chelyabinsk County.

Earlier the local administration claimed that South-Ural NPP was inexpedient.

At present the region can provide itself with 50 per cent of electricity required, the rest is purchased outside the county. In total the region consumes 4,000-5,000 MW.

In 1987-1989, approximately $45 million was spent for construction of the nuclear power plant. For this money the site for the plant was maid ready, situated 10 km from the city Ozersk, a heating pipeline was built as well as a facility for reactor assembling and two foundation ditches, one of them has a part of the fundament completed. The construction was suspended at the stage of 10 per cent readiness. The strong critics regarding environmental safety of the project prompted the halt in the construction. The Mayak reprocessing plant, located nearby, still has a department with 40 employees, working on South-Ural nuclear power plant construction (mostly design works).

Vladimir Morozov, director of the plant, said that it was required more than $800 million to launch the first reactor unit with power output of 800 MW.

Experts believe that $1.5 billion in total is required to launch all the reactors planned. Half of the necessary funds is to be provided by the federal budget, while the rest is expected come from other sources, including the own profit of the ventures, which in the future will consume the energy generated by the nuclear power plant. The construction of the plant can be completed in eight years.

According to deputy governor of the Chelyabinsk County, the Russian Ministry for Atomic Energy, or Minatom, has made a firm decision concerning the South-Ural nuclear power plant favouring its completion in April this year. Other sources at the Mayak reprocessing plant claim, however, that Minatom is still indecisive regarding the prospects of plat completion.