According to the head of the Federal Nuclear Agency Alexander Rumyantsev, the amendments in the reactor construction schedule will be made while implementing the program on reactor construction. So far, Russia would launch two new reactor units by 2010, the first one at the Volgodonsk NPP. On February 9, Rumyantsev signed a decree with the planned start-up in 2008.
The reactors lifetime extension and upgrade allow increasing the generating capacities defined in the strategy of the nuclear energy development in Russia. If the capacity of the upgraded units at the Novoronezh, Kola, Kursk, Leningrad, Kalinin NPPs and of the two planned units will be summarised then the total capacity would be greater than scheduled 5GW.
According to Rumyantsev, the reactor construction program is constantly revised, also from the ideological point of view. The Federal Nuclear Agency specialists are developing the design of new VVER-1500 reactor, which is to substitute VVER-1000. The cost of the construction of both reactors is the same but the capacity of VVER-1500 is 50% more, added Rumyantsev. He also explained why the nuclear plants generated less electricity than planned in 2004: the units at the Novovoronezh and Smolensk NPPs were shutdown for repairs due to the equipment defects. The head of the Russian Nuclear Agency expressed optimism about this year result of the electricity generation.