Rosatom gives priority to Russian NPPs

Publish date: May 2, 2007

Head of the Russian Federal Atomic Energy Agency (Rosatom) Sergey Kirienko concentrates on constructing and developing Russian nuclear power plants and cuts back foreign business.

According to Kirienko, Rosatom wants to give priority to constructing and developing Russian NPPs, and will reduce the number of Rosatom’s foreign projects. ”We have accepted offers from the Russian government to build at least two new nuclear reactors a year”, said Kirienko.

“Whereas one or two years ago we were glad about any foreign business offers, we now carefully choose our projects with foreign partners”, said Kirienko. “We want to give priority to our Russian projects”, he added. According to Kirienko, Russia will accept offers only from countries that have a strategic partnership with Russia.

Russia’s 10 nuclear power plants (31 blocks) currently produce about 16% of the country’s energy balance. Last year, Russian president Vladimir Putin set the task of increasing the share of nuclear power to 25% by 2030. According to the industry’s new development program, at least two new reactors will have to be built each year. By 2030, about 40 new reactors will be in operation.

Russia is currently building 5 foreign reactors (in Iran, China and India), and for the first time since Soviet times Russia also got an offer to build 2 new reactors in Europe – at the Bulgarian NPP “Belene”. The first reactor of the “Belene” NPP will be launched in 2013. The two new blocks are planned to be in operation for 60 years.

Constructing a new reactor for the international market brings about $1.5 to 2.5 billion. Therefore, in addition to the agency’s income from Russian projects, foreign business is one of Rosatom’s main sources of finance. According to Kirienko, Rosatom plans to build about 60 foreign reactors within the next 25 years. The focus will be on South-East-Asian nations, because “these fast-growing industries will need more and more energy every year”.