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Russia slows down construction of nuclear power plants

world Updated: Jul 23, 2009 11:36 IST

Agencies
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Russia has announced that it will slow down the construction of new nuclear reactors in coming years from two reactors to one a year.

"We are implementing the programme of building power units in Russia in accordance with the set task. It has not changed, and we will have to build all those 26 power units we have made plans for, but the peak of construction has been put off for several years due to the financial crisis and the dwindling consumption of electricity in the country," Sergei Kiriyenko, Rosatom head said on Wednesday.

He said it would be wrong to build reactors that are not needed. "We planned to build two units a year. Now we have corrected our programme to one unit a year for the next several years," Kiriyenko added.

At the same time, he noted that as the situation improves, the pace of construction would get back to the initially planned one. In the meantime, export will have to make up for the work shortfall on the domestic market.

Currently, Russia's 10 nuclear power plants are operating 31 reactors with a rated capacity of 23,242 megawatts. The construction of 26 new nuclear reactors in the country will increase the share of nuclear power plants in Russia's energy balance from 16 to 25-30 percent.

Russia is also one of the leaders on the global NPP market. The Russian company Atomstroiexport fulfils orders making up about 20 percent of the global competitive market and is the only company in the world that is building reactors in four countries at the same time: China, India, Iran, and Bulgaria.