Russia looks to nuclear power expansion in UK

Photo from www.rosatom.ru
Russia’s state-owned nuclear holding company Rosatom is considering building two atomic power stations in the UK through buying a $24 million stake in Horizon project.

­Kommersant daily reports Rosatom has long been interested in the U.K. nuclear industry, but this opportunity came up as two German companies, RWE and EON, said they are willing to sell their share in the project.

The Horizon project involves the building of two nuclear stations in Wales and in Gloucestershire. They are set to replace two old plants due to be decommissioned in 2012 and in 2014.

Rosatom pointed out it is interested in the Horizon project, but the final decision will be made when terms of redemption will be announced, the Kommersant Daily reports. The company also announced a tender for public relations support in order to build confidence in Russia’s nuclear projects abroad.

RWE and EON plan to sell their stake in the Horizon project due cost escalation and a longer than previously expected payback period.

The British Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) is going to establish the rate of return on investment in May, which could force the Germans to quit says Kommersant.

Though German energy companies promised to find buyers for Horizon as soon as possible, their decision has already raised concerns about the UK reform of the electricity market that includes building up to 12 new generation reactors. The country is set to cut 12 GW or 13% of its installed coal generating capacity in 2015 and a further 7GW of nuclear capacity by 2020 in order to reduce greenhouse gas emission.