Russia to merge nuclear firms into global giant

President Putin is set to officially unite Russia's nuclear power producers into the United Nuclear Industrial Corporation on Friday. The move is aimed at doubling the nuclear industry's share of national power generation by 2030. It's also hoped the me

The atomic industry generates a quarter of the electricity used by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) member countries. But with ecological concerns and limited availability, global production is set to increase by up to 93% by 2030, depending largely on the choices made by China and India.

Tvel, Russia’s top producer, is racing to make up for what it calls the “lost 1990s”, by tendering for contracts worldwide, from Slovakia to Taiwan and mainland China.

But the new boss of a major EU power plant, Czech Temelin, has sensationally revealed to Russia Today that Russian nuclear fuel producers should seek global contracts because foreign rivals put cost first, and reliability second.

“Russia has one big advantage over the rest of the world: product stability. Western technologies put production economies first and product efficiency second,” Milos Stapanovsky, Temelin CEO said.

Back in the big league

While Tvel fuels Temelin, the agency building the plants is Rosenergoatom. Its boss, Valery Andryutin, speaking in the Czech Republic, revealed how Russia is back among the major players.

“The nuclear industry is actually one of the few industries where Russia is truly world-class,” he said.

“Winning tenders to build big plants in the likes of Bulgaria last year and Taiwan means that for the first time Russia is challenging the world leaders,” Andryutin added.

Rosenergoatom has won around 10 per cent of nuclear plant construction, mainly in East Europe. It still lags behind Westinghouse and Europe’s Areva.

The creation by President Putin of the United Nuclear Industrial Corporation is designed to both raise the nuclear industry’s share at home, and to allow competition with the West in their own markets.

Globally, the merged company will compete to win contracts to build 40 new power plants in China, returning Russia to the big league of nuclear construction.