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The Russian nuclear industry will need $32 billion in investment in the next 15 years
The Russian nuclear industry will need $32 billion in investment in the next 15 years, the Federal Nuclear Energy Agency said Thursday. Valery Rachkov, head of the agency's nuclear industry department, told an international conference that the sector was short on outside investment and had to be financed with its own money. "Unfortunately, there is no clearly outlined mechanism for attracting investment in the nuclear industry," Rachkov said. Last year, the industry received 5 billion rubles ($174 million) less than it actually needed, and this year, it is expected to be short 15 billion rubles ($523 million). According to the official, one of the main challenges facing Russia's nuclear industry is the need to maintain the pace of construction of new nuclear power plants while keeping energy prices low. "The price of electricity generated at nuclear power plants is always lower than at other types of stations," he said. Rachkov said the main priorities in developing the sector included upgrading existing nuclear reactors, extending their service to 15 years and raising their efficiency to 34%, developing the nuclear energy market, and increasing the generation of heat at nuclear power plants. He said that in the years to come, Russia's nuclear industry would be advanced mostly through innovative projects, including ones envisaging the development of fast neutron reactors. The nuclear industry's targeted electricity production level for 2006 is 152 billion kilowatt-hours, Rachkov said. Some 151 billion kWh of energy is to be generated this year; last year's output amounted to 145.3 billion kWh.
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