Russian Rosatom to invest $8 billion in development this year
As part of these plans Rosatom plans to build up to of five nuclear power plants, equipped with new BN-1200 reactors (which are 1200 MW sodium-cooled fast breeder reactor, which use greater size fuel elements and require a simplified refueling procedure compared to BN-600 and BN-800 reactors) and to start move active expansion abroad.
Sakharov said that the company received an offer from the Chinese government to build a new nuclear power plant on the mainland (which will be for the first time in the history of the country). The new plant is expected to be comprised of two units and will be located close to the city of Harbin.
Rosatom currently builts 3rd and 4th units of the Tianwan NPP in China and discusses the possibility of building four other units of the plant.
In addition to China, Rosatom plans to accelerate its expansion to India. According to the existing agreement between Russia and India, Rusal may build up to 15 nuclear power units in India during the next several years, including 5 in Koodankulam.
At the same time, in addition to building of new nuclear plants, the company has also not ruled out the possibility of the increase of investments in the uranium production.
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As part of these plans, the production may be resumed at Honeymoon uranium mine in Australia, which is operated by Uranium One, the Canadian company, which was recently acquired by the Rosatom. The production on the mine was suspended, due to the decline of global uranium prices by almost two times, caused by Fukushima tragedy. However the supplies of uranium to Russia from foreign fields of Rusal may be significantly complicated, due to existing Western sanctions. The same may apply to cooperation of Rosatom with the US and Canadian companies in the field of nuclear power.
Overal, the company plans to invest up to US$350 billion in its development by 2030. It is planned that the majority of funds will be provided for the building of new nuclear power plant
Currently, Rosatom has contracts for the building of 22 nuclear power plants abroad. The company’s portfolio of orders is estimated at US$100 billion for the next 10 years.
According to analysts of the Russian Ministry of Energy, Rosatom will face with a fierce competition with the US Westinghouse Electric, which aims to expand its presence in the global market, and in particular the Eastern European.
According to analysts, as part of the plans of Westinghouse, is to become a monopoly for the supplies of nuclear fuel for the Ukranian nuclear power plants for the next several years, which will take place through the building of a plant for the production of nuclear fuel on the territory of Ukraine.
At present the fuel, which is supplied by Westinghouse is only used on one of the blocks of the South Ukrainian nuclear power plant, however there is a possibility that the company’s fuel will be also supplied to Zaporizhzhya NPP already in the coming months.
Eugene Gerden is an international free-lance writer, based in St. Petersburg, who specializes on writing in the field of mining, metals and rare earth metals. ... <Read more about Eugene Gerden>