2001 good, 2002 better

1 February 2002

Rosenergoatom, and the independently-run Leningrad nuclear power plant closed 2001 with a net profit of R5 billion ($160 million), according to Rosenergoatom head Yuri Yakovlev. "We saw a slight increase in net profit last year," he said. The company generated 134.9TWh of electricity last year, up 4.7% on 2000. Payments in cash and the equivalent increased to 81% of total payment compared with 47% in 2000.

Accounts receivable for 2001 totalled R26.7 billion ($870 million), down R851 million ($28 million) while payables totalled R22.4 billion ($730 million), down R7.6 billion ($250 million). Rosenergoatom technical director Boris Antonov said that the priority now was to extend the service life of 12 nuclear units that are 30 years old.

In 2001, 29 units generated a record 134.9TWh, an increase of 3.3% on 2000 (130.6TWh). The nuclear share in domestic electricity production was 15.4%, up from 14.9% in 1999. In 1999, Russia's nuclear share accounted for 14.4% (110.9TWh). The average load factor was 70.3% in 2001, up 1.2% on 2000 (69.1%). Nuclear electricity exports totalled 1.2TWh - a decrease on 1999 (3.7TWh).

Nuclear electricity generation is targeted to grow by 34% to 174TWh by 2005. Four units are currently under construction. Kursk 5, a modernised RBMK unit, is due for completion by the end of 2002. Unit 3 at Kalinin is expected to go into operation by 2003, Volgodonsk 2 by 2005 and Balakovo 5 by 2005. Kalinin 4, Balakovo 6, and Novovoronezh 6 are due to go into operation between 2006 and 2010. Construction of unit 1 of the Bashkir nuclear power plant is also expected to be resumed. All these are VVER designs. In addition, Beloyarsk 4, a BN-800 fast reactor, will be in operation by 2009. With these additions, the nuclear share in electricity production should double by 2015 to 30-35%, according to deputy atomic energy minister Bulat Nigmatulin.

Industrial production in the nuclear industry in 2002 should increase by 3.5%, according to atomic energy minister Alexander Rumyantsev. Minatom will concentrate on ensuring defence capability, improving the safety of the country's energy, economic, and ecological sector, and maintaining Russia's independence in science and technology. Special attention will be paid to anti-terrorist measures, physical defence systems, and the control and audit of fission materials. Plans in 2002 include boosting output by 6% to 144TWh, completing upgrades and service life extension work for unit 3 at Novovoronezh and Kursk 1, and continuing the work on the four units already under construction. Rumyantsev said the industry would continue building long-term dry storage for spent fuel, expand export of nuclear fuel, tighten control to prevent proliferation, and increase Russian participation in the international nuclear fuel and spent fuel markets.

Russia will continue building nuclear stations in China, Iran and India, complete construction in the Arctic and Pacific regions of on-shore terminals for used fuel unloaded from submarines, and scrap decommissioned submarines. Minatom will continue developing a new generation of reactors. It will complete the planning stage for re-equipment of the experimental, testing, computer and production bases of companies and institutes.

Minatom has drawn up an investment programme for 2002 of R33.7bn ($1.1 billion), mainly financed from off-budget sources, by depreciation deductions, targeted expenditures on providing nuclear, radiation, technical, and fire security, and funds from profits of nuclear plants and fuel cycle enterprises earmarked for industrial development. The programme for the period up to 2010 contains 123 large-scale investment projects, including 90 listed for 2002. Medium-term include constructing new nuclear power plants using existing technical designs and extension of service lives and the decommissioning of power units. Implementation will take from five to 10 years. There are also plans to increase exports of goods and services next year. In 2001-2005, exports should total $3-5 billion.

Minatom expects tariffs to grow by $0.03 per kWh in 2002. Implementation of the programme will return budget funds invested in the industry and bring in additional budget earnings in the form of tax payments amounting to R21.10 billion ($690 million) in 2002-2005.

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