The restructuring was originally proposed in 1997 and, last year, was incorporated into a revised programme for a shake-up in Russia’s nuclear industry.
However, it could be two years before a final agreement is reached on related legal issues allowing the order to be implemented, according to the Atomic Energy Ministry (Minatom).
Yuri Yakovlev, executive director of Rosenergoatom, believes a single generating company would make it possible to “restrain” electricity prices, by increasing central financial control over individual plants. Nuclear electricity is cheaper than that generated by other sources, he said, costing R352 ($12) for 1000kWh compared to R366 for hydroelectricity.
The restructured company would comprise Rosenergoatom’s present nuclear plants — Balakovo, Beloyarsk, Bilibino, Kalinin, Kola, Kursk, Novovoronezh, Smolensk and the newly-renamed Volgodonsk plant (formerly Rostov) — as well as Leningrad (managed by Minatom). Also included will be the directorates of plants under construction.