The reorganisation of Russia’s nuclear enterprises into the United Power Generating Company is under way through its merger with other federal state-run nuclear power businesses.
One of these businesses is the Leningrad plant, which was previously an independent entity answering directly to the Atomic Energy Ministry (Minatom). Leningrad Region authorities have protested against the government decree establishing the United Power Generating Company, demanding that the Leningrad plant should retain its unique position and remain an independent legal entity. However, Deputy Atomic Minster Bulat Nigmatulin believes that it is the station’s independence that has caused it to be economically inefficient.
A vital stage in preparing for the reorganisation was the restructuring of payments to federal and local budgets. Rosenergoatom has paid all current taxes to date and began restructuring on 1 September 2001. Balakovo, Kursk and Smolensk NPPs have also paid current taxes and are ready for restructuring.
Minister of Atomic Energy Alexander Rumyantsev explained that all nuclear plants are now subsidiaries of the single state enterprise. “All plants will hold bank accounts and will be able to carry out economic activities. It is envisioned that, under the statute of this unitary power generating company, the heads of the nuclear power plants will become deputies to the director general. This will allow for better involvement in the management process,” he said.
The main purpose of this change is to consolidate the investment element in the tariff. “Now, investment simply gets divided between ten legal entities and ten nuclear power plants. Therefore, the creation of the single company is not just the enlargement of Rosenergoatom, but an optimisation of sorts. Given the resources provided by the consolidated entity, we will be able to put into operation a new VVER-1000 unit at the Kalinin Nuclear Power Plant in 18 months,” he added.
Rumantsyev does not expect reform of the electrical power sector to be easy. “It may encounter difficulties, as a lot of regional interests are involved. I believe that the atomic energy sector should help this reform by providing the state with secure energy supply. This is why we have put so much effort into the construction of the next unit at the Kalinin plant and speeded up construction of the fifth unit at Kursk and the second unit at Rostov.”