Rosatom pursues exports and restructures

26 January 2016

Judith Perera looks at recent developments in Russia’s nuclear industry and the aspirations for the coming years.

Rosatom's 10-year order book of exports exceeded $110bn in 2015, a company source said at the end of December, adding that the target is to exceed $160bn in exports in the next two years. Export revenues for 2015 totalled $6.4bn, up from $5.2bn in 2014. Including the recent intergovernmental agreement for the construction of a four-reactor nuclear plant in Egypt, Rosatom's overseas order portfolio of currently amounts to 34 reactors in 13 countries.

Rosatom also underwent some reorganisation and restructuring in December. Rosatom subsidiary JSC Rusatom Overseas was renamed Rusatom Energy International at a shareholders' meeting on 23 December. The shareholders of Rusatom Energy International are Rosatom with 44.13% and Atomenergoprom, which manages Russia's civilian nuclear power assets, with 55.87%. The change was part of the ongoing restructuring of the company.

Rosatom announced in June that Rusatom Overseas was being split into three new companies - JSC Rusatom Overseas Inc, responsible for nuclear power plant construction projects; JSC Rusatom International, responsible for managing foreign nuclear plant construction and operation based on build-own-operate contracts, or as a shareholder in project companies; and a third company to be responsible for nuclear non-energy businesses. However, the plan to create a third company has been scrapped, Rusatom Energy International spokesperson Ksenia Loskutova, told World Nuclear News.

New-build progress

December also saw some significant developments in Rosatom's projects abroad.

The VVER-1200 reactor pressure vessel (RPV) for unit 1 of Belarus NPP was delivered to site on 25 December. The 330t component was manufactured at the Atommash works, which is now is now making the RPV for Belarus 2 of the plant. The commissioning of unit 1 is planned for November 2018 and unit 2 for June 2020.

The Hanhikivi 1 nuclear plant in Finland is also progressing. Rusatom Overseas and Fennovoima in 2013 signed a contract for the construction of Hanhikivi 1 with RAOS Voima, a subsidiary of Rusatom Energy International (former Rusatom Overseas), taking a 34% share in the project. The plant, with a VVER-1200 reactor, is scheduled to begin operation in 2024.

On 21 December, architect general Atomproekt announced it had issued the basic design documentation for the Hanhikivi project. Atomproekt, jointly with Finnish power company Fortum, has also completed some documentation required by the Finnish Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority (Stuk) for licensing the project.

Janne Liuko, licensing manager at Fennovoima told Nuclear Engineering International that the company is on track to complete submission of its construction licence related documentation to Stuk by summer 2017. It is planning to submit the Preliminary Safety Analysis Report (PSAR) for the project in 11 batches.

“According to schedule we will deliver last material in spring 2017 and we are expecting a statement by the end of the year. First nuclear works could begin in 2018," Liuko said.

By the summer of 2016 Fennovoima has to have a cooperation agreement with the owners of the spent fuel repository company, Posiva, or has to start an environmental impact assessment for its own repository. That is a precondition for receiving the construction licence.

Also in December, the main project subcontractor, Titan-2, selected Finnish firm Destia Ltd as the contractor for excavation of the pit for main buildings and structures of the nuclear power plant. The work is due in June 2017. Plant owner and operator Fennovoima recently signed a €2.0m ($2.2m) contract with Rakennusliike Sorvoja Oy for the construction of a training building for Hanhikivi project staff, which is scheduled to be completed in July.

In Asia, Rosatom in December signed a $12.65bn deal with Bangladesh to build the two-unit 2400MWe Rooppur nuclear power plant. The Russian government will provide 90% ($12bn) as a loan at estimated interest of 2.55% with a repayment period of 28 years, including a 10-year grace period. A financial contract has been initialled for signing in 2016. The aim is to have at least one unit begin operation by 2021.

At the Kudankulam project in India, the first reactor began commercial operation in December 2014 and startup of the second reactor is expected in the coming months. The general framework agreement for Kudankulam 3&4 was signed in April 2014 and a general framework agreement for construction of Kudankulam 5&6 is planned for 2016, a source in the Russian nuclear sector said in December. On 24 December, Rosatom and

India's Department of Atomic Energy signed a programme of action to localise production of equipment for Russian design nuclear plants in India.
December saw continued progress for Russia's projects in China when Izhorskiye Zavody, part of the group OMZ, shipped off the VVER-1000 RPV for Tianwan 4. Izhorskiye Zavody is producing equipment for the primary circuit of the VVER-1000 reactors for Tianwan 3&4 under a 2010 contract. The RPV for Tianwan 3 was shipped to the customer in October.

The project to build further reactors at Bushehr in Iran also moved forward recently. Atomenergoproekt received an order for development of the Bushehr II detailed design (units 2 and 3 with VVER-1000 reactors). According to the notice published on Rosatom's procurement website on 24 December, the contract price is RUB4.3bn ($61.2m). However, the contract allows for price adjustments through a supplemental contract "after the relevant services of Rosatom analyse the materials submitted by the chief designer of the reactor plant (OKB Gidropress), which justify the cost of the detailed design."

The contract runs from 30 December 2015 until 30 July 2018. Bushehr II will be built to the advanced design AES-92. In November 2014, Russia and Iran signed a set of agreements to build eight nuclear power units in Iran. ¦

Tianwan site in China
Production of the Belarusian VVER-1200 reactor vessel from the start of forging supply to the shipment took 840 days.

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