Five new power units will be commissioned at existing Russian power plants within the next five years, according to Rosenergoatom President Erik Pozdyshev.

There are no plans to build new plants, he said, but the new units would mean that electricity generated by the nuclear power plants would account for 20% of the energy market by 2010, up from 15% at present. Units to be built in the near future include unit 2 at Rostov (Volgodonsk) and unit 5 at Kursk.

“The development of the nuclear power industry is an inevitable process,” said Pozdyshev, noting that organic fuel is concentrated in Siberia, while industry is based in central Russia. Each year thousands of tonnes of organic fuel are transported up to 6000km by rail. However, nuclear fuel deliveries were not required more than once a year. By 2010 nuclear power stations will generate 212 billion kWh of energy. The rated capacity of Russian nuclear power stations will exceed 30,000MWe, and usage will increase from 69% to 83%.