No serious threats to safety have been registered in Russia’s nuclear industry in the last six years, Sergey Kiriyenko, director general of the county’s state nuclear energy corporation has told Russian president Dmitry Medvedev.

“We understand that we can enhance our production only if we constantly improve our safety. We have registered no single significant event at our nuclear power plants in the past years. The last event – which was not very serious though – happened in 2003,” Kiriyenko said.

“We record all – even the slightest – deviations. In the first quarter of 2009 their number decreased by 20% as compared with the same period of the last year,” he added.

Kiriyenko said that the key indicator of the safety of a nuclear power plant was the rate of automatic scrams per 7000 hours of operation. Worldwide this index is 0.49. In Russia it is 0.32, which is one of the best results in the world.

He also said that Rosatom has placed the data of its radiation control systems on the Internet, increasing transparency.

“This is very important. We must be open so as to dispel concerns and to prevent rumours. In some cases such rumours are spread by rivals as Rosatom is the biggest supplier of services,” Medvedev said.

Kiriyenko said that in 2008 Rosatom showed all-time high electricity production. “It was the biggest output we have ever shown — not only in the Russian but even in the Soviet years. The figures like the capacity factor and the export are also growing. Still we have failed to avoid the crisis: in the first quarter we registered a drop in electricity sales due to declining consumption,” Kiriyenko said.

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