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.