Russian regulator Rostekhnadzor has announced it is planning to prolong the construction license for Volgodonsk unit 2, in Rostov.

The current license is valid until 1 December 2007.

During a visit to the plant, director of Rostekhnadzor Konstantin Pulikovsky said the launch of the unit is scheduled for 2009.

Pulikovsky inspected the operational unit 1 as well as construction work at unit 2.

The visit was part of Pulikovsky’s tour of the Southern Federal District of the Russian Federation to check on the work of the agency’s inspectors.

Pulikovsky commented on the issue of recruitment of nuclear inspectors. He noted that some of the nuclear inspectors at the site were young – a marked contrast to the many nearing retirement age in other areas.

The construction of the second unit at Volgodonsk is being financed by the government under the Federal Target Programme for the Development of the Nuclear Power Industry of Russia in 2007 to 2010, and to 2015.

In 2007 to 2009 the project will receive over 30 billion Russian roubles (23 billion roubles from the budget) – US$1.2 billion, including $1 billion from the budget.

This year the project will get 12.5 billion roubles (7.5 billion roubles from the budget), which equates to $0.5 billion ($0.3 billion from the budget).