June 25, 2008

Russian Nuclear Industry Open to Cooperation With Foreign Investors – Ivanov

MOSCOW. June 25 (Interfax) - Russia's nuclear industry is open to cooperation with private Russian and foreign investors, Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov said in a keynote speech to the ATOMCON 2008 forum.

"The Russian nuclear sector is now open for cooperation, and not only with Russian entrepreneurs, but also foreign investors," Ivanov said.

"Russia has identified the extensive construction of nuclear power plants as one of its energy priorities," he said.

Ivanov said Russia planned by 2020 to build 26 new nuclear power plant generating units and that the federal budget would put 674 billion rubles aside for this by 2015 alone. The whole program for the development of the civilian nuclear power industry is estimated at just under 1.5 trillion rubles, he said. "In other words, in addition to large-scale state investments, we can justifiably expect significant private investment," Ivanov said.

Russia possess the full cycle of technology and expertise in the nuclear energy sphere, Ivanov said. "We're prepared to continue working with foreign partners in issues like the supply of goods and services related to the nuclear fuel cycle," he said.

Sergei Kiriyenko, head of the state corporation Rosatom, told the forum that "nuclear power is going through a true renaissance" the world over. There is no alternative to developing nuclear power due, for example, to the shortage of energy resources and the environmentally friendly nature of nuclear power, Kiriyenko said.

"In addition, the nuclear industry is a major source of innovation," he said. It is a "locomotive, which hauls a huge number of related sectors along with it," he said.

Kiriyenko also highlighted the need "to combine efforts in order to grant all countries access to the benefits of nuclear power while upholding the most stringent guarantees for the nonproliferation of nuclear weapons."

(c) 2008 Daily News Bulletin; Moscow - English. Provided by ProQuest Information and Learning. All rights Reserved.