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2018 described as successful year for Russian nuclear industry

The departing year is one of the most successful years for the Russian nuclear industry over the last few decades, BelTA learned from Sergei Kondratyev, Sector Head in the Economic Department of the foundation Institute for Energy and Finance.

Apart from staying strong on traditional markets – China, India, Eastern Europe – Rosatom continues expansion into new markets and new industries. In 2018 Rosatom accounted for three of the four power-generating units, which construction began across the globe. Those are the first unit of the second Kursk nuclear power plant, the second unit of the Rooppur nuclear power plant in Bangladesh, and the first unit of the Akkuyu nuclear power plant in Turkey.

Sergei Kondratyev stressed: “The happy state of affairs has been repeated for the second year in a row already. It is a unique situation for the global nuclear industry. Never before has a single vendor had such a share of the global market. Over the years Rosatom has evolved into a fully-fledged international company working in dozens of countries all over the world. New units of Russian design are being built in China, India, Bangladesh, Belarus, and other countries. The company’s current order portfolio will allow it to start building three or four units every year for the next few years. The result can be compared to the best years of the Soviet Union although nuclear power plant construction was limited to projects inside the country back then.”

Speaking about expansion into allied trades, the expert noted Rosatom contributes heavily to the development of shipping along the Northern Sea Route. The company is developing the nuclear-powered icebreaker fleet. A Northern Sea Route directorate has been created this year. Rosatom works together with other Russian companies to implement Arctic projects. In September Rosatom signed an agreement with Novatek on building and operating icebreakers powered by liquefied natural gas.

The expert believes that efforts to develop nuclear medicine, non-invasive inspection methods, and nuclear technology applications for agriculture are also important for diversifying proceeds. These segments boast higher profit margins than electricity generation by nuclear power plants. Demand for such technologies rises rapidly. For instance, the production of Cobalt 60 began at the Kursk nuclear power plant in late November.