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Russia To Merge Nuclear Companies

A model of what Russia hopes will be the world's first floating nuclear power station (ITAR-TASS) June 28, 2006 -- The head of Russia's atomic energy agency says Russia will merge its civilian nuclear agencies into a single state company in an effort to boost the Russian nuclear industry's competitiveness on the world market.

Sergei Kiriyenko said the new company -- to be named Atomprom -- will be created along the lines of state-controlled natural-gas giant Gazprom.

It would reportedly unite all nuclear power generation, uranium production, and uranium enrichment, as well as the construction and export of nuclear products.

(Reuters, ITAR-TASS)

Russia's Nuclear Power Sector

Russia's Nuclear Power Sector

Click on the map to view the locations of Russia's civilian nuclear power plants.

POWER OF THE ATOM: As Russia's economy recovers from the collapse of the 1990s, the government is moving forward with plans to expand its nuclear-energy sector. Russia currently has 31 civilian nuclear-power reactors in operation, with the newest being Kalinin-3, which came on line in 2004. Nuclear power accounts for 16 percent of Russia's total power generation. Three additional reactors are currently under construction.

Many of Russia's reactors are quite old. In 2000, the government announced plans to extend the working lifetime of 12 first-generation reactors. So far, seven of these reactors have been upgraded for 15-year extensions and all 12 of them are expected to be replaced by 2020.

Russia controls about 4 percent of the world's known uranium deposits, producing some 2,900 tons of uranium in 2002. Russia has four operating uranium-enrichment plants, the largest of which is located at Novouralsk near Yekaterinburg.

The government has not yet approved a proposal for a permanent nuclear-waste storage facility on the Kola Peninsula.