Russian nuclear company to work with China in 3 projects

Updated: 2010-09-25 17:03
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MOSCOW - Russia's state nuclear company said it is willing to cooperate with China in three key nuclear energy projects, the company's spokesman told Xinhua in a recent interview.

According to Sergei Novikov from the Russian Atomic Energy Corporation (Rosatom), the projects include the fourth stage of a uranium enrichment plant due to be operational in 2012, the extension of Tianwan nuclear plant and an experimental fast-neutron reactor near Beijing.

"Our Chinese clients have no criticism on how these projects are working, and this is pleasing to us very much," he said.

"Now we have been focusing on development of future technologies like fast-neutron tanks, which have been working out in Nizhny Novgorod," Novikov said.

"China has been interested in building the industrial, rather than scientific, nuclear reactors. This is an attractive option for further cooperation between Russia and China," he said.

"The Chinese government has planned to build nuclear capacities up to 100 GW, that is, about 100 power-generating units. This is a huge and prospective market for us," he said.

Novikov said that Rosatom was ready to compete on this market with all major world nuclear technology suppliers.

"Our advantage is that we started cooperation with China before our competitors did, and now we may present the real fruits of the cooperation," he said.

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This summer, the world's first floating nuclear power station set out from St Petersburg, noted Novikov.

The station called "Lomonosov" will first sail to Murmansk for fuel loading and later to the Far East coast where it will work permanently, he said.

The station on which Rosatom has invested 16.5 billion rubles ($533.7 million), has a generating capacity of 70 MW and should become operational in April 2012, according to Rosatom's schedule.

"There are many companies worldwide interested in this unique technology that combines electricity generation with water desalination. We expect this project, the first in the world, will start working within 20 months," said Novikov.

"After that we can start negotiations with the Chinese companies about exporting this technology," he added.

The spokesman also named a nuclear icebreaker-assisted escort of cargo ships through the Arctic Ocean.

"We expect to receive more orders for those vessel escorts in 2011 from the Chinese companies, as Russia is the only country in the world that is in possession of the nuclear icebreakers fleet, and this fleet works well," he said.