Russia is the world's largest producer of gas and oil, but today it is gaining a dominant position in the production and export of nuclear technologies, according to an article by OilPrice.
While during the Cold War Russia’s nuclear industry was crucial as a deterrent in a confrontation with the opposing bloc, today it serves the country's prestige, Vanand Meliksetian, an energy consultant, writes in his article.
The worldwide construction of nuclear power plants has been involving three countries: France, the United States, and Russia. The latter is represented on the market by the state corporation Rosatom, which portfolio of orders has already grown to $300 billion. At present, the company is building 34 reactors in 12 countries around the world, while a number of other states also show their interest in possible cooperation.
Meliksetian also highlighted China, with the largest number of reactors per country currently being built there. At the same time, the expert believes that Beijing's orientation toward the export of nuclear technologies in the future will pose risks for Rosatom. And yet, despite Chinese scientific developments, Beijing still prefers Russian-made reactors.
The key to Russia's success is the terms of agreements that are attractive to clients. The contracts typically include financing the construction of a nuclear power plant, construction, delivery of nuclear fuel, as well as NPP operation. Discounts offered to customers are also important, something that competitors cannot boast.
Previously, Western corporations — Areva and Westinghouse — dominated the civil nuclear power industry. But recently they have faced a reduction in incomes and the reason for that was, among other things, the success of Rosatom worldwide. Nevertheless, the Russian nuclear industry may also face possible risks. So, in case all planned projects are implemented, Rosatom will have to deal with a huge amount of nuclear waste, the author notes. Moreover, it will have to protect these wastes from possible thefts, including by those by terrorists.