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Russia set nuclear power record

01/03/2019
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Russia’s state-owned nuclear power plant owner and operator, Rosenergoatom, claims to have set a new record for domestic power production from nuclear sources in 2018. 

Russia's domestic nuclear power plants output record levels in 2018, a major sales point for their foreign orders
(Image via Wiki)

According to the company 204 TWh were generated from their 35 reactors, supplying 18.7% of the country’s total electricity. This is up by 1.4 TWh than in 2017.

“Each fifth electric bulb in the Russian Federation is lit owing to energy produced at nuclear power plants,” the company said in a statement.

The plants leading the record figures are Kalinin (35 TWh), Balakovo (31 TWh) and Leningrad (28TWh).

The increase is in line with Rosenergoatom’s 2017 directive to improve financial performance and optimise management. Several factors have made it possible to achieve this target, including a program introduced in July 2012 to increase the power of VVER-440 units to 107%, RBMKs to 105% and VVER-1000 reactors to 110%. Rosenergoatom began upgrading reactors, using measures such as testing fuels to be able to extend reactors from an 18-month fuel cycle to 24 months. They claimed that all VVER-1000 were reaching their target levels in May 2015.

Rosatom's headquarters - Russia's state overseer of the nuclear power industry has engaged in activities to help push the output to new levels
(Image via Wiki)

It’s also benefited from state nuclear organisation Rosatom, which oversees the company and is said to have cut the cost of electricity production at nuclear power plants by 36% between 2011 and 2017, making increases more viable.

The record numbers will be a major selling point for the organisation as they drive an expansion of their foreign nuclear construction projects. Currently the company has built, or is currently building, 36 nuclear power plants in 12 countries. In 2018 these foreign orders had a value of $130 billion.

With Russia’s government potentially ending state support for construction of new nuclear units in 2020, these foreign orders are essential to the company’s financial viability, and therefore being able to demonstrate a record-breaking output domestically will be a key claim.

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