CEIC Data Blog

Nuclear Energy Concerns in Russia

 

Russia Data Talk: As one of the top five producers of nuclear power, Russia generated an average of 14,793 million kilowatt hours (KWH) of electricity monthly from its nuclear power plants, as of April 2012. This accounts for approximately 16.8% of Russia’s total electricity generation or 17.4% of public utility electricity generation. However, the aftermath of Japan’s 2011 nuclear disaster has reinvigorated fresh debates on the safety and continued viability of nuclear energy as a major source of energy generation.

Share of Electricity Generation by Types of Power Plants in April 2012 in RussiaRussia Power Plants
Chart provided by: CEIC

Based on the Federal State Statistics Service April 2012 statistics, Russia relies on thermal power, nuclear power and hydroelectric power for an average of approximately 67.9%, 16.8% and 15.3% of total electricity generation respectively. While proportion of hydroelectric power has declined over the years in favour of thermal power generation, nuclear power continues to contribute approximately 16.8% of Russia’s total electricity generation. Due to the high technical and security requirements of nuclear power, electricity generation through nuclear power are wholly conducted as public utilities with major nuclear power stations concentrated in the Saratov, Kursk and Leningrad Region. Combined, these regions account for approximately half of Russia’s total nuclear power generation.

On the production basis, the output capacity of Russia’s nuclear power plants has expanded by 4.29% in 2010 to help boost net exports in electricity. At present, Russia has foreign nuclear energy contracts with India, Bangladesh, China, Vietnam, Iran, Turkey and other Eastern European countries. It has also made plans to increase the number of nuclear power plants all over the world. According to Rosatom, the state atomic energy agency, nuclear power generation is targeted to provide 25-30% of electricity needs by 2030 and 45-50% by 2050.

While the world hastily re-evaluating their nuclear programs after the disaster at Japan’s Fukushima plant, it brings little impact on the long term energy policy of Russia to double its existing nuclear capacity. However, in light of the tragedy, Russia has undoubtedly taken steps to perform a comprehensive safety review of all nuclear assets to increase public confidence in the development of the nuclear industry worldwide.

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By A. Dembitski – CEIC Analyst

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