Ambitious Rosatom looks to 'ambitious' UK

06 June 2012

Russia's state atomic energy corporation Rosatom is interested in entering the UK nuclear market and is beginning preliminary work to do so, officials said at AtomExpo.

A press conference at AtomExpo in Moscow yesterday saw deputy head of Rosatom Kirill Komarov give a run-down of the company's nuclear new build projects in its domestic market as well as in India, Turkey and Vietnam. "Rosatom is interested in nuclear programs everywhere in the world," he said, "there is no country in which we will not be interested to build a plant. We are quite ambitious in this respect."

"We are monitoring the development of the British program closely and we will probably take part," said Komarov. "Great Britain has the most ambitious program in Europe and we are of course interested in this market as a company that can provide the technology and also the funds ... But to progress we need to do a lot of preliminary work, including licensing."

He said Rosatom was consulting various stakeholders but it was "premature" to talk of it joining any of the UK's current new build consortia, rejecting any link with EOn and RWE's joint venture Horizon which is entering a sale process.

The first batch of Generic Design Assessments by UK regulators are in their final stages, with two reactors currently available to those planning new build: Areva's EPR and Westinghouse's AP1000. There have been no official announcements of plans for a second batch that could include one of Rosatom's VVER pressurized water reactor models, as well as designs by other suppliers.

EDF Energy and Centrica are already planning to build four EPRs spread across the Hinkley Point C and Sizewell C sites; Horizon has progressed and is now selling its project for 6000 MWe of capacity at Wylfa and Oldbury; and the third consortia is NuGeneration, a joint venture of GDF-Suez and Iberdrola, which is planning up to 3.6 GWe at the Moorside site close to Sellafield.

Komarov noted that the UK government has approved eight sites in total as suitable for new nuclear build - leaving Bradwell, Hartlepool and Heysham available for purchase by new entrants.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News