Komarov explains nuclear's role in energy mix

18 September 2017

The perception that renewable energy is cheaper than nuclear power is only "half true", Kirill Komarov, Rosatom's first deputy director-general, said in a televised interview with Ian King, business presenter at Sky News, this week. "If you combine all the elements you need to establish connection to the grid for renewables, you need to pay additionally for some backup facilities. If you combine all these you will see that nuclear is still, minimum, twice as cheap as wind and, minimum, three times cheaper than solar," Komarov said.

The Russian state nuclear corporation itself invests in the development of wind power and "that's why I'm a qualified expert on this and I see that investments in nuclear power are more interesting because it's still cheaper".

The company has an order book worth $133 billion over the next decade, excluding its business in Russia. Asked why Rosatom is successful, Komarov said its main advantage is that it covers the entire nuclear fuel cycle.

"We have everything at our disposal in one company, starting from the mining of uranium up to the decommissioning of nuclear power plants, and, honestly, if we want to execute a project we don't even need partners. We do work with partners in different countries, but we have all the resources internally."

He added: "Secondly, a very important point is that what we are doing abroad is not first-of-a-kind. First, we try and implement all new projects, all new designs, all new technical solutions, in our country, and only afterwards do we go abroad because working in foreign countries is definitely much more difficult than working at home."

Komarov stressed that nuclear technology is safe, reliable and can operate for a minimum of 60 years.

"That's why I believe [nuclear power] can still be a very significant part of the energy balance of each and every country, especially taking in account the decarbonisation goal, which cannot be achieved without nuclear," he said.

Asked about claims of the company's "ties to Kremlin", he said that such speculation is common for any state-run company in any country.

"That's not the point," he said. "We [succeed] because we provide the customer with a reliable solution, referenced and cheap."

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News