Rosatom defends cost rises against Audit Chamber report

19 January 2015

Rosatom has clarified rises in construction costs that were highlighted in a report issued last week by the Russian Audit Chamber.

According to the report, Russia provided RUB184.8 billion ($2.85 billion) in state funds between 2011 and 2013 for the construction of nuclear power plants. It added that Rosenergoatom, Rosatom's nuclear power plant operator, "unequally" funded its construction subsidiaries and there were delays of up to 76 days for funds to reach the company from Atomenergoprom, the Russian state nuclear corporation's holding company for civilian nuclear assets.

The report also said that delays to the Leningrad, Novovoronezh and Beloyarsk nuclear power plant construction projects of between 12 and 38 months "can lead to more expensive projects".

Rosatom said today it has "always emphasized" that changes to construction works at nuclear power plants may lead to a rise in costs incurred, for example, from additional personnel working hours, prolonged storage of ordered equipment, and additional servicing of loans.

"The Audit Chamber of Russia reasonably pointed this out," Rosatom said today. "However, the decision to shift the construction schedule was made by the Russian Federal Government. And there were objective reasons for that decision, including the updated outlook of the Ministry of Energy, which forecasts a decline in energy consumption."

It is important to note, Rosatom said, that Leningrad II and Novovoronezh II are the first sites where AES-2006 reactors will be built. Such reactors are also planned for construction in Finland, Turkey, and elsewhere. Rosatom said it has therefore introduced additional controls to all the processes involved in these projects to ensure such future reactors will be constructed safely, on time and to budget.

"Such an approach enables us to further commission serial projects strictly in line with the approved schedule and budget," it said, adding that Rostov units 2 and 3 and Kalinin 3 were commissioned on schedule and to budget.
Commissioning of units 3 and 4 of Leningrad II has to be managed in line with the decommissioning of RBMK-type units at Leningrad I, it said.

There is no comparable project anywhere in the world to Beloyarsk-4, the 880 MWe fast neutron reactor under construction, it added.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News