Some weeks ago, the Russian government decided to launch a new construction program of nuclear plants. 26 reactors will hence be built in this country by the year 2020.
This is a very large plan as it will build in only 12 years the equivalent of half the amount of reactors on French soil. A floating nuclear plant will be built and this represents a first in the history of nuclear power.
This decision was taken by the government of President Vladimir Putin for various reasons I will outline in today’s article.
The Russian energy demand is increasing as the local economic growth is going on. Last year, this was of nearly 7 percent in 2006.
The country also wants to rely less on its natural gas as it wants to increase its exports of such a precious energy source. Some European countries like Germany are increasingly relying on Russian gas for its electricity generation.
Local electricity is generated by various means. Natural gas alone accounts for 41 percent, then comes coal with 21 percent and nuclear currently bringing 16 percent. This proportion will go to around 25 percent by 2020 under the efforts made by the Russian government.
According to Engineer Live !, Russia will work in the meantime increasingly on the maintenance of current reactors :
Russia is emphasising on upgrading and maintaining its old reactors and nuclear plants to enhance the electricity generation.
Still according to the source above, this country understands the importance of energy conservation :
Russia is trying to stave off energy security-related challenges by encouraging energy-efficient consumption patterns among Russian households.
Furthermore, the Russian Confederation is exporting its nuclear technology in many countries and plans to sell even more of it in the very next years. This plan will show the technological know-how of the country on that particular matter. As a matter of fact, according to Uranium Stocks :
Currently, Russia is building more nuclear power plants abroad than any one else, constructing facilities in Iran, China, India, and Bulgaria. They are also in talks with many other developing countries about the possibility of building reactors. As for the floating reactors, Russian experts say the units have been offered to Persian Gulf states, where they could be used to run desalination plants, as well as to such countries as Indonesia, Algeria, Malaysia, and Argentina.
The pro-nuclear source notes as well :
This is probably one of the best political moves that Russia, or any other country has made so far this year. By embarking on a rapid nuclear expansion program, Russia is securing its supply of energy and therefore protecting economic growth. Similar moves have already begun in China and India as these three nations gradually emerge as the superpowers of the twenty first century.
I quite agree with them as I am firm believer that nuclear can help both developed and developing countries to answer the exploding energy demand worldwide and still to emit a minimum of carbon dioxide or other greenhouse gases.
Energy demand is due to double in the very next decades while Mankind has to cut by a minimum of a factor two the global greenhouse gases emissions, and this in order to avoid huge problems.
This is why I welcome such a move. If I had read that Russia wanted to increase by such a proportion its coal-fired plants, I would have been much less optimistic and positive.
Of course, in the meantime, other clean energy sources will have to be developed and energy conservation has to be pushed forward. But the signs given by the local government make me confident that actions will be taken to fight climate change. Russia ratified the Kyoto Protocol and as matter of fact enable it to enter into action.
- Le Figaro : La Russie veut construire une trentaine de réacteurs d’ici à 2020 ;
- Engineer Live! : Russia focuses on nuclear energy ;
- Uranium Stocks : Putin Signs To Double Russian Nuclear Power.
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