Russia’s Rosatom is hoping to tap a new
wave of demand for its products as
countries around the world prepare to
shift to low carbon fuels
The state-run nuclear monopoly,
responsible for 76 per cent of global
nuclear technology exports, is looking
to become a leader in the global energy
transition, first deputy director Kirill
Komarov told the Financial Times.
The company, which operates 36
reactors in 12 countries, is stepping up
development of small-scale nuclear
plants, wind energy, energy storage and
green hydrogen projects.
“People are no longer indifferent,”
Komarov said. “People don’t want to use
energy sources that are ecologically
uncomfortable. They have demands
and vote with money, not only with public support. I don’t think it’s fashionable,
I think it is serious.”
While some leading global economies,
such as Germany, have turned their
backs on nuclear energy, others are
looking to it to supply a “baseload” of
carbon-free electricity at times when
weather conditions disrupt renewable
sources such as wind and solar.
“With all due respect to renewables,
and we are involved in this business as
well, we understand someone has to
ensure the baseload,” Komarov said.
The Russian government is considering classifying nuclear energy as among
the “green” activities it is looking to
stimulate to counter climate change.
China and the US are also banking on
nuclear power to help them meet their
emissions targets. The EU is set to
decide this year on whether to classify
nuclear power as a potential green
Nuclear accounts for a fifth of all
energy supply in Russia, according to Rosatom, the country’s largest energy
group. The company has branched out
from its pure atomic roots. It opened
Russia’s two biggest wind farms last year
and is planning at least two large green
hydrogen projects in the country.
It is also looking to expand geographically by entering more developing
nations in need of affordable power.
The group expects its revenue to triple to Rbs4tn ($55bn) by 2030, 40 per
cent of which will come from new lines
Rosatom launched the world’s only
active floating nuclear power plant in
2019 and plans to replicate the technology for use in remote areas and smaller
nations. The company also sees potential for smaller plants in Europe given a
trend for decentralisation, with some
states considering small-scale reactors
despite well-developed national grid
systems, Komarov added.
Rosatom has continued to supply uranium to Europe and the US despite Russia’s relations with the west deteriorating in recent years. Komarov said
Rosatom “doesn’t play political games”.