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Russian government allocates about RUB100 billion for new nuclear projects

The Government of the Russian Federation will allocate about RUB100 billion ($1.3bn) for new nuclear projects, Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin announced on 11 February.

Projects for the creation of new nuclear power facilities will receive about RUB56 billion from the National Wealth Fund (NWF), another RUB40 billion will be allocated from the budget.

“We have repeatedly discussed the issues of transition to a new energy sector, including holding a strategic session in the fall on the prospects for using hydrogen for these purposes. It is known that Russia is the world leader in nuclear energy. Active work is underway to develop renewable energy sources, including solar and wind,” he said.

“It is necessary to preserve and increase our competitive advantages, taking into account climate challenges and global warming processes. After all, dozens of countries have already announced plans to move towards carbon neutrality. The President also set a goal to achieve this goal by 2060.”

He added that considerable funds had been set aside for implementation of the plans. “State support will be provided for the development of hydrogen energy. About RUB9 billion are provided for this in the three-year federal budget. About another RUB40 billion are planned for projects under the initiative to create a new nuclear power industry. For these purposes, it is planned to allocate about RUB56 billion additionally from the National Wealth Fund.”

He concluded: “We hope that this will allow Russia to increase its presence in the global energy market. The production of equipment for solar and wind generation has already been localised. It is also necessary to create new branches of power engineering, including the production of equipment for the production of hydrogen. The creation of such capacities in the industry is necessary to increase the production of environmentally and climate-neutral products.”

According to Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak, by 2024 it is planned to commission more than 4000MWe of capacity, and by 2030, electricity generation at renewable energy facilities will increase fivefold. In 2021, 1400MW of solar and wind power plants were commissioned. This made it possible to increase the installed capacity of renewable energy facilities 1.5 times compared with the level of 2020. At the same time, electricity generation at solar and wind power plants increased 75%.

In 2021, as part of the implementation of this initiative, a draft law on certificates of origin of electricity was also developed. This will make it possible by 2023 to create a system for the circulation of certificates of origin of electricity and to confirm the origin of exactly clean electricity produced from renewable energy sources in the amount of at least 400 billion kWh a year.

In 2021, the concept for the development of hydrogen energy was approved, an interdepartmental working group and a technical committee of Rosstandart on this topic were created. Companies have already begun work on a number of major projects.

By 2024, it is planned to develop nine domestic technologies, six types of equipment for production and, in general, for hydrogen energy. A test site for equipment testing will also be created and a number of hydrogen export projects will be launched, including hydrogen production projects on the Kola Peninsula and Sakhalin.

By 2030, Russia intends to occupy up to 20% of the global hydrogen market.

Novak said the Clean Energy Project as a whole, will contribute to the achievement of such national goals as a comfortable and safe environment for life by improving the environmental friendliness of energy, decent efficient work and successful entrepreneurship, opportunities for self-realisation and talent development through the creation of new jobs and new branches of the energy industry. complex.

The New Nuclear Energy project includes the construction of low-capacity NPPs, the creation of a technological platform for waste-free energy with a closed fuel cycle, the development of the nuclear technology market and the creation of new nuclear fuel.

“The implementation of this initiative will help maintain Russia’s global leadership in nuclear energy technologies and in the fight against climate change, achieve growth in high-tech exports through new products, ensure an increase in the share of low-carbon generation in the country’s energy balance and the possibility of supplying energy to remote regions of our country,” Novak noted.

In the past 2021, as part of this initiative, the construction of a fast neutron reactor and the world’s first plant for the production of new generation fuel has already begun. The feasibility study for the investment of a small-capacity ground-based nuclear power plant has been completed, and an important step has been taken to recognise nuclear energy as clean. At the EU level, criteria have been formulated for recognising the atom as one of the green types of energy.

By 2024, it is planned to begin construction of the RITM-200 small nuclear reactor. The construction of small offshore power units for the Chukotka Autonomous Okrug will also begin. The construction of the world’s first plant for the production of new generation fuel will be completed. By 2030, Russia should take a 20% share of the world market for small-capacity nuclear power plants and 24% of the nuclear fuel market.

Source: Nuclear Engineering International