Friday, January 27, 2006

Russia Targets Nuclear to Provide 25% of Electricity by 2020

We've been writing plenty about Russia and its natural gas supplies over the past few weeks. Even though that nation has the largest proven reserves of natural gas (1,700 tcf or 27 percent of global reserves), it hasn't stopped officials from thinking about building new nuclear capacity. From RIA Novosti:

A member of Russia's financial watchdog said Friday that the development of nuclear power was the country's best energy option.

This statement echoes the national energy strategy until 2020 that ranks nuclear power as one of the main guarantors of the country's energy security.

"Our objective is to ensure that within 10 to 15 years nuclear power plants account for at least 25% of overall electricity generated in the country," Mikhail Beskhmelnitsin, an Audit Chamber expert, said. "We have to build 40 to 50 energy units during that period."
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2 comments:

Starvid said...

Germany close their nuclear power plants -> Demand for Russian natural gas increase -> Russia close natural gas plants to accomodate German gas demand -> Russia replace lost gas plants with nuclear power plants

Result: German nuclear power plants move to Russia, Russian gas plants move to Germany.

Cost: In the tens of billions.

The world is insane.

Jim Hopf said...

Starvid,

Not only that, but the Russian nuclear plants are, if anything, somewhat less safe.. Safety being the supposed reason for the nuclear phaseout. As you said, insane.

The developed world has a responsibility to use more nuclear power, saving the "easier" sources like gas for the less deveoped nations of the world.

To the extent that there is a (supposed) proliferation problem with commercial nuclear, it would be alleviated by using more nuclear power in the developed world (i.e., in nations that already have nuclear plants, if not the bomb itself), and less nuclear power in the developing/unstable world.

This is a point I'm willing to give/negotiate a bit on. I'd be willing to curtail the exportation of nuclear to every single tiny country, in exchange for using more of it in the established countries.