Thursday, February 08, 2007

Russia Reasserts State Control of Civilian Nuclear Sector

From RIA Novosti:

President Vladimir Putin recently signed the so-called "tunnel law," which is opening new vistas for Russia's civilian nuclear power industry.

Its official title is as follows: "The Law on the Peculiarities of Managing the Property and Shares of Organizations Using Nuclear Energy and on Relevant Changes in Some Legislative Acts." The document had previously been approved by the Duma.

The law is designed to rationalize the legal and institutional conditions for the operation of the energy-and-industry sector, and make it more competitive internationally and more attractive for investment. It separates the Russian nuclear power sector into military and civilian parts.

Leaving intact the military branch, the law aims to establish a state-controlled nuclear holding monopoly, Atomenergoprom, or Atomprom, using the industry's civilian assets. It will be a vertically integrated structure encompassing the nuclear industry's full technological cycle.

Sergei Kiriyenko, head of Rosatom, the Federal Nuclear Energy Agency, said, "The holding should integrate all stages of nuclear energy generation: uranium extraction and enrichment, fuel production, and generation, as well as all related industries, including nuclear and non-nuclear machine-building, science, engineering, and construction."

This is a revolutionary event - the state has established control over the entire civilian branch of the nuclear industry. It has revived the old but highly effective Soviet style of management: government control.
Thanks to The Oil Drum for the pointer.

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