Do you run a developing country where you'd like to build and operate nuclear reactors, but you just don't have the expertise or the money?
Then you could turn to Russia for an all-in-one 60-year bargain.
State nuclear power company Rosatom "is offering a special package deal to build and operate nuclear power stations abroad in a bid to win business from developing countries, a company official was quoted on Monday as saying," Reuters reports. "The offer to 'Build, Own, Operate' (BOO), also includes financing to countries seeking to build nuclear plants."
Rosatom, which competes against the likes of Toshiba's Westinghouse subsidiary and France's Areva to construct reactors around the world, has in the past handed over the day-to-day operations of finished reactors to utilities. Now, it's offering to hang around onsite after completion.
"Under the BOO model, Rosatom not only builds the nuclear plant, but also owns it and runs it for up to sixty years," Reuters writes, citing French publication Le Figaro. "Rosatom also delivers nuclear fuel to the plants."
"With this model, we are fully responsible for the plant's security," Le Figaro quoted Rosatom deputy CEO Nikolai Spassky as saying.
Spassky said that Turkey is already following the BOO model with the plant that Rosatom agreed in 2010 to build there (Turkey has also ordered a reactor from a French-Japanese partnership).
Rosatom has agreements to build 19 reactors outside Russia, Reuters states. According to the World Nuclear Association (WNA), in addition to Turkey those countries include Vietnam, China, India, Bangladesh, Belarus, Ukraine and Bulgaria. Russia has already built nuclear plants in China, India, Iran and Ukraine, WNA notes.
It's not clear how many of the pending plants will follow the BOO model.
Russia this month announced it will invest 1 trillion rubles ($32 billion) in nuclear over the next two years alone, an expenditure that will help it expand abroad and build at home. The country plans to generate as much as 80 percent of its electricity from nuclear plants by the end of the century. Nuclear's share is about 16 percent today.
Given that Russia plans a fleet of domestic "fast reactors" that can burn plutonium, it's conceivable that it would build conventional plants abroad and ship plutonium waste from those reactors back home for use as fuel (that's my speculation).
London based market research firm GlobalData has forecast 30 percent growth in global nuclear generation through 2020 as virgin nuclear countries such as the United Arab Emirates, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Turkey, Poland and others start tapping nuclear power.
Photo from Rosatom
More Russian and global nuclear deals, on SmartPlanet:
- Realpolitik: Japan trades nuclear tech to Middle East in exchange for oil
- Russia plowing $32 billion into nuclear over next two years
- The secret U.S.-Russian nuclear fusion project
- Newcomers like Bangladesh will drive 30 percent growth in nuclear
- Russia banks on Vietnamese nuclear
- The shortest route: Russia ships gas to Japan via Arctic
- Photo captures Westinghouse's nuclear knowledge flying around China
- Virgin Nuclear? Branson asks Obama for reactor help. Sir Richard v Bill Gates?
- Westinghouse enters U.S.-China nuclear collaboration