Russia's Nuclear Industry is Open for Business

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"Open to all uranium-related partnerships, including assisting with plant decommissioning, Russia is becoming the Home Depot of nuclear energy."

Oil Price, John Daly

Just a year ago, the nuclear power industry saw itself on the verge of a renaissance, with worldwide concerns about global warming causing many to reconsider the merits of nuclear energy, which produces no greenhouse gases.

Events in Japan changed all that, and hit the "big three" exporters of civilian nuclear power technology hard—the U.S., France and the Russian Federation.

However, Moscow is rising to the challenge, seeing a potential silver lining in the nuclear cloud.

Quite aside from finishing Iran's controversial Bushehr nuclear reactor, Russia's nuclear industry is now offering a wide variety of services, from constructing NPPs to decommissioning them.

Russia's state nuclear concern Rosatom has formed a special company, Rosatom Finance, to provide foreign currency funding to its enterprises. Rosatom Finance will provide financial support to Russian companies involved in nuclear energy.

Working the anti-nuclear side of the street however, which has grown far broader in the last four months, Rosatom has been in discussions with Germany's Siemens on a broad array of nuclear issues, including assisting in closing down Germany's nuclear power plants. Ever upbeat, Rosatom Deputy General Director Kirill Komarov told reporters, "We can look at different types of partnerships, not just nuclear reactors, but at nuclear medicine or the closure of nuclear power plants."

Komarov's roseate comments build on more than two years of contacts, as in 2009 Siemens and Rosatom announced plans to work together to build nuclear reactors.

Russia is positioning itself to become the Home Depot of the global civilian nuclear industry, offering everything from construction to decommissioning. It would seem in Moscow that every cloud, even those laden with cesium-137, has a silver lining, or at least one lined with euros.

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