Kirill Komarov, First Deputy CEO of Rosatom, Russia’s State Nuclear Energy Corporation in a recent interview of British Sky News talked on the cost of nuclear energy and other issues. The interview is as below :
Q. Is the falling price of renewables the biggest threat to the nuclear industry?
A. No. Let’s be very careful with these figures, because it’s true only partly. If you combine all elements needed to establish connection with a grid in case of renewable resources of energy, you need to pay additionally for some back up facilities. In the end you will see that nuclear is still at least twice as cheaper than wind and minimum thrice as cheaper than solar.
Q. And yet interestingly even Rosatom is investing in wind technology.
A. Yes, we are investing in wind and nuclear; and that is why I am a qualified expert about it. I see that investments in nuclear are paying more dividends because it is still cheaper.
Q. Now, it is being said that you have got an order book of something like USD 133 billion over the next decades outside of Russia. Why do you succeed over some of your big rivals like Areva from France and Westinghouse?
A. First of all our main advantage is that we cover the whole line of nuclear industry. It means we have everything at our disposal in one company starting from mining of uranium and up to decommissioning of a nuclear power plant. And honestly if we want to execute some project, we don’t even need partners. We work with partners in different countries, but we have all the resources with us.
And the second very important point is that what we are doing abroad is not first of its kind. First we try to implement new projects, designs and technical solutions in our country; and only afterwards we go abroad as working in foreign countries is definitely much more difficult than working at home.
Q. There has been a lot of criticism of the reactor technology that is going to be deployed in Hinkley Point C in the UK. What are your thoughts on that?
A. I cannot comment on Hinkley Point case, because it is not our story. But what I personally believe is that what you have today is a level of modern nuclear technology. It is safe, it is reliable and it can work minimum of 60 years from the date of commissioning. That is why I believe that it can be a very significant part of the energy balance of each and every country, especially if we take into account the goals of cutting down on carbon emissions that cannot be achieved without nuclear.
Q. Now, we were just saying that you are selling to a lot of countries abroad, but other countries, particularly in Europe think you have close ties to the Kremlin. How do you react on that?
A. You know that everybody can say that some governmental company is close to something, but I think the question is not in that. Why do we win? Because we provide to the customer a reliable solution, referential and cheap.
First Deputy CEO of Rosatom, Russia’s State Nuclear Energy Corporation