There will be no immediate privatisation of Russia’s nuclear power plants, the Russian nuclear power minister announced. Under current conditions it would be inadmissible, he claimed. He conceded that in principle Russia could follow the example of the west, where nuclear power plants are owned by private companies.

In contrast, the Nuclear power ministry suggested the establishment of regional administrations to manage regional nuclear power programmes using sectoral and government funding. The minister hopes the national development budget can be used as backing for credit, but did not expect allocations for nuclear power in 1999.

The minister also floated the idea of the Russian nuclear industry becoming involved in building units based on European and Canadian nuclear technology. While these are not technically superior to Russian designs, he claimed, they are more attractive to investors. It was not clear if this suggestion included construction of such units in Russia itself.