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What A Laugh! Russia Eyes Nuclear Power Exports To Germany

Russia may look to export energy to Germany from a new generation of nuclear plants, the country’s atomic energy agency told a German newspaper a day after Berlin confirmed plans to stop using atomic power by 2022.

Russia, which plans to build at least 28 new nuclear plants by 2030, could sell capacity from reactors in Kaliningrad on to the European Union, Rosatom Deputy Director General Kirill Komarov told Friday’s Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.

Part of Germany until 1945, Kaliningrad is a western Russian enclave separated from the rest of the country.

“We have our own needs in Kaliningrad, but we are also naturally looking at the energy deficit in the exclave — in the Baltic states, in Poland and in Germany,” Komarov said.

Construction of a first 1,082-megawatt unit in Kaliningrad is scheduled to finish in 2016 and a second should come on stream two years later, he said.

Germany’s lower house of parliament overwhelmingly approved on Thursday the country’s exit from nuclear energy, setting the seal on a policy U-turn by Chancellor Angela Merkel driven by Japan’s Fukushima disaster.

Komarov said that while Germany could afford to phase out nuclear power, many other countries could not.

“The price for nuclear energy in Ukraine is two American cents a kilowatt, whereas energy from coal plants costs six cents and that from renewable energy 11 cents,” said Komarov.

“If Ukraine were to shut down all its nuclear plants, that would be the end of the Ukrainian economy.”

German industry and the country’s neighbours fear Merkel’s change of heart on nuclear plants will raise energy costs and imperil the power supply in Europe’s biggest economy.

“Germany has the right to make this decision but it will raise the price of energy,” Komarov said.

Reuters, 1 July 2011