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  1. The Chinese would like to have a share too.
    Rosatom has an advantage in running a large-scale education program both for operators and regulators of target countries. It’s incredibly useful for countries without any existing nuclear industry.
    The Chinese reactors are probably cheaper, but then it means almost zero participation of local contractors.
    South Africa is interesting to Rosatom not only as a customer, but also as a bridgehead to the continent.

    1. One *very big* advantage of Rosatom is it’s financing options. It has offered many countries to supply about 50% of the financing. They are also potentially option to take back the used fuel, and handle it in Russia, alleviating a major source of concern for nuclear newcomers.

      About Framatome, it is actually 100% of the reactor building operation of Areva (it includes some nuclear activities initially from Siemens, but that merger was before the creation of Areva), together with Cogema that was doing fuel handling, it’s the core of Areva (and is now being sold to EDF as Areva NP).

      1. It’s interesting to note that Russia provides financing in roubles (since most of the loan has to be exchanged into roubles and spent buying Russian equipment), while the debt has to be repaid in dollars.

        1. The Russians appear to be aware of the pitfalls of today’s S. Africa and have structured their bid to avoid them.  Dan Yurman reports:

          Critics have charged that the deal came with almost total control of major energy assets being turned over to the Russians. Also they said, with some justification, that Zuma would rewards his cronies with management and construction contracts.

          The corruption is expected, but Russia is probably on top of that too and will cut the big players in while preventing lower-level graft from affecting anything important.

          The big deal is the control of energy assets.  Russia doesn’t trust the S. Africans (who are allowed to have jobs under BEE) to run the plants correctly or even safely and thus be able to repay all the loans.  Russia bypasses that by having its own people do the operations even at the cost of wounded pride.  Ownership by Moscow makes nationalization or other theft a whole lot more difficult.

          It looks to me like Rosatom knows what it’s doing.

      2. For the Turkish project they’re offering well over 50% and they’re running the plant, just selling the electricity at a set price.

        While there’s much to admire in the technical capabilities in the West and Russia I think the biggest ‘lesson learned’ for the first two decades of this century will be the advantages of having a single point of contact to handle the whole nuclear project. Contrasting Russia’s success with Areva’s troubles with the Finnish build is frankly embarrassing. It’s not technically a nuclear problem so much as a problem with corporate culture in the west that’s always looking to restructure companies to get a quarterly boost at the expense of failing to provide a stable corporate structure to run a large project through.

        1. Well, certainly Rosatom is doing better than Areva. But their record is far from perfect. Their last reactors (Novovoronezh-2-1 and Beloyarsk-4) have found important delays. Others, like Leningrad-2-1 and Leningrad-2-2, are very delayed, almost as Areva’s EPRs. And, finally, we find very embarrassing projects like the Baltic NPP (a power plant with no consumer doesn’t seem very smart) and the Academic Lomonosov (that changed dockyard, multiplied its cost and Rosatom didn’t know where to install it).

          In summary, I like Russia’s long term plan, how they deal with customers and how they’re evolving the technology. But corruption, lack of funds and embarrassing decisions are big setbacks.


      1. Egypt seems likely to be one of the more successful examples.  The Arab world in general is dysfunctional, but doesn’t seem to have any issues with hiring outside expertise when they need it.  The civil and chemical engineering work at Ras Laffan in Qatar was almost entirely foreign (I know one of the top guys on a big project there, he said the country’s name was pronounced “gutter” and deserved it), and IIUC so is a lot of the operations staff in the oil industry in Arabia.

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