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    Russia needs integrated nuclear energy structure - energy expert

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    MOSCOW, February 9 (RIA Novosti) - The formation of an integrated holding would allow Russia to become the world leader in the nuclear energy sector, a senior industry official said Thursday.

    "Such a step would allow for the implementation of Russia's strategy toward leadership in the nuclear sector and needs to attract significant investment," said Alexander Nyago, president of Russian state-owned TVEL Corporation, a leading world manufacturer of nuclear fuel.

    Nyago, whose comments came on the back of top Russian nuclear power official Sergei Kiriyenko's unveiling Wednesday of plans for developing the sector, said it was vital to conform to modern economic trends. He said the goals outlined by Kiriyenko included bringing the energy production of nuclear power stations in the country up to 25% of the total by 2030 and building nuclear power plants (NPP) abroad.

    Kiriyenko, head of the Federal Agency for Nuclear Power and a former prime minister, estimated the global market for nuclear energy at 600GW. He said the threat of an unprecedented power crisis in the country was looming, as Russian electricity consumption is increasing 50% faster than the country's energy strategy had previously assumed, with nuclear power currently accounting for 16% of Russia's electricity production.

    "Kiriyenko believes we [Russia] could target a 20% share of the international NPP-construction market, which means 60 units with a total capacity of about 60GW in the next 25-30 years. This kind of a goal requires the significant development of mineral resources and industrial capacities. These plans cannot be implemented by separate companies. Consolidation on the state level is needed to win," Nyago said.

    "I am convinced that the formation of a vertically integrated structure would raise Russia's competitiveness on the international [nuclear energy] market," he said. "These types of holdings exist and are being developed in western countries."

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