Sanctionaries' split'into atoms | Latest news The Moscow Post
03 October 2023

Sanctionaries' split'into atoms

By violating all the laws of market competition and the norms of decency, Western countries are ready to once again shoot themselves in the foot - now on the issue of nuclear energy.

The energy ministers of the G7 countries at the summit in the Japanese city of Sapporo agreed to create an alliance to combat the influence of the Russian concern Rosatom on the world nuclear energy.

To reduce the influence of Rosatom, Western countries will make decisions aimed at ousting the Russian company from the international energy market. This is how fair market competition looks in the view of our former Western partners. On the other hand, this is a recognition of the role of Rosatom in the world market, which cannot but rejoice.

Details - in the material of the correspondent of The Moscow Post.

It is no secret that the conglomerate of Western (and a number of eastern countries that have joined - Japan, South Korea) has practically exhausted the possibilities of sanctions pressure on our country. Until recently, nuclear power remained one of the few areas that was too expensive to "cut" even given their current relations with Russia.

The authorities of countries unfriendly to Russia agreed to undermine the control of the Russian Federation over the supply chains of Russian nuclear fuel to other countries. In order to implement the planned, the G7 energy ministers promised to accelerate work on the transition to promising new-generation reactors, which should be in words safer, more economical and more efficient in comparison with Russian new-generation reactors.

Due to which the G7 countries plan to make a breakthrough in the nuclear energy industry, taking into account the chronic problems in this industry that companies in the USA, France, Great Britain, Japan have been experiencing over the past 30 years, is not reported.

From this, it can be assumed that our Western partners will mainly focus on making life difficult for Rosatom by putting pressure on recipients of its services in other countries. That is, this is a continuation of an "open," "transparent" and "respectful" policy towards its own partners. Or rather, pressure and threats, quite in the style of the "democratic" West of our days.

Nuclear power really remained, as it were, a little outside the brackets of the confrontation with Russia. And the reasons are clear: Rosatom is building nuclear power plants around the world, supplying them with fuel, receiving and disposing of radioactive waste in Russia. This means that sanctions against him should hit not only the state corporation itself, depriving it of export revenue and technologies, but also partners.

To build and operate nuclear power plants is not to heat a boiler with coal, the process is much more complicated. However, the European authorities have already shown that they can decide to take such a step. For example, Finland has already refused to cooperate with Rosatom on the construction of the Hanhikivi-1 nuclear power plant. The solution is absolutely harmful to Finland itself. But the same can be said about the entry of this country into the North Atlantic Alliance.

From a security point of view, Finland did not get better. On the contrary, it will be forced to deal with a growing group of Russian troops at its borders, strengthen the border, invest in defense and pay its contributions to the treasury of the Alliance. However, from the point of view of market policy, this could be expected.

The same with Rosatom - the refusal of its services added problems to Finland and in the long term will lead to large costs. But from the point of view of the collective West, Finland has shown itself to be an obedient and consistent supporter of NATO's "general line," which means it can enjoy momentary benefits in the political plane.

It is noteworthy that the government that made this decision, headed by Prime Minister Sanna Marin, recently resigned, having worked on nothing. Soon no one will remember them. But the guns and missiles will remain deployed towards the Finnish border for a long time - if not forever.

Dogs bark - Rosatom works

The sanctions will mainly hit the ability to pay for the construction and operation of nuclear power plants, as well as the pliability of the authorities of those countries that agreed to place Russian power plants. Money in this area is spinning a lot: only the engineering division of Rosatom, the Atomenergomash company, now has an order portfolio of 850 billion rubles.

And it is already clear that a number of countries will not be included in the sanctions pressure on Rosatom. For example, in India, the state corporation is now working on the construction of 3, 4, 5 and 6 power units of the Kudankulam NPP. Only for the construction of 3 and 4 power units, Russia provided a loan of $4.2 billion ($3.4 billion for the supply of equipment and 800 million for the production of nuclear fuel).

So in the event of a break in relations, not only the state corporation will suffer, but also the state budget. India is unlikely to refuse to complete work on power units 3 and 4 - equipment is already being supplied. However, with 5 and 6 power units, work on which began a couple of years ago, options are possible, just as India is trying to maneuver about the supply of oil products from the Russian Federation within the framework of the so-called "price ceiling" established by Western "marketers."

This is as far as construction is concerned. But the main service that Rosatom provides to operating foreign nuclear power plants is the supply of fuel. Ukraine was the first to refuse the products of TVEL (Rosatom's fuel division) - back in 2008, Viktor Yushchenko entered into a supply agreement with the American Westinghouse.

It is American fuel that is now used at the Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant. American fuel is more expensive - in the first quarter of 2019, Ukraine paid $51.23 million for it instead of $17.5 million for Russian assemblies. I.e. almost three times more. Well, you have to pay for everything - and by and large.

However, the salt is that the United States, which supplies fuel to Ukraine at exorbitant prices, is itself dependent on Russian supplies. The corporation provides about a fifth of the enriched uranium needed for 92 nuclear reactors in the United States. Rosatom also provides the work of European utilities that generate electricity for 100 million people.

This shows the wild hypocrisy of our former Western partners. On the one hand, they are trying to put pressure on countries to oust Russia from their markets. On the other hand, the doors themselves are kept open. The same applies, for example, to the supply of fertilizers and titanium in the United States, a number of other extremely important goods.

In any case, even with a great desire and the availability of alternatives, it will not be possible to quickly conduct a sanctions campaign against Rosatom. It is also very doubtful that Turkey will refuse the services of the Russian state corporation.

The global nuclear industry depends on Russia by 14% for uranium concentrates, by 27% for conversion and by 39% for enrichment, which emphasizes the risk of safe supply. Earlier, the Canadian company Cameco wrote about this in its annual report. I.e. replacing Russia in this market will not only be difficult, but extremely difficult and expensive for all participants in the process.

Indian nuclear power plant "Kundakulam" is one of the largest projects of "Rosatom." Photo:

However, if Germany refused to supply Russian gas, purchasing it four times more expensive from the United States, then you can no longer be surprised. In its desire to punish and destroy Russia, the countries of the Western bloc are able to make any decisions against their own national interests. And the beneficiaries are still the same - Anglo-Saxon elites, who cannot miss the occasion to squeeze Russia out of all areas where it is able to compete.


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