Russia's nuclear power plants generated a record amount of electricity - 157 billion kilowatt/hour - in 2007, Russian Federal Atomic Energy Agency head Sergey Kiriyenko said.
"No such figures were ever recorded before in Russia or the Soviet Union," he said on Wednesday [4 June].
He stressed that the growth of production and payments to the budget "did not affect the safety of the nuclear power plants but on the contrary improved it".
Russian nuclear power plants are time and a half safer than their counterparts abroad, he said during the Government Hour in the State Duma.
According to Kiriyenko, a vertically integrated holding company, Atomenergoprom, was created a year ago. It had consolidated all civilian enterprises in the industry. The holding is still in its formative period as some of the state unitary enterprises are reorganized into joint stock companies and become part of Atomenergoprom.
The development of the country's weapons industry was also discussed in the Duma. Kirieynko did not name specific figures but assured the lawmakers that "the approved set of measures and adopted government resolutions will make the Russian nuclear industry competitive on the world market".
He also noted that the construction of two new topic power stations - Novovoronezh and Leningrad NPPs - had started in Russia in 2007 for the first time since the Soviet period.
The construction of two more nuclear power plants will begin this year, he said, adding that this pace will increase in the future.
Among achievements in 2007, Kiriyenko named the launch of the Tianwan nuclear power plant in China, the victory in the tender for the construction of the Belene nuclear power plant in Bulgaria, and the regaining by Russia's TVEL company of its leading positions on the nuclear fuel markets in Eastern and Central Europe.
This year has been marked by the decisions giving Russian nuclear products access to the world markets, particularly by an agreement with the United States on uranium supplies to the American market, and an agreement with Canada and Australia on uranium production.At the same time, the Federal Atomic Energy Agency and the Ministry of Natural Resources have increased the financing of geological prospecting ten times over the past few years. Russia ranks third in the world in terms of uranium reserves, which are sufficient enough to meet the industry's needs for 60-80 years.