MOSCOW - Russia doubled foreign orders to build nuclear reactors last year and has a $50 billion order book for the next decade despite jitters over atomic power following the Fukushima disaster, its nuclear power chief said on Friday.
State-owned Rosatom says it builds more nuclear plants worldwide than anyone else and feared that reactor meltdowns at Japan's Fukushima plant, triggered by a tsunami last March, could have prompted customers to switch out of nuclear.
"We knew that we might be facing a year of losses and we would miss out, not only on boosting our contracts, but on keeping our existing contracts," Sergei Kiriyenko, a former prime minister who heads the nuclear monopoly, told reporters.
In reality, he said, the volume of contracts to build nuclear plants abroad almost doubled last year thanks to demand from Asia.
Rosatom is building plants in China, Vietnam, India, Iran and Turkey. In January it had 21 deals to build reactors compared to 12 at the same time a year earlier, Kiriyenko told journalists in Moscow, ahead of a nuclear security summit in Seoul next week.