Minsk, Mar 11, 2009 (BBC Monitoring via COMTEX) -- The Russian rouble could be used to finance construction of a nuclear power plant in Belarus, the chairman of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus, Mikhail Myasnikovich, has said at the conference within the framework of the Atamekspa-Belarus exhibition in Minsk.
He recalled that a decision was taken on the possible use of the Russian rouble as a reserve currency in the CIS. "Nuclear plant construction could also be financed with the Russian currency," he said.
Myasnikovich noted that the construction cost could be lowered. "It is necessary to consider the lower world prices for energy resources when negotiating with the Russians, signing contracts with equipment suppliers, and with the companies engaged in construction of the plant. In other words, it is necessary to consider cutting expenses for one unit of capacity within the project," he said.
Commenting on the 3,000-euro price of 1 kW of installed nuclear capacity voiced by Russia, Myasnikovich said that "appetites could soar". At the same time, he stressed, the offer to review the cost of construction is not an ultimatum.
Myasnikovich also touched upon the issue of the readiness of the construction branch to construct the nuclear plant. "It is one thing to declare our intention to engage Belarusian companies in construction; quite another thing is to fulfil them," he stressed. He also noted that the issues of the readiness of domestic industry and its construction branch as well as the level of experts' proficiency are a priority.
"We need to work in this direction, otherwise we may discredit our intentions to participate in the construction of the nuclear power plant," he stressed.
Source: Belapan news agency, Minsk, in Russian 1221 gmt 11 Mar 09