Authorities have given permission for the startup of Russia's first new nuclear power plant reactor in three years, an official said Thursday.
The new unit will be at the Balakovskaya nuclear power plant in the southern region of Saratov, said Yuri Rogozhin, a spokesman for Russia's Nuclear Safety Committee.The news came on the first anniversary of a fire at another reactor at Balakovskaya. No radiation was released in the accident last March 4, authorities have said.
The Russian nuclear power industry has been in a lull in recent years, following the explosion and fire at the Soviet-designed Chernobyl nuclear plant in April 1986. But shortages of electricity have forced officials to look to nuclear power for the country's energy needs.