Russian nuclear utility Rosenergoatom plans this year to reduce its headquarters personnel by 20% and nuclear plant personnel by 10% as part of an efficiency drive.

This programme has been under way for a decade already, Rosenergoatom said on 12 February. It includes measures to both increase generation at NPPs through a reduction in repair time and upgrades and optimizing staff numbers, by allowing specialists to work at sites under construction abroad.

The policy is also being applied to non-related assets (canteens, fleet vehicles, cleaning services etc). In addition, administrative, managerial and auxiliary personnel are being reduced, "with the majority of the personnel being transferred to affiliated company Atomtrudresursy while some functions are being handed over to outsourcing". Plant maintenance personnel are being transferred to affiliated company Atomenergoremont. "Until recently, the total number of the maintenance personnel had been set too high at all plants," Rosenergoatom explains.

Most of the affected personnel will remain with Rosenergoatom, the utility said, while the rest "are being offered vacancies at facilities under construction (currently seven new nuclear units are under construction) and at auxiliary production facilities." The optimization is being carried out "in accordance with regulatory documents, which define the necessary number of personnel to ensure safe production of electricity", Rosenergoatom said.

The press service of Balakovo NPP commented on the staff reductions, noting that the "optimisation" was being achieved in several ways. These included the withdrawal of non-core assets (dining room, motors, agriculture), the reduction of administrative and managerial and support staff (including outsourcing and transfers to subsidiaries), better personal protective equipment and new safety regimes. The number of employees has also been reduced by increasing the working week from 36 to 40 hours as well as redundancies. However those needed for repair and maintenance will remain to ensure safety. Balakovo NPP plans to cut about 150 of its employees.