Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin is calling the launch of a new nuclear power reactor in the country part of a “renaissance” of atomic energy.

The new 1,000 MW reactor is the fourth unit at the Kalininskaya nuclear power plant in Udomlya, some 300 kilometers (about 180 miles) north of Moscow. Construction began before the Soviet Union’s collapse in 1991 and was restarted in 2007.

“Nuclear energy is on the rise. There’s a rebirth, a renaissance, of the nuclear sphere taking place right now,” said Putin

Putin, who served as president in 2000-2008 and is running to reclaim presidency in next March’s election, has approved an ambitious plan to expand the nation’s nuclear energy industry over the next 20 years.

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