Target Market Examples

Elon Glucklich

Elon Glucklich

7 min. read

Updated March 20, 2024

Imagine your dream is to own a diner.

You have restaurant experience and a great location in mind – you just need the bank to approve your loan to get started.

But the bank has questions. A big one it wants answered is: who is your target market?

It might be tempting just to say, “hungry diners.” But you’ll need to dig deeper to truly define your target market . 

In this article, we’ll use this diner scenario to walk through the market research process and illustrate what the final result could look like.

Questions about your target market

Before you even set foot in the bank, you should already have asked – and taken steps to answer – several key questions about your target market.

Let’s call our example business the Bplans Diner. Where is that perfect location you’ve found for the diner? Is it in a densely populated urban area, suburban neighborhood, or rural?

What are your hours of operation? Some diners cater to a breakfast crowd, while others might offer 24-hour dining to be a favorite among night owls. When you expect your peak hours could help determine whether you should expect to sell more omelets or hamburgers.

What’s the area’s median income, and what types of businesses or institutions are nearby? This information will help you determine pricing and marketing strategies for your diner. For instance, if your diner is located in a business district, you may want to offer lunch specials. But if it’s near a college or university, you might want to offer student discounts.

This is what a thorough target market analysis looks like, providing key insights and data to pinpoint the specific groups of customers most likely to patronize your diner. Gathering all of this information may sound intimidating, but it’s really just a matter of doing research. If you need help and guidance, check out our complete guide to conducting market research for your business . 

Let’s look at an example of a target market analysis for this diner. Then, we’ll break it down and discuss each element in detail.

Example of a target market analysis

business plan target market

As you can see, the target market analysis follows the basic market segmentation process of splitting out potential customers into their demographic, geographic, psychographic and behavioral traits.

Next, let’s take a look at each in more detail. Afterward, we’ll look at how you can harness your target market analysis into actual business strategies.

  • Demographic

You may have noticed that the demographic analysis in our example is very broad – 18 to 65 years old, including students, workers, and some seniors.

Finding your target market isn’t always about identifying a narrow demographic to cater to. In the case of a restaurant, it makes sense to focus on the geographic location and who currently frequents the area (more on that in the next section).

A different approach may be needed for a technology product that’s sold online. In that case, narrowing the demographic focus to specific age ranges or needs would be much more important than where the business is located.

In the case of the diner, we reached our decision by conducting a demographic analysis, examining the age ranges, occupations, and other concrete data points about potential customers near the proposed location (Reminder: we didn’t do this for the Bplans Diner, we’re just providing an example). 

There are several ways to go about collecting this information for your business. The most straightforward is to get out in the neighborhood, take a look around and talk to people. Are you mostly seeing students, or families? Are there a lot of office workers in the area? 

You can also look up data from the U.S. Census Bureau , which includes population, age, income and other useful information, often down to the neighborhood level.

After conducting this research, one valuable step is to create a detailed customer persona that represents the typical customer you expect for your business (we provide an example of a customer persona for the diner further down in this article).

While the demographic analysis considers the type of people who might frequent your business, the geographic analysis considers the characteristics of the neighborhood itself. 

Our target market analysis for Bplans Diner noted that we plan to operate in an urban area near a university with heavy foot traffic and expect a fair amount of late-night diners.

A key reason for examining the geographic makeup of your businesses is to size up your competition. If there’s already a popular diner in the area you plan to target, getting customers could be a major challenge. But if there’s a lack of dining options or no one is serving diner-style food, you’re more likely to be successful. Determining the size of your market will help you create reasonable revenue projections. 

We also mentioned the plan for Bplans Diner to cater to a late-night crowd. Examining the geographic makeup of the neighborhood will help you determine if there are the kinds of businesses – bars, music venues, or businesses such as hospitals where people are working all hours – to justify targeting this group.

  • Psychographic

You know the demographics and geographic characteristics of your market. Now it’s time to consider the attitudes and values of your potential customers.

The psychographic analysis helps to understand the lifestyle of potential customers and how that might affect their preferences as consumers. If many of your potential customers are health-conscious, for instance, you’ll want to ensure your diner provides options like salads or gluten-free menu items. But if most customers are families looking for a place to bring their children, it may be important to keep classic items like hamburgers and french fries on the menu.

The best way to understand your potential customers’ attitudes is to get out and talk to them. Customer interviews are among the most powerful methods of validating a business idea , since you’ll get honest, real-time feedback from the kinds of people your business would depend on.

Finally, the behavioral analysis expands on customer psychographics by examining what customers do, given their values. This is another place where it’s worth considering the broad demographics of the diner’s target market – 18 to 65 years old, split among students, workers, and seniors.

They may all want the diner’s food, but their behaviors will vary widely. College students might be looking for a late-night study spot, or a place to meet up with friends for dinner before a concert or sporting event. But workers and seniors might be more interested in breakfast or lunch specials. 

Each of these behaviors gives a business owner valuable information to target individual segments of their target audience. For instance, you might want to play popular music in the evenings to get young diners ready for a night out on the town. But you’ll want a quieter ambiance at the time of day when seniors are most likely to come in. The environment can be adjusted based on when certain customers frequent the business.

Addressing behavioral aspects like buying motivations and concerns of your potential customers will also help you effectively market your diner. For example, you could create marketing campaigns based on student discounts, late-night specials, or a family-friendly atmosphere, depending on your customers’ behaviors.

Connecting a target market analysis to business strategy

So far, we’ve touched on each of the components of a target market analysis for a diner: customer demographics, geographics, psychographics, and behaviors. (It’s also important to conduct an industry analysis to understand competitive and macroeconomic forces affecting your planning.)

With the target market analysis complete, you’re better equipped to demonstrate a thorough understanding of your customers to a lender.

Here are a few insights a business owner could use for the Bplans Diner, developed through the above analysis.

  • Bplans Diner Competitive Analysis

Market Trends: Growing demand for late-night food options, increasing preference for healthy dining options.

Competitor Strengths and Weaknesses:

Competitor A: Strong brand but limited menu options.

Competitor B: Wide variety of options but lacking in ambiance.

  • Bplans Diner Marketing Strategy

Product Differentiation: Offering a diverse menu that caters to various preferences, including healthy options.

Positioning: Establishing Bplans Diner as a reliable, quality, 24-hour dining option in the region.

Promotion: Utilizing social media to announce special night-time deals and promotions.

Get started with your business plan template

A target market analysis is a key part of any business plan. But it’s just one piece. At Bplans, we take some of the pain out of business planning. We’ve developed a free business planning template to help reduce entrepreneurs’ time to create a full, lender-ready business plan. Bplans has also collected over 550 free sample business plans across numerous industries. Find a plan in your industry to get inspiration for your plan.

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Content Author: Elon Glucklich

Elon is a marketing specialist at Palo Alto Software, working with consultants, accountants, business instructors and others who use LivePlan at scale. He has a bachelor's degree in journalism and an MBA from the University of Oregon.

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How to Write a Business Plan: Target Market Analysis

The Business Plan and the Importance of Defining Your Target Market

Susan Ward wrote about small businesses for The Balance for 18 years. She has run an IT consulting firm and designed and presented courses on how to promote small businesses.

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Conducting a Market Analysis

Polling your target market, writing the market analysis, online tools for market research, u.s. online market research sources, canadian online market research, local sources of market research, doing your own market research.

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The market analysis is basically the target market section of your business plan . It is a thorough examination of the ideal people to whom you intend to sell your products or services.  

Even if you intend on selling a product or service only in your community, you won't be selling that service to everyone who lives there. Knowing exactly what type(s) of people might be interested in buying your product or service and how many of them reside in your projected area or region is fundamental in creating your market analysis.

Once target market data has been established, you'll also work on sales projections within specific time frames, as well as how prospective sales might be affected by trends and policies.

Research is key and cornerstone of any solid  business plan .

Don't Skip This Step!

Don't skip market research; otherwise, you could end up starting a business that doesn't have a paying market.

Use these general terms as linchpins in research data for the market analysis section of your business plan, and to identify your target market:

But don't stop here. To succinctly define your target market, poll or survey members of your prospective clients or customers to ask specific questions directly related to your products or services. For instance, if you plan to sell computer-related services, ask questions relating to the number of computing devices your prospective customers own and how often they require servicing. If you plan on selling garden furniture and accessories, ask what kinds of garden furniture or accessories your potential customers have bought in the past, how often, and what they expect to buy within the next one, three, and five years.

Answers to these and other questions related to your market are to help you understand your market potential.

The goal of the information you collect is to help you project how much of your product or service you'll be able to sell. Review these important questions you need to try to answer using the data you collect:

  • What proportion of your target market has used a product similar to yours before?
  • How much of your product or service might your target market buy? (Estimate this in gross sales and/or in units of product/service sold.)
  • What proportion of your target market might be repeat customers?
  • How might your target market be affected by demographic shifts?
  • How might your target market be affected by economic events (e.g. a local mill closing or a big-box retailer opening locally)?
  • How might your target market be affected by larger socio-economic trends?
  • How might your target market be affected by government policies (e.g. new bylaws or changes in taxes)?

One purpose of the market analysis is to ensure you have a viable business idea.

Find Your Buying Market

Use your market research to make sure people don't just like your business idea, but they're also willing to pay for it.

If you have information suggesting that you have a large enough market to sustain your business goals, write the market analysis in the form of several short paragraphs using appropriate headings for each. If you have several target markets, you may want to number each. 

Sections of your market analysis should include:

  • Industry Description and Outlook
  • Target Market
  • Market Research Results
  • Competitive Analysis

Remember to properly cite your sources of information within the body of your market analysis as you write it. You and other readers of your business plan, such as potential investors, will need to know the sources of the statistics or opinions that you've gathered.

There are several online resources to learn if your business idea is something worth pursing, including:

  • Keyword searches can give you an overall sense of potential demand for your product or service based on the number of searches.
  • Google Trends analysis can tell you how the number of searches has changed over time.
  • Social media campaigns can give you an indication of the potential customer interest in your business idea.

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has information on doing your market research and analysis , as well as a list of free small business data and trends resources you can use to conduct your research. Consider these sources for data collection:

  • SBA  Business Data and Statistics  
  • The U.S. Census Bureau maintains a huge database of demographic information that is searchable by state, county, city/town, or zip code using its census data tool . Community, housing, economic, and population surveys are also available.
  • The U.S. Department of Commerce Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) has extensive statistics on the economy including consumer income/spending/consumption, business activity, GDP, and more, all of which are searchable by location.

The Government of Canada offers a guide on doing market research and tips for understanding the data you collect. Canadian data resources include:

  • Statistics Canada  offers demographic and economic data.
  • The  Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC)  offers market research and consulting with industry experts.
  • The Canada Business Network provides business information to entrepreneurs by province/territory, including market research data.

There are also a great many local resources for building target market information to explore, including:

  • Local library
  • Local Chamber of Commerce
  • Board of Trade
  • Economic Development Centre
  • Local government agent's office
  • Provincial business ministry
  • Local phone book

All of these will have information helpful in defining your target market and providing insights into trends.

The above resources are secondary sources of information, in which others have collected and compiled the data. To get specific information about your business, consider conducting your own market research . For instance, you might want to design a questionnaire and survey your target market to learn more about their habits and preferences relating to your product or service.

Market research is time-consuming but is an important step in affording your business plan validity. If you don't have the time or the research skills to thoroughly define your target market yourself, hiring a person or firm to do the research for you can be a wise investment.​

Small Business Administration. " Market Research and Competitive Analysis. " Accessed Jan. 13, 2020.

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How to Write a Market Analysis for a Business Plan

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A lot of preparation goes into starting a business before you can open your doors to the public or launch your online store. One of your first steps should be to write a business plan . A business plan will serve as your roadmap when building your business.

Within your business plan, there’s an important section you should pay careful attention to: your market analysis. Your market analysis helps you understand your target market and how you can thrive within it.

Simply put, your market analysis shows that you’ve done your research. It also contributes to your marketing strategy by defining your target customer and researching their buying habits. Overall, a market analysis will yield invaluable data if you have limited knowledge about your market, the market has fierce competition, and if you require a business loan. In this guide, we'll explore how to conduct your own market analysis.

How to conduct a market analysis: A step-by-step guide

In your market analysis, you can expect to cover the following:

Industry outlook

Target market

Market value


Barriers to entry

Let’s dive into an in-depth look into each section:

Step 1: Define your objective

Before you begin your market analysis, it’s important to define your objective for writing a market analysis. Are you writing it for internal purposes or for external purposes?

If you were doing a market analysis for internal purposes, you might be brainstorming new products to launch or adjusting your marketing tactics. An example of an external purpose might be that you need a market analysis to get approved for a business loan .

The comprehensiveness of your market analysis will depend on your objective. If you’re preparing for a new product launch, you might focus more heavily on researching the competition. A market analysis for a loan approval would require heavy data and research into market size and growth, share potential, and pricing.

Step 2: Provide an industry outlook

An industry outlook is a general direction of where your industry is heading. Lenders want to know whether you’re targeting a growing industry or declining industry. For example, if you’re looking to sell VCRs in 2020, it’s unlikely that your business will succeed.

Starting your market analysis with an industry outlook offers a preliminary view of the market and what to expect in your market analysis. When writing this section, you'll want to include:

Market size

Are you chasing big markets or are you targeting very niche markets? If you’re targeting a niche market, are there enough customers to support your business and buy your product?

Product life cycle

If you develop a product, what will its life cycle look like? Lenders want an overview of how your product will come into fruition after it’s developed and launched. In this section, you can discuss your product’s:

Research and development

Projected growth

How do you see your company performing over time? Calculating your year-over-year growth will help you and lenders see how your business has grown thus far. Calculating your projected growth shows how your business will fare in future projected market conditions.

Step 3: Determine your target market

This section of your market analysis is dedicated to your potential customer. Who is your ideal target customer? How can you cater your product to serve them specifically?

Don’t make the mistake of wanting to sell your product to everybody. Your target customer should be specific. For example, if you’re selling mittens, you wouldn’t want to market to warmer climates like Hawaii. You should target customers who live in colder regions. The more nuanced your target market is, the more information you’ll have to inform your business and marketing strategy.

With that in mind, your target market section should include the following points:


This is where you leave nothing to mystery about your ideal customer. You want to know every aspect of your customer so you can best serve them. Dedicate time to researching the following demographics:

Income level

Create a customer persona

Creating a customer persona can help you better understand your customer. It can be easier to market to a person than data on paper. You can give this persona a name, background, and job. Mold this persona into your target customer.

What are your customer’s pain points? How do these pain points influence how they buy products? What matters most to them? Why do they choose one brand over another?

Research and supporting material

Information without data are just claims. To add credibility to your market analysis, you need to include data. Some methods for collecting data include:

Target group surveys

Focus groups

Reading reviews

Feedback surveys

You can also consult resources online. For example, the U.S. Census Bureau can help you find demographics in calculating your market share. The U.S. Department of Commerce and the U.S. Small Business Administration also offer general data that can help you research your target industry.

Step 4: Calculate market value

You can use either top-down analysis or bottom-up analysis to calculate an estimate of your market value.

A top-down analysis tends to be the easier option of the two. It requires for you to calculate the entire market and then estimate how much of a share you expect your business to get. For example, let’s assume your target market consists of 100,000 people. If you’re optimistic and manage to get 1% of that market, you can expect to make 1,000 sales.

A bottom-up analysis is more data-driven and requires more research. You calculate the individual factors of your business and then estimate how high you can scale them to arrive at a projected market share. Some factors to consider when doing a bottom-up analysis include:

Where products are sold

Who your competition is

The price per unit

How many consumers you expect to reach

The average amount a customer would buy over time

While a bottom-up analysis requires more data than a top-down analysis, you can usually arrive at a more accurate calculation.

Step 5: Get to know your competition

Before you start a business, you need to research the level of competition within your market. Are there certain companies getting the lion’s share of the market? How can you position yourself to stand out from the competition?

There are two types of competitors that you should be aware of: direct competitors and indirect competitors.

Direct competitors are other businesses who sell the same product as you. If you and the company across town both sell apples, you are direct competitors.

An indirect competitor sells a different but similar product to yours. If that company across town sells oranges instead, they are an indirect competitor. Apples and oranges are different but they still target a similar market: people who eat fruits.

Also, here are some questions you want to answer when writing this section of your market analysis:

What are your competitor’s strengths?

What are your competitor’s weaknesses?

How can you cover your competitor’s weaknesses in your own business?

How can you solve the same problems better or differently than your competitors?

How can you leverage technology to better serve your customers?

How big of a threat are your competitors if you open your business?

Step 6: Identify your barriers

Writing a market analysis can help you identify some glaring barriers to starting your business. Researching these barriers will help you avoid any costly legal or business mistakes down the line. Some entry barriers to address in your marketing analysis include:

Technology: How rapid is technology advancing and can it render your product obsolete within the next five years?

Branding: You need to establish your brand identity to stand out in a saturated market.

Cost of entry: Startup costs, like renting a space and hiring employees, are expensive. Also, specialty equipment often comes with hefty price tags. (Consider researching equipment financing to help finance these purchases.)

Location: You need to secure a prime location if you’re opening a physical store.

Competition: A market with fierce competition can be a steep uphill battle (like attempting to go toe-to-toe with Apple or Amazon).

Step 7: Know the regulations

When starting a business, it’s your responsibility to research governmental and state business regulations within your market. Some regulations to keep in mind include (but aren’t limited to):

Employment and labor laws


Environmental regulations

If you’re a newer entrepreneur and this is your first business, this part can be daunting so you might want to consult with a business attorney. A legal professional will help you identify the legal requirements specific to your business. You can also check online legal help sites like LegalZoom or Rocket Lawyer.

Tips when writing your market analysis

We wouldn’t be surprised if you feel overwhelmed by the sheer volume of information needed in a market analysis. Keep in mind, though, this research is key to launching a successful business. You don’t want to cut corners, but here are a few tips to help you out when writing your market analysis:

Use visual aids

Nobody likes 30 pages of nothing but text. Using visual aids can break up those text blocks, making your market analysis more visually appealing. When discussing statistics and metrics, charts and graphs will help you better communicate your data.

Include a summary

If you’ve ever read an article from an academic journal, you’ll notice that writers include an abstract that offers the reader a preview.

Use this same tactic when writing your market analysis. It will prime the reader of your market highlights before they dive into the hard data.

Get to the point

It’s better to keep your market analysis concise than to stuff it with fluff and repetition. You’ll want to present your data, analyze it, and then tie it back into how your business can thrive within your target market.

Revisit your market analysis regularly

Markets are always changing and it's important that your business changes with your target market. Revisiting your market analysis ensures that your business operations align with changing market conditions. The best businesses are the ones that can adapt.

Why should you write a market analysis?

Your market analysis helps you look at factors within your market to determine if it’s a good fit for your business model. A market analysis will help you:

1. Learn how to analyze the market need

Markets are always shifting and it’s a good idea to identify current and projected market conditions. These trends will help you understand the size of your market and whether there are paying customers waiting for you. Doing a market analysis helps you confirm that your target market is a lucrative market.

2. Learn about your customers

The best way to serve your customer is to understand them. A market analysis will examine your customer’s buying habits, pain points, and desires. This information will aid you in developing a business that addresses those points.

3. Get approved for a business loan

Starting a business, especially if it’s your first one, requires startup funding. A good first step is to apply for a business loan with your bank or other financial institution.

A thorough market analysis shows that you’re professional, prepared, and worth the investment from lenders. This preparation inspires confidence within the lender that you can build a business and repay the loan.

4. Beat the competition

Your research will offer valuable insight and certain advantages that the competition might not have. For example, thoroughly understanding your customer’s pain points and desires will help you develop a superior product or service than your competitors. If your business is already up and running, an updated market analysis can upgrade your marketing strategy or help you launch a new product.

Final thoughts

There is a saying that the first step to cutting down a tree is to sharpen an axe. In other words, preparation is the key to success. In business, preparation increases the chances that your business will succeed, even in a competitive market.

The market analysis section of your business plan separates the entrepreneurs who have done their homework from those who haven’t. Now that you’ve learned how to write a market analysis, it’s time for you to sharpen your axe and grow a successful business. And keep in mind, if you need help crafting your business plan, you can always turn to business plan software or a free template to help you stay organized.

This article originally appeared on JustBusiness, a subsidiary of NerdWallet.

On a similar note...

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What Is a Target Market (And How to Find Yours)

The better you understand your target market, the more you’ll be able to focus your ads and reach the audience most likely to convert into customers.

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Your target market sets the tone for your entire marketing strategy — from how you develop and name your products or services right through to the marketing channels you use to promote them.

Here’s a hint before we dig in: Your target market is not “everyone” ( unless you’re Google ). Your task in defining your target market is to identify and understand a smaller, relevant niche so you can dominate it. It’s all about narrowing your focus while expanding your reach.

In this guide, we’ll help you learn who’s already interacting with your business and your competitors, then use that information to develop a clear target market as you build your brand .

Bonus: Get the free template to easily craft a detailed profile of your ideal customer and/or target audience.

What is a target market?

A target market is the specific group of people you want to reach with your marketing message . They are the people who are most likely to buy your products or services, and they are united by some common characteristics, like demographics and behaviors.

The more clearly you define your target market, the better you can understand how and where to reach your ideal potential customers. You can start with broad categories like millennials or single dads, but you need to get much more detailed than that to achieve the best possible conversion rates.

Don’t be afraid to get highly specific. This is all about targeting your marketing efforts effectively, not stopping people from buying your product.

People who are not included in your targeted marketing can still buy from you—they’re just not your top focus when crafting your marketing strategy. You can’t target everyone, but you can sell to everyone.

Your target market should be based on research, not a gut feeling . You need to go after the people who really want to buy from you, even if they’re not the customers you originally set out to reach.

What is target market segmentation?

Target market segmentation is the process of dividing your target market into smaller, more specific groups. It allows you to create a more relevant marketing message for each group.

Remember — you can’t be all things to all people. But you can be different things to different groups of people.

For example, as a vegetarian, I’ve eaten plenty of Impossible Burgers. I’m definitely a target customer. But vegetarians are a surprisingly small target market segment for Impossible Foods: only 10% of their customer base.

That’s why Impossible Foods’ first national advertising campaign was definitely not targeted at me:

The target market segment for this ad campaign was “meat eaters who haven’t yet tried Impossible products.”

Vegetarians and meat eaters have different reasons for eating plant-based burgers and want different things from the experience. Target market segmentation ensures the company reaches the right audience with the right message.

How to define your target market

Step 1. compile data on your current customers.

A great first step in figuring out who most wants to buy from you is to identify who is already using your products or services. Once you understand the defining characteristics of your existing customer base, you can go after more people like that.

Depending on how someone connects with your business, you might have only a little information about them, or a lot.

This doesn’t mean you should add a lot of questions to your order or opt-in process just for audience research purposes — this can annoy customers and result in abandoned shopping carts.

But do be sure to use the information you naturally acquire to understand trends and averages .

Your CRM is a goldmine here. UTM parameters combined with Google Analytics can also provide useful information about your customers.

Some data points you might want to consider are:

  • Age: You don’t need to get too specific here. It won’t likely make a difference whether your average customer is 24 or 27. But knowing which decade of life your customers are in can be very useful.
  • Location (and time zone): Where in the world do your existing customers live? In addition to understanding which geographic areas to target, this helps you figure out what hours are most important for your customer service and sales reps to be online, and what time you should schedule your social ads and posts to ensure best visibility.
  • Language: Don’t assume your customers speak the same language you do. And don’t assume they speak the dominant language of their (or your) current physical location.
  • Spending power and patterns: How much money do your current customers have to spend? How do they approach purchases in your price category?
  • Interests: What do your customers like to do, besides using your products or services? What TV shows do they watch? What other businesses do they interact with?
  • Challenges: What pain points are your customers facing? Do you understand how your product or service helps them address those challenges?
  • Stage of life: Are your customers likely to be college students? New parents? Parents of teens? Retirees?

If you’re selling B2B products, your categories will look a little different. You might want to collect information about the size of businesses that buy from you, and information about the titles of the people who tend to make the buying decisions. Are you marketing to the CEO? The CTO? The social marketing manager?

Step 2. Incorporate social data

Social media analytics can be a great way of filling out the picture of your target market. They help you understand who’s interacting with your social accounts, even if those people are not yet customers.

These people are interested in your brand. Social analytics can provide a lot of information that might help you understand why. You’ll also learn about potential market segments you may not have thought to target before.

You can also use social listening to help identify the people who are talking about you and your product on social media, even if they don’t follow you.

If you want to reach your target market with social ads, lookalike audiences are an easy way to reach more people who share characteristics with your best customers.

Step 3. Check out the competition

Now that you know who’s already interacting with your business and buying your products or services, it’s time to see who’s engaging with the competition.

Knowing what your competitors are up to can help you answer some key questions:

  • Are your competitors going after the same target market segments as you are?
  • Are they reaching segments you hadn’t thought to consider?
  • How are they positioning themselves?

Our guide on how to do competitor research on social media walks you through the best ways to use social tools to gather competitor insights.

You won’t be able to get detailed audience information about the people interacting with your competitors, but you’ll be able to get a general sense of the approach they’re taking and whether it’s allowing them to create engagement online.

This analysis will help you understand which markets competitors are targeting and whether their efforts appear to be effective for those segments.

Step 4. Clarify the value of your product or service

This comes down to the key distinction all marketers must understand between features and benefits. You can list the features of your product all day long, but no one will be convinced to buy from you unless you can explain the benefits .

Features are what your product is or does. The benefits are the results. How does your product make someone’s life easier, or better, or just more interesting?

If you don’t already have a clear list of the benefits of your product, it’s time to start brainstorming now. As you create your benefit statements, you’ll also by default be stating some basic information about your target audience.

For example, if your service helps people find someone to look after their pets while they’re away, you can be pretty confident that your market will have two main segments: (1) pet owners and (2) existing or potential pet-sitters.

If you’re not sure exactly how customers benefit from using your products, why not ask them in a survey, or even a social media poll ?

You might find that people use your products or services for purposes you haven’t even thought of. That might, in turn, change how you perceive your target market for future sales.

Step 5. Create a target market statement

Now it’s time to boil everything you’ve discovered so far into one simple statement that defines your target market. This is actually the first step in creating a brand positioning statement , but that’s a project for another day. For now, let’s stick to creating a statement that clearly defines your target market.

For example, here’s Zipcar’s brand positioning statement, as cited in the classic marketing text Kellogg on Marketing . We’re interested in the first part of the statement, which defines the target market:

“To urban-dwelling, educated, techno-savvy consumers who worry about the environment that future generations will inherit, Zipcar is the car-sharing service that lets you save money and reduce your carbon footprint, making you feel you’ve made a smart, responsible choice that demonstrates your commitment to protecting the environment.”

Zipcar is not targeting all residents of a particular city. They’re not even targeting all the people in a given city who don’t own a car. They’re specifically targeting people who:

  • live in an urban area
  • have a certain degree of education
  • are comfortable with technology
  • are concerned about the environment

These are all interests and behaviors that Zipcar can specifically target using social content and social ads .

View this post on Instagram A post shared by Zipcar (@zipcar)

They also help to guide the company’s overall approach to its service, as evidenced by the rest of the positioning statement.

When crafting your target market statement, try to incorporate the most important demographic and behavior characteristics you’ve identified. For example:

Our target market is [gender(s)] aged [age range], who live in [place or type of place], and like to [activity].

Don’t feel like you need to stick to these particular identifiers. Maybe gender is irrelevant for your market, but you have three or four key behaviors to incorporate in your statement.

If you offer multiple products or services, you might need to create a target market statement for each market segment. In this case, it’s useful to define buyer personas .

Target market examples

Nike target market.

Despite its current market domination, Nike actually provides a great example of what can go wrong when you try to target too general of an audience.

Nike started out as a running shoe company. In the 1980s, they tried to expand their target market beyond runners to include anyone who wanted comfortable shoes. They launched a line of casual shoes, and it flopped.

Here’s the thing: Non-runners were already buying Nike shoes to walk to work, or for other casual purposes. Nike spotted this as an opportunity to expand. Instead, they diluted their brand promise, and the company actually started losing money.

The lesson, according to company founder Phil Knight?

“Ultimately, we determined that we wanted Nike to be the world’s best sports and fitness company and the Nike brand to represent sports and fitness activities. Once you say that, you have focus.”

While Nike would certainly not stop casual users from buying its shoes, the company refocused everything from product development to marketing on its target market: athletes of all levels, from pro to beer league.

In fact, understanding the importance of focus led Nike into a highly effective strategy of target market segmentation. The brand has multiple target markets for its various product lines.

On social, that means they use multiple accounts to reach their different target market groups. No one account tries to be all things to all customers.

The post below from Nike’s general Instagram account targets the segment of their audience interested in fashion and lifestyle products.

View this post on Instagram A post shared by Nike Basketball (@nikebasketball)

But the company also has channels dedicated to specific sports. Here’s an example of the content they create for runners:

View this post on Instagram A post shared by Nike Running (@nikerunning)

And that means … the brand has been able to return to marketing its products specifically for casual wear. It just reaches the casual target market through different channels than it uses for its athletic markets. It’s a different target market segment, and a different marketing message

View this post on Instagram A post shared by Nike Sportswear (@nikesportswear)

Like Nike, you might have one target market, or many, depending on the size of your brand. Remember that you can only speak effectively to one target market segment at a time.

Takasa target market

Takasa is a Canadian retail homewares company that specializes in organic, fair trade bedding and bath linens.

Here’s their target market as defined by founders Ruby and Kuljit Rakhra:

“ Our target market is the LOHAS segment, which means Family Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability. This group of people is already living, or striving to live, a green lifestyle … We know our target demo is very conscious about what their families consume, as well as the impact this consumption has on the environment.”

In their social content, they clearly identify the product features most important to their target market: organic materials and fair labor practices.

View this post on Instagram A post shared by Organic + Fairtrade Home Goods (

The City of Port Alberni’s target market

Why does a city need a target market? In Port Alberni’s case, the city is working to “attract investment, business opportunities and new residents.” To that end, they launched a rebranding and marketing campaign.

And a marketing campaign, of course, needs a target market. Here’s how the city defined it:

“ Our target market is young people and young families 25 to 45 years of age who are entrepreneurial-minded, family oriented, adventurous, enjoy an active lifestyle, desire an opportunity to contribute to growth, well-educated and skilled professionals or tradespeople.”

In their social content, they highlight recreational opportunities aimed at those active and adventurous young families, even using the handle @PlayinPA.

View this post on Instagram A post shared by City of Port Alberni (@playinpa)

White House Black Market target market

White House Black Market is a women’s fashion brand. Here’s how they describe their target customer on their website :

“Our customer … is strong yet subtle, modern yet timeless, hard-working yet easy-going.”

That’s a fine description when talking directly to customers. But the marketing department needs a target market definition with a few more specifics. Here’s the detailed target market as described by the company’s former president:

“ Our target market is women [with a] median age of about 45 … at a stage in her life where she’s very busy, primarily a working woman. She’s probably got one or two kids left at home [or] … her children may be out of the house and on their way to college.”

With their hashtag #WHBMPowerhouse, they focus on this key demographic of women in their 40s with busy home lives and careers.

View this post on Instagram A post shared by White House Black Market (@whbm)

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Christina Newberry is an award-winning writer and editor whose greatest passions include food, travel, urban gardening, and the Oxford comma—not necessarily in that order.

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What is a target market and how to define yours

  • Rebecca Strehlow
  • Dec 7, 2023
  • 10 min read

target market

One of the first steps in starting a business is determining your target market. This step alone can be the basis for what products you create, how you brand your business and ultimately who you market to.

With that in mind, you’ll need to develop assets that resonate with your target market. Start by creating a business website that represents your business and uses language and visuals relatable to your audience. Consider what niche you can fit into and what separates your business from the competition. From there you can create messaging, branding and advertising designed for your target market and convert more leads into customers.

Keep reading to learn more about defining your target market and gain expert tips on how to implement this targeting throughout your business strategy.

What is a target market?

Your target market is your product’s primary consumer. Once you know who this is, you can tailor your branding and marketing efforts toward them.

A target market can be composed of a broad group, such as married men over 40 in the US, or it can be quite narrow, such as urban, health-conscious, vegetarian women in Texas. Your market will depend on the particular consumer needs your product addresses.

The three key aspects of a target market include:

Demographics: Age, gender, income, education or employment status.

Geographics: Primary location of your market.

Personality traits: What they like and dislike, as well as where they shop and their favorite brands.

To pinpoint your target market, you’ll need to analyze data about your product niche, your customers and your competitors. You'll also need to understand more about the specific types of target markets in more detail.

What are the types of target markets?

In general there are several ways business owners can categorize target markets. For the most part target markets are divided into the following four main types: demographic, geographic, psychographic, and behavioral.


This type of target market is defined by a number of demographic variables such as age, gender, income, education, and family size. Companies might target specific demographic groups based on their buying habits and purchasing power.

Geographic target markets are defined, as the name suggests, by geographic variables such as region, state, city and population density.


Psychographic variables such as lifestyle, values, personality, and social class make up the definition of this target market.

This type of target market is defined by consumer behavior, such as the benefits sought, usage rate, and customer loyalty.

It's important to note that a business may choose to target one or multiple types of target markets, depending on their specific business objectives and marketing strategies.

Why are target markets important?

Understanding your target market is a crucial aspect of developing a successful business. Below we explore the main reasons why understanding your target market is so important in order to ensure a profitable business.

Better customer segmentation : Understanding your target market allows you to segment your customers more effectively, which in turn helps you tailor your marketing messages and products to meet their specific needs and preferences.

Increased focus and efficiency: Focusing on a specific target market allows you to be more efficient with marketing resources while avoiding wasting time and money on efforts that are not likely to reach or resonate with your target audience.

Improved brand reputation: Understanding your target market can help you establish and maintain a positive brand reputation by allowing you to align your brand with the values and interests of your market.

Increased customer loyalty : By understanding your target market and delivering products and services that meet their needs and expectations, you will foster a loyal customer base that is more likely to recommend your brand to others.

Better decision making: Understanding your target market provides valuable insights that can inform important business decisions, such as product development, pricing strategies and distribution channels for marketing efforts.

Target market vs. target audience?

Often used interchangeably, target market and target audience are not the same thing. Your target market is the end consumer while your target audience is to whom your company advertises. While your target market might fall into your target audience, who you advertise to may not, in the end, be the one who consumes the product.

To clarify, let’s look at an example: Kids toys, for example, have a very clear target market: children. In addition, toys are often marketed toward children who identify with a specific gender category. Nevertheless, kids don’t purchase their toys, their parents do. So toy companies must focus their advertising strategies on parents (the target audience) to sell toys for their kids (the target market).

For example, Generation Alpha , kids born between 2010 and 2025 with millennial parents, play with much different toys than their parents did because millennials have different consumer preferences than their Baby Boomer parents. Rather than shopping in big-box stores for brightly-colored toy packages, millennial parents are more likely to purchase clean, minimalistic, and gender-inclusive toys from Instagram ads or Amazon. Therefore, toy companies are using Millennial preferences (the target audience) to sell toys to their Generation Alpha kids (the target market).

zuri and jane toys

How to determine your target market

Gather consumer data

Know your product’s benefits

Investigate your competitors

Segment your audience

Write a target market statement

Refine your research

01. Gather consumer data

The first step in defining your target market is to learn more about your customers. Even if you’ve just started an online store and don’t have many customers yet, these practices will come in handy further down the line.

Start by gathering information about current and past buyers and try to identify characteristics that they have in common. This data will help you market your product to people with similar interests. If you are still in the early stages of your business and haven’t started selling your product, look at competitor markets and use that information to determine your target market.

Using website analytics tools, social media and email marketing analytics platforms, here are some data points you’ll want to consider:

Age: Do your customers share a common decade or generation? Are they millennials, older adults, or something in between?

Location: Where in the world do most of your customers live? Consider the different cities, countries, and regions.

Language: Which languages do your customers speak? Remember that your customers’ language isn’t necessarily the dominant language of their country.

Spending power: Consider socioeconomic factors that may be affecting your customers. How much money are they willing or able to spend?

Hobbies and career: What do your customers enjoy doing? What are their professions, and what do they do in their spare time?

Stage of life: Where are your customers in life? Are they college students? New parents? Retirees?

If your company is B2B rather than B2C , you’ll want to look for characteristics of companies, rather than individual consumers. These traits include:

Business size: Are the businesses that buy from you small, medium, or large?

Location: Where are these businesses physically located?

Vertical: Which industries are most of these businesses in?

Budget: How have these businesses raised money ? Consider how much they’d be willing or able to spend on products like yours.

Be sure to track this information in an orderly manner so that you can keep your findings organized and easily identify trends. Analyzing these trends will allow you to identify shared characteristics within your customer base. These characteristics will inform your inbound marketing efforts and steer your strategy toward your target audience.

02. Know your product benefits

The next step is to understand your consumers’ motivation behind purchasing your product, rather than a competitor. You can learn this information by speaking to your customers directly, asking for testimonials, and by doing in depth competitor research to understand the difference between your product and theirs.

Get to know the benefits—and not just the features—of your product or service. The features are your product’s characteristics. For example, if your business sells suitcases, you might describe your product as being small, compact and having multiple compartments. Your product’s benefits, on the other hand, are the advantages it brings to your customers. Think about how your product makes someone’s life better or easier. The compact, multi-compartment suitcase offers the benefits of being easy to carry and pack as a carry-on.

It’s vital to understanding how your product fulfills its target market’s specific needs. For the suitcase company discussed above, for instance, the target market would be people who benefit from a lightweight, carry-on suitcase—such as business travelers who take short, frequent trips.

03. Investigate your competitors

Hone in on your target market even further by taking a look at which your competitors are targeting. Of course you won't have access to their customer analytics data, but you can understand their customers with a SWOT analysis .

Take a deep dive into competitor websites, blogs and social channels. Consider who their target market is based on their website content, content marketing strategy, and social media branding. You’ll likely be able to infer details about their audience based on their brand language and tone. You can also check for comments on their social media pages to see which types of people are engaging with their posts.

Take an especially close look at their most successful social media and blog posts. Do these pieces of content have anything in common in terms of their offering or branding? Which interests or needs do they address? Use this information to consider what kinds of qualities or advantages appeal most to consumers within your industry.

04. Segment your audience

At this point, you’ve gathered some information about the characteristics and interests of your target audience. Now, it’s time to use that information to clearly define your customer types. This is going to form the basis of your target market.

The best way to do this is through market segmentation. This involves dividing your customers into different groups, or segments, based on their shared qualities.

You can divide your customers based on:

Geography: Physical location, whether it’s your own city or a different part of the world. Note that if your customers are located around the world, you may need to create a multilingual website, as well as localized ads and marketing materials.

Demographics: Characteristics such as age, gender, race or ethnicity, income level, or marital status.

Psychographics: Inner qualities such as personality, lifestyle, or personal values. These are often a product of geographic and demographic factors such as location, generation, or stage of life.

Behavior: Perceived qualities based on online behavior, such as buyer readiness or frequency of use.

If you’re a B2B company, use similar characteristics but apply them to business. Consider firm demographics—known as firmographics—such as industry, location, customer size, business structure, and performance.

To gain a deeper understanding of your segments, you can also create buyer personas. Also called user personas, buyer personas are imaginary characters with traits and behaviors similar to those of typical customers. Ultimately, these fictional characters represent your target market, helping you gain insights into the needs, desires, and lifestyles of your actual customers.

05. Write a target market statement

Now that you’ve determined the defining features of your audience, it’s time to put your findings on paper. Write a target market statement that focuses on the most important audience characteristics you’ve identified in your research. Your statement should include:

Demographic information about your target market, such as gender and age.

Geographic location of your target market.

Key interests of your target market.

Then, sum it up in a single sentence. For example:

“Our target market is women in their 30s and 40s who live in the United States and enjoy casual, comfortable fashion.”

Doing this will keep your brand identity and marketing efforts consistent. It will also come in useful as you adapt your company’s mission statement to be as relevant as possible for your audience.

06. Refine your research

Defining your target market is based on thorough research, but that doesn’t mean it’s going to be perfect the first time around. Even after you identify your market, you’ll still need to continually test and experiment to get an increasingly precise picture of your customers. Staying on top of your market research can also help you keep up with the times, as consumer interests change over the years with technological developments, generational attitudes and passing trends.

To narrow in on your audience, you’ll need to assess your business success and test your targeting efforts. Take a look at who is actually buying from you and which specific products or services they are purchasing. Try to understand how you can adapt future product development or modify your branding or marketing efforts to better fit your customer base.

Utilize A/B testing with your marketing efforts to test the same ad on different audiences and see which version performs better. Alternatively, you can develop two different creatives, each with their own look and language and compare your audience’s responses. Based on the results, you might need to either adjust your business strategy or revise your target market statement. The bottom line is to build a brand that resonates strongly with your audience. Remember, the more targeted your content, the more effective your lead generation strategies—and the more customers you’ll bring to your brand.

What are examples of a target market?

These website examples clearly cater to their target markets. Take note of the phrases and visuals these websites use.

01. Amanda Darby

Let’s take a look at how nutritionist Amanda Darby appeals to her target market. She aims to address people looking to make healthier food and dieting choices. To do this, she’s created a website that fosters a sense of joy and personal empowerment around food. The light and airy background, coupled with the cheerful images of cooking and eating, instantly makes it clear that she targets people looking for a healthy lifestyle.

She also hones in on her audience even further, using phrases that directly appeal to middle-aged women. In the section of her homepage that discusses her nutrition coaching: “You will be the mom who loves food, her body, and knows life isn't perfect, but is perfectly happy living the life she has vs. waiting for the life she will have when she reaches her goal weight.” By directly addressing the concerns of her target market, Amanda helps her audience feel heard and understood. This strengthens their trust in her brand and persuades them that she is the right coach for their needs.

amanda darby

02. Curtinsmith Guitars

From the very first image that appears across the top of this website, it’s clear that Curtinsmith Guitars is crafting something unique. By displaying photographs of their workshop and describing their guitars as “custom” and “handmade,” they directly single out a target market of those looking for unique, one-of-a-kind guitars. This target market is likely musical, appreciative of craftsmanship and not afraid to spend their money on their passions.

The About Us section of the site confirms this targeting. The owner, Paul, writes, “I find it quite profound to create something which, in itself, will continue to create. It is an absolute joy crafting these instruments and it is my prayer that they continue to be a joy for those who play them and listen to them, for many generations.”

In this statement, the brand makes it clear that it targets musicians who value the creative process. They also allude to the quality of their product, portraying them as long-lasting heirlooms with sentimental value.

curtinsmith guitars

03. Lima Cakes

Sona Karapetyan uses her artistic vision to create showstopping celebratory cakes. The About section on her website says that Sona “was always experimenting with graphic art & design” and, “When Sona decided to embark on the cake art journey, she experimented with different textures, shapes and architectural elements to create a unique design language.” It also states that she never creates the same cake twice so each cake is unique to each client.

Her neutral-colored web design and sophisticated copy narrow her target market down to mature individuals who appreciate art. Her website also features images of her cakes, clearly displaying her skills to her potential customers. The prices of her custom-made cakes will reflect the effort that goes into each one. These details show that she likely targets an educated, older, affluent crowd with an appreciation for modern art and design.

lima cakes

What are market segments?

Market segments are subgroups within a larger market that share specific characteristics and needs. These characteristics can include demographics, lifestyle, interests, behavior and purchasing patterns. By identifying and understanding these segments, businesses can tailor their marketing messages, products and services to better resonate with each group. This allows for more targeted and effective marketing efforts.

Target market FAQ

How detailed should a target market be.

The level of detail for a target market depends on your specific business and goals. However, it should be defined enough to create targeted marketing campaigns and avoid wasting resources. Consider including demographic information (age, gender, income, etc.), psychographics (lifestyle, values, interests), and behavioral factors (purchasing habits, media consumption). While details are important, avoid over-segmentation, as it can limit your reach and marketing effectiveness.

What is an example of a target market?

What is the purpose of a target market, what is the best target market, related posts.

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Target Markets: Why They Aren't Just for Marketers [A Quick Guide]

Sean Higgins

Published: August 08, 2022

Sales teams and entrepreneurs need to know their target market. You can get there by asking yourself, "Who is the ideal fit for my offering? What are their interests and priorities?"

target market brainstorming meeting with four co-workers.

Answering these questions can help you prioritize the deals you're most likely to win. But how can you really understand the ins-and-outs of your target market?

Let's take a closer look at what a target market is, go over how to conduct a target market analysis, see some helpful examples, review target market segmentation, and look into how sales teams can leverage target markets.

→ Download Now: Market Research Templates [Free Kit]

Table of Contents

How to analyze your target market, target market analysis example, target market examples, target market segmentation.

How Sales Teams Can Leverage Target Markets

What Is a Target Market?

A target market is a group of customers for which your products and services are aimed. First defined by an industry (i.e., healthcare, travel, technology, etc.), it represents a specific subset of the broader market the industry covers. It's usually based on factors like behavioral tendencies, geographic location, and demographic characteristics.

Let's say you've created a B2B software product that helps remote construction teams. In that case (and to state the obvious), you'd probably focus on companies within the construction industry. But defining your target market doesn't stop there.

You know your industry, but there's no one-size-fits-all mold for the businesses within it. If you were pinning down a target market for your product, you'd have to start with business characteristics — for instance, scale would be a good place to begin.

Your product will suit certain companies better than others, and selling to a Fortune 1000 company isn't the same as a small construction business with less than 100 employees.

In this case, you'd want to pin down the size of your ideal customer's business — and this number would be the start of a target market analysis.

Let's take a closer look at what that process looks like.

  • Analyze your product or service.
  • Check out the competition.
  • Choose criteria to segment by.
  • Perform research.
  • Track and evaluate your results.

As the name implies, target market analysis is the basis for identifying your target market. Here are the five steps you can take to do one of your own.

1. Analyze your product or service.

Take a look at what you're selling to understand which consumers would get value from your product. The questions below will help with the brainstorming process:

  • "What need does your product or service fill?"
  • "Are there any problems or pain points it solves for?"
  • "Who would benefit most from your product or service?"

Once you've answered these questions, you might want to consider getting feedback from current customers. Conduct a focus group or ask your service department about their common problems.

Analyzing your product or service in this way will help you better understand your target market. In fact, you might learn that your current customers aren't the people you're trying to target. If you notice a disconnect in this process, you'll want to better align your target market with your actual marketing goals so you can realign.

2. Check out the competition.

Perform an analysis of your competitors to see who they're targeting. Take a look at their customer base, and see if you can find an area of the market you could focus on that they might be missing.

The best way to do this is to conduct a competitive analysis . This entails researching who your competitors are, what they offer, and even review their sales tactics.

Looking at your competitors will even help you identify target market gaps that you can fill. Are there any target markets they do not focusing on?

This could lead you to expand into new markets geographically or develop new products to target a different market.

3. Choose criteria to segment by.

A target market can be segmented by a few different variables. Consumers can be split by demographic, geographic, and behavioral factors.

This is essentially the process of creating a buyer persona . You'll divide your target market into several target customers — also known as (you guessed it) buyer personas.

For example, perhaps your target market is midsized companies looking to purchase marketing automation software. You could divide your target customers into several groups, including marketing department leaders, sales leaders, founders, or CEOs.

Here are some of the most common ways to segment a target market:

4. Perform research.

As you begin narrowing your market, the research phase doesn't end there. What marketing strategies should you use to reach your potential target market? Is the target market large enough for your product or service? Market research will help you learn more about your target market.

Picking the right target market can tell you a great deal about your business. Are you looking to become a true velocity business, or do you see yourself as a steadier flow of pipeline with enterprises and consumers?

5. Track and evaluate your results.

Target market analysis should never be static — you don't just conduct one, be immediately content with the results, and stop there. It's an ongoing process. You need to continuously track your results, evaluate what you see, and iterate on the conception of your target market to more effectively appeal to it.

Let's imagine a company that sells inexpensive, "function-over-form" athletic footwear that stresses comfort and arch support instead of trendy aesthetics.

1. Analyze the product or service.

When conducting its target market analysis, the business in question would have to start by taking a thorough, objective look at its product to get a solid grip on its value and differentiating factors.

The company would likely find that its shoes are better suited for day-to-day wear instead of legitimate athletic competition, lack trendy appeal, and can help with sore feet while standing.

This initial insight can help shape the personas that the company will ultimately target. It would have a better picture of how to construct its value proposition. In this case, the business might find that suburban men over 50 who don't exercise regularly appear to be the most likely to buy its shoes.

Next, the company would dig into its competitor's products, how they were selling them, and any noticeable gaps in their potential target markets. After conducting a competitive analysis, the company might find that its competition was ignoring some geographical trends embedded in its target markets.

Let's say its competitors' retail locations and store placements were primarily in cities — ignoring locations like suburban strip malls and local "mom and pop" retail stores. With that information in mind, the company in question could have a starting point for appealing to a target market its competition is ignoring.

Here, the company would begin to string more detailed personas together. Again, it would base its segmentation criteria on its product analysis and refine it according to its competitive analysis.

In this case, a significant portion of the criteria would revolve around age, social class, location, and interests — making one of its personas older, working class, suburban consumers who prioritize function over form.

After creating its target persona, the company would conduct a market analysis, survey consumers that fit its target market bill, potentially employ more direct tactics like hosting focus groups, and take any other strides it sees fit to ensure that it has a thorough understanding of its target consumers.

From there, it can shape a thoughtful value proposition that will guide its sales messaging, outreach strategies, pricing structure, and other crucial sales-related factors that influence how it reaches consumers.

5. Track and evaluate results.

Once the other steps have been covered, the company would continue to monitor how its efforts resonate with its target persona. If sales aren't where they need to be — or it appears the company might have other personas it can cater to — it might restart this process and shift gears on its messaging, strategies, or target market as a whole.

Let's look at some of the best-in-class companies — both B2C and B2B — to see how they set up their target markets.

1. Atlassian Target Market

Atlassian offers a suite of collaboration tools designed to help developers and product leaders take their projects from concept to completion.

Like most larger companies, Atlassian uses target market segmentation to look at different markets and break up its unique value propositions, terminology, and values.

By diving into one segment, like retail, we see they're working with several large companies — especially with their support-related products.

This tells us that while Atlassian can work with almost anyone doing software development, it recognizes how its value proposition changes depending on the market segment in question.

Even the same product for two different customer types creates different levels of value.

2. Nike Target Market

Nike offers products to athletes and other consumers who want to exercise regularly. They offer apparel, equipment, shoes, and accessories.

They work with athletes and a fitness-minded audience, but we know a good target market definition can't be that broad. Let's break two of their segments down:

  • Young athletes — Kids who get frequent exercise and play sports growing up are a huge, growing category for Nike. Nike engages with this market through sports leagues and associations and with endorsements from popular sports stars like LeBron James.
  • Runners — With a focus on new types of shoes, Nike shows it targets consumers based on both demographic information and lifestyle. Nike launches shoes and apparel designed to help the avid runner stay on the road a bit longer.

3. Starbucks Target Market

Next time you're sipping your cold foam Cascara cold brew, ponder the target market of the top coffee destination in town: Starbucks .

Many of their locations have been remodeled and offer a hip, contemporary look. Not that surprising since about half of their customers are between the ages of 25 and 40.

If you spend more than five minutes sitting and drinking your coffee, you'll probably hear a barista shout, "mobile order!" The mobile process now accounts for 24% of Starbucks' transactions which shows they're catering to a tech-savvy crowd.

The next clue we have on their target market is the location of their shops. By positioning its locations in heavily urban areas, Starbucks is attracting on-the-go professionals. To recap, here are a few of Starbucks' target markets:

  • 25 - 40-year-olds — Remodeled locations accommodate their largest demographic base.
  • Tech-savvy adults — Their mobile app has caught on and lends itself to a forward-thinking crowd.
  • Working professionals — Their urban focus tells us the type of lifestyle they're catering to.

target market example: Starbucks

4. Apple Target Market

What about a company that occupies both the B2B and B2C spaces? How can it develop a target market with such a broad set of customers? Apple is the textbook case for innovation and product design.

But how does that apply to finding a target market? With its wide array of product offerings, Apple has a little something for everyone. Here are two of their target markets:

  • Tech enthusiasts — A customer category that launched Apple's brand decades ago, technology enthusiasts still get attention from the company. With launches of new tech categories (including wearables, Apple TVs, and HomePods), Apple has shown it's still creating value for this segment. There is also a tremendous ecosystem where owning a suite of Apple products enables better interoperability among your tech.
  • Healthcare — One market Apple has its eyes on is healthcare. By focusing on the appeal of having information right at your fingertips with mobile and the iPad, they've positioned healthcare workers to more conveniently communicate with patients.

Apple doesn't seem to exclude many people from its target market and has positioned itself to benefit both consumers and businesses — even with the same products like the iPad.

Its success has been more about understanding the value of its different segments rather than excluding people from them.

5. McDonald's Target Market

McDonald's target market is broad and encompasses a wide variety of customer personas. Younger professionals represent one of the chain's more prominent target market segments — and that trend is reflected in many of the company's location remodels. Several McDonald's franchises have been revamped to look sleeker, more modern, and better suited for millennials.

target market example: McDonalds

Image Source: Community Impact

"Full nest" families with children over six represent another key base for the chain. The franchise takes many strides to appeal to this specific segment, primarily reflected in its Happy Meal options.

But there's another factor that underscores virtually every target market McDonald's tries to appeal to — social class. The chain makes a conscious effort to resonate with lower, working, and middle-class patrons.

Pricing is the basis of McDonald's value proposition. It tries to bill itself as an affordable alternative to more expensive options in the spaces it attempts to sell in. For instance, when promoting its McCafe line, the chain stressed the brand's particularly low price points as a major selling point.

Mcdonalds target market

Image Source: McDonald's

Ultimately, the franchise's target market isn't singular and clear-cut in terms of most demographics — but it is specific in terms of its various personas' economic circumstances. Its value proposition fundamentally rests on the fact that its food is inexpensive.

Target Customers

A target customer is an individual that's most likely to buy your product. And it's a subset of the broader target market. For example, if your target market is female athletes between the ages of 13 to 25, a target customer could be female athletes in the specific age range of 13 to 16.

You need to have a firm grasp of your target customers if you're going to develop pointed, effective value propositions. The success and viability of your sales messaging, prospecting efforts, and broader sales process rests on your knowledge of who's buying your product or service and the mindset that makes them do it.

That starts with target market segmentation.

Target market segmentation is the process of partitioning your target audience into more focused, identifiable, and approachable groups (or segments). It's a broad concept that can take on a lot of forms, including:

  • Geographic segmentation — Dividing your target market based on geographical boundaries
  • Firmographic segmentation — A practice specific to B2B sales where firms are divided based on characteristics like company size or number of employees
  • Behavioral segmentation — Dividing your target market based on behavioral tendencies and decision-making patterns
  • Demographic segmentation — Dividing your target market based on factors like income, education, race, gender, or occupation
  • Psychographic segmentation — Dividing your target market-based elements like personality traits, values, and opinions

How you elect to segment your target market will be specific to your company's needs and interests. In many — if not most — cases, you'll employ more than one of the segmentation methods listed above when defining a target market.

When you identify the customers you want to serve — and the ones you don't — ask:

  • "Do my target customers have different problems they're solving with my product?"
  • "Do my target customers get different value from my product?"
  • "Are either of these things related to demographic, geographic, or lifestyle components?"

In order to segment effectively, you must have a decent way of measuring the value you provide to the market. Then, identify if certain groups are getting more value than others.

This will power the positioning of your product. Suddenly, you can pinpoint pain for your customers while speaking their language.

This helps you refine your position in the market and connect on a deeper level with your customer. Having a target market (or target customer) is all about relevancy and relating to the person on the other side of the cash register.

How Sales Teams Can Leverage Target Markets + Segmentation

Segmentation poses several benefits for sales teams. If you know who will be most receptive to your product or service, you get a leg up when conducting most steps of your sales process.

sales teams and target markets

For one, effective segmentation can be a major asset in prospecting. If your SDRs have a solid picture of the types of customers that show an interest in your offering, cold leads can become a little warmer — letting those reps make more thoughtfully guided use of your sales messaging when connecting with prospects.

Beyond that, segmentation can also help with lead qualification. Knowing whether a lead fits the bill of a class of high-converting customers gives reps a head start during that stage.

You need to have some kind of criteria that can immediately distinguish a prospect who needs your product or service from one that lacks the decision-making tendencies, location, or economic circumstances to actually get something out of it. Target market segmentation gets you there.

Finally, target markets provide sales teams with the necessary information to breach new markets and sell to them effectively. If you're not on top of any emerging markets that might need your product or service, you could hit a wall with your sales potential and lose out on incredibly lucrative business opportunities.

Ultimately, knowing your target markets inside and out is one of the most fundamental tenets of successful sales efforts. If you're not actively analyzing, pursuing, and refining your understanding of your target markets, you're losing out on sales and painting yourself into a corner with your business potential.

Editor's note: This post was originally published in July 2018 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

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Small Business Trends

How to create a business plan: examples & free template.

This is the ultimate guide to creating a comprehensive and effective plan to start a business . In today’s dynamic business landscape, having a well-crafted business plan is an important first step to securing funding, attracting partners, and navigating the challenges of entrepreneurship.

This guide has been designed to help you create a winning plan that stands out in the ever-evolving marketplace. U sing real-world examples and a free downloadable template, it will walk you through each step of the process.

Whether you’re a seasoned entrepreneur or launching your very first startup, the guide will give you the insights, tools, and confidence you need to create a solid foundation for your business.

Table of Contents

How to Write a Business Plan

Embarking on the journey of creating a successful business requires a solid foundation, and a well-crafted business plan is the cornerstone. Here is the process of writing a comprehensive business plan and the main parts of a winning business plan . From setting objectives to conducting market research, this guide will have everything you need.

Executive Summary

business plan

The Executive Summary serves as the gateway to your business plan, offering a snapshot of your venture’s core aspects. This section should captivate and inform, succinctly summarizing the essence of your plan.

It’s crucial to include a clear mission statement, a brief description of your primary products or services, an overview of your target market, and key financial projections or achievements.

Think of it as an elevator pitch in written form: it should be compelling enough to engage potential investors or stakeholders and provide them with a clear understanding of what your business is about, its goals, and why it’s a promising investment.

Example: EcoTech is a technology company specializing in eco-friendly and sustainable products designed to reduce energy consumption and minimize waste. Our mission is to create innovative solutions that contribute to a cleaner, greener environment.

Our target market includes environmentally conscious consumers and businesses seeking to reduce their carbon footprint. We project a 200% increase in revenue within the first three years of operation.

Overview and Business Objectives

business plan

In the Overview and Business Objectives section, outline your business’s core goals and the strategic approaches you plan to use to achieve them. This section should set forth clear, specific objectives that are attainable and time-bound, providing a roadmap for your business’s growth and success.

It’s important to detail how these objectives align with your company’s overall mission and vision. Discuss the milestones you aim to achieve and the timeframe you’ve set for these accomplishments.

This part of the plan demonstrates to investors and stakeholders your vision for growth and the practical steps you’ll take to get there.

Example: EcoTech’s primary objective is to become a market leader in sustainable technology products within the next five years. Our key objectives include:

  • Introducing three new products within the first two years of operation.
  • Achieving annual revenue growth of 30%.
  • Expanding our customer base to over 10,000 clients by the end of the third year.

Company Description

business plan

The Company Description section is your opportunity to delve into the details of your business. Provide a comprehensive overview that includes your company’s history, its mission statement, and its vision for the future.

Highlight your unique selling proposition (USP) – what makes your business stand out in the market. Explain the problems your company solves and how it benefits your customers.

Include information about the company’s founders, their expertise, and why they are suited to lead the business to success. This section should paint a vivid picture of your business, its values, and its place in the industry.

Example: EcoTech is committed to developing cutting-edge sustainable technology products that benefit both the environment and our customers. Our unique combination of innovative solutions and eco-friendly design sets us apart from the competition. We envision a future where technology and sustainability go hand in hand, leading to a greener planet.

Define Your Target Market

business plan

Defining Your Target Market is critical for tailoring your business strategy effectively. This section should describe your ideal customer base in detail, including demographic information (such as age, gender, income level, and location) and psychographic data (like interests, values, and lifestyle).

Elucidate on the specific needs or pain points of your target audience and how your product or service addresses these. This information will help you know your target market and develop targeted marketing strategies.

Example: Our target market comprises environmentally conscious consumers and businesses looking for innovative solutions to reduce their carbon footprint. Our ideal customers are those who prioritize sustainability and are willing to invest in eco-friendly products.

Market Analysis

business plan

The Market Analysis section requires thorough research and a keen understanding of the industry. It involves examining the current trends within your industry, understanding the needs and preferences of your customers, and analyzing the strengths and weaknesses of your competitors.

This analysis will enable you to spot market opportunities and anticipate potential challenges. Include data and statistics to back up your claims, and use graphs or charts to illustrate market trends.

This section should demonstrate that you have a deep understanding of the market in which you operate and that your business is well-positioned to capitalize on its opportunities.

Example: The market for eco-friendly technology products has experienced significant growth in recent years, with an estimated annual growth rate of 10%. As consumers become increasingly aware of environmental issues, the demand for sustainable solutions continues to rise.

Our research indicates a gap in the market for high-quality, innovative eco-friendly technology products that cater to both individual and business clients.

SWOT Analysis

business plan

A SWOT analysis in your business plan offers a comprehensive examination of your company’s internal and external factors. By assessing Strengths, you showcase what your business does best and where your capabilities lie.

Weaknesses involve an honest introspection of areas where your business may be lacking or could improve. Opportunities can be external factors that your business could capitalize on, such as market gaps or emerging trends.

Threats include external challenges your business may face, like competition or market changes. This analysis is crucial for strategic planning, as it helps in recognizing and leveraging your strengths, addressing weaknesses, seizing opportunities, and preparing for potential threats.

Including a SWOT analysis demonstrates to stakeholders that you have a balanced and realistic understanding of your business in its operational context.

  • Innovative and eco-friendly product offerings.
  • Strong commitment to sustainability and environmental responsibility.
  • Skilled and experienced team with expertise in technology and sustainability.


  • Limited brand recognition compared to established competitors.
  • Reliance on third-party manufacturers for product development.


  • Growing consumer interest in sustainable products.
  • Partnerships with environmentally-focused organizations and influencers.
  • Expansion into international markets.
  • Intense competition from established technology companies.
  • Regulatory changes could impact the sustainable technology market.

Competitive Analysis

business plan

In this section, you’ll analyze your competitors in-depth, examining their products, services, market positioning, and pricing strategies. Understanding your competition allows you to identify gaps in the market and tailor your offerings to outperform them.

By conducting a thorough competitive analysis, you can gain insights into your competitors’ strengths and weaknesses, enabling you to develop strategies to differentiate your business and gain a competitive advantage in the marketplace.

Example: Key competitors include:

GreenTech: A well-known brand offering eco-friendly technology products, but with a narrower focus on energy-saving devices.

EarthSolutions: A direct competitor specializing in sustainable technology, but with a limited product range and higher prices.

By offering a diverse product portfolio, competitive pricing, and continuous innovation, we believe we can capture a significant share of the growing sustainable technology market.

Organization and Management Team

business plan

Provide an overview of your company’s organizational structure, including key roles and responsibilities. Introduce your management team, highlighting their expertise and experience to demonstrate that your team is capable of executing the business plan successfully.

Showcasing your team’s background, skills, and accomplishments instills confidence in investors and other stakeholders, proving that your business has the leadership and talent necessary to achieve its objectives and manage growth effectively.

Example: EcoTech’s organizational structure comprises the following key roles: CEO, CTO, CFO, Sales Director, Marketing Director, and R&D Manager. Our management team has extensive experience in technology, sustainability, and business development, ensuring that we are well-equipped to execute our business plan successfully.

Products and Services Offered

business plan

Describe the products or services your business offers, focusing on their unique features and benefits. Explain how your offerings solve customer pain points and why they will choose your products or services over the competition.

This section should emphasize the value you provide to customers, demonstrating that your business has a deep understanding of customer needs and is well-positioned to deliver innovative solutions that address those needs and set your company apart from competitors.

Example: EcoTech offers a range of eco-friendly technology products, including energy-efficient lighting solutions, solar chargers, and smart home devices that optimize energy usage. Our products are designed to help customers reduce energy consumption, minimize waste, and contribute to a cleaner environment.

Marketing and Sales Strategy

business plan

In this section, articulate your comprehensive strategy for reaching your target market and driving sales. Detail the specific marketing channels you plan to use, such as social media, email marketing, SEO, or traditional advertising.

Describe the nature of your advertising campaigns and promotional activities, explaining how they will capture the attention of your target audience and convey the value of your products or services. Outline your sales strategy, including your sales process, team structure, and sales targets.

Discuss how these marketing and sales efforts will work together to attract and retain customers, generate leads, and ultimately contribute to achieving your business’s revenue goals.

This section is critical to convey to investors and stakeholders that you have a well-thought-out approach to market your business effectively and drive sales growth.

Example: Our marketing strategy includes digital advertising, content marketing, social media promotion, and influencer partnerships. We will also attend trade shows and conferences to showcase our products and connect with potential clients. Our sales strategy involves both direct sales and partnerships with retail stores, as well as online sales through our website and e-commerce platforms.

Logistics and Operations Plan

business plan

The Logistics and Operations Plan is a critical component that outlines the inner workings of your business. It encompasses the management of your supply chain, detailing how you acquire raw materials and manage vendor relationships.

Inventory control is another crucial aspect, where you explain strategies for inventory management to ensure efficiency and reduce wastage. The section should also describe your production processes, emphasizing scalability and adaptability to meet changing market demands.

Quality control measures are essential to maintain product standards and customer satisfaction. This plan assures investors and stakeholders of your operational competency and readiness to meet business demands.

Highlighting your commitment to operational efficiency and customer satisfaction underlines your business’s capability to maintain smooth, effective operations even as it scales.

Example: EcoTech partners with reliable third-party manufacturers to produce our eco-friendly technology products. Our operations involve maintaining strong relationships with suppliers, ensuring quality control, and managing inventory.

We also prioritize efficient distribution through various channels, including online platforms and retail partners, to deliver products to our customers in a timely manner.

Financial Projections Plan

business plan

In the Financial Projections Plan, lay out a clear and realistic financial future for your business. This should include detailed projections for revenue, costs, and profitability over the next three to five years.

Ground these projections in solid assumptions based on your market analysis, industry benchmarks, and realistic growth scenarios. Break down revenue streams and include an analysis of the cost of goods sold, operating expenses, and potential investments.

This section should also discuss your break-even analysis, cash flow projections, and any assumptions about external funding requirements.

By presenting a thorough and data-backed financial forecast, you instill confidence in potential investors and lenders, showcasing your business’s potential for profitability and financial stability.

This forward-looking financial plan is crucial for demonstrating that you have a firm grasp of the financial nuances of your business and are prepared to manage its financial health effectively.

Example: Over the next three years, we expect to see significant growth in revenue, driven by new product launches and market expansion. Our financial projections include:

  • Year 1: $1.5 million in revenue, with a net profit of $200,000.
  • Year 2: $3 million in revenue, with a net profit of $500,000.
  • Year 3: $4.5 million in revenue, with a net profit of $1 million.

These projections are based on realistic market analysis, growth rates, and product pricing.

Income Statement

business plan

The income statement , also known as the profit and loss statement, provides a summary of your company’s revenues and expenses over a specified period. It helps you track your business’s financial performance and identify trends, ensuring you stay on track to achieve your financial goals.

Regularly reviewing and analyzing your income statement allows you to monitor the health of your business, evaluate the effectiveness of your strategies, and make data-driven decisions to optimize profitability and growth.

Example: The income statement for EcoTech’s first year of operation is as follows:

  • Revenue: $1,500,000
  • Cost of Goods Sold: $800,000
  • Gross Profit: $700,000
  • Operating Expenses: $450,000
  • Net Income: $250,000

This statement highlights our company’s profitability and overall financial health during the first year of operation.

Cash Flow Statement

business plan

A cash flow statement is a crucial part of a financial business plan that shows the inflows and outflows of cash within your business. It helps you monitor your company’s liquidity, ensuring you have enough cash on hand to cover operating expenses, pay debts, and invest in growth opportunities.

By including a cash flow statement in your business plan, you demonstrate your ability to manage your company’s finances effectively.

Example:  The cash flow statement for EcoTech’s first year of operation is as follows:

Operating Activities:

  • Depreciation: $10,000
  • Changes in Working Capital: -$50,000
  • Net Cash from Operating Activities: $210,000

Investing Activities:

  •  Capital Expenditures: -$100,000
  • Net Cash from Investing Activities: -$100,000

Financing Activities:

  • Proceeds from Loans: $150,000
  • Loan Repayments: -$50,000
  • Net Cash from Financing Activities: $100,000
  • Net Increase in Cash: $210,000

This statement demonstrates EcoTech’s ability to generate positive cash flow from operations, maintain sufficient liquidity, and invest in growth opportunities.

Tips on Writing a Business Plan

business plan

1. Be clear and concise: Keep your language simple and straightforward. Avoid jargon and overly technical terms. A clear and concise business plan is easier for investors and stakeholders to understand and demonstrates your ability to communicate effectively.

2. Conduct thorough research: Before writing your business plan, gather as much information as possible about your industry, competitors, and target market. Use reliable sources and industry reports to inform your analysis and make data-driven decisions.

3. Set realistic goals: Your business plan should outline achievable objectives that are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART). Setting realistic goals demonstrates your understanding of the market and increases the likelihood of success.

4. Focus on your unique selling proposition (USP): Clearly articulate what sets your business apart from the competition. Emphasize your USP throughout your business plan to showcase your company’s value and potential for success.

5. Be flexible and adaptable: A business plan is a living document that should evolve as your business grows and changes. Be prepared to update and revise your plan as you gather new information and learn from your experiences.

6. Use visuals to enhance understanding: Include charts, graphs, and other visuals to help convey complex data and ideas. Visuals can make your business plan more engaging and easier to digest, especially for those who prefer visual learning.

7. Seek feedback from trusted sources: Share your business plan with mentors, industry experts, or colleagues and ask for their feedback. Their insights can help you identify areas for improvement and strengthen your plan before presenting it to potential investors or partners.

FREE Business Plan Template

To help you get started on your business plan, we have created a template that includes all the essential components discussed in the “How to Write a Business Plan” section. This easy-to-use template will guide you through each step of the process, ensuring you don’t miss any critical details.

The template is divided into the following sections:

  • Mission statement
  • Business Overview
  • Key products or services
  • Target market
  • Financial highlights
  • Company goals
  • Strategies to achieve goals
  • Measurable, time-bound objectives
  • Company History
  • Mission and vision
  • Unique selling proposition
  • Demographics
  • Psychographics
  • Pain points
  • Industry trends
  • Customer needs
  • Competitor strengths and weaknesses
  • Opportunities
  • Competitor products and services
  • Market positioning
  • Pricing strategies
  • Organizational structure
  • Key roles and responsibilities
  • Management team backgrounds
  • Product or service features
  • Competitive advantages
  • Marketing channels
  • Advertising campaigns
  • Promotional activities
  • Sales strategies
  • Supply chain management
  • Inventory control
  • Production processes
  • Quality control measures
  • Projected revenue
  • Assumptions
  • Cash inflows
  • Cash outflows
  • Net cash flow

What is a Business Plan?

A business plan is a strategic document that outlines an organization’s goals, objectives, and the steps required to achieve them. It serves as a roadmap as you start a business , guiding the company’s direction and growth while identifying potential obstacles and opportunities.

Typically, a business plan covers areas such as market analysis, financial projections, marketing strategies, and organizational structure. It not only helps in securing funding from investors and lenders but also provides clarity and focus to the management team.

A well-crafted business plan is a very important part of your business startup checklist because it fosters informed decision-making and long-term success.

business plan

Why You Should Write a Business Plan

Understanding the importance of a business plan in today’s competitive environment is crucial for entrepreneurs and business owners. Here are five compelling reasons to write a business plan:

  • Attract Investors and Secure Funding : A well-written business plan demonstrates your venture’s potential and profitability, making it easier to attract investors and secure the necessary funding for growth and development. It provides a detailed overview of your business model, target market, financial projections, and growth strategies, instilling confidence in potential investors and lenders that your company is a worthy investment.
  • Clarify Business Objectives and Strategies : Crafting a business plan forces you to think critically about your goals and the strategies you’ll employ to achieve them, providing a clear roadmap for success. This process helps you refine your vision and prioritize the most critical objectives, ensuring that your efforts are focused on achieving the desired results.
  • Identify Potential Risks and Opportunities : Analyzing the market, competition, and industry trends within your business plan helps identify potential risks and uncover untapped opportunities for growth and expansion. This insight enables you to develop proactive strategies to mitigate risks and capitalize on opportunities, positioning your business for long-term success.
  • Improve Decision-Making : A business plan serves as a reference point so you can make informed decisions that align with your company’s overall objectives and long-term vision. By consistently referring to your plan and adjusting it as needed, you can ensure that your business remains on track and adapts to changes in the market, industry, or internal operations.
  • Foster Team Alignment and Communication : A shared business plan helps ensure that all team members are on the same page, promoting clear communication, collaboration, and a unified approach to achieving the company’s goals. By involving your team in the planning process and regularly reviewing the plan together, you can foster a sense of ownership, commitment, and accountability that drives success.

What are the Different Types of Business Plans?

In today’s fast-paced business world, having a well-structured roadmap is more important than ever. A traditional business plan provides a comprehensive overview of your company’s goals and strategies, helping you make informed decisions and achieve long-term success. There are various types of business plans, each designed to suit different needs and purposes. Let’s explore the main types:

  • Startup Business Plan: Tailored for new ventures, a startup business plan outlines the company’s mission, objectives, target market, competition, marketing strategies, and financial projections. It helps entrepreneurs clarify their vision, secure funding from investors, and create a roadmap for their business’s future. Additionally, this plan identifies potential challenges and opportunities, which are crucial for making informed decisions and adapting to changing market conditions.
  • Internal Business Plan: This type of plan is intended for internal use, focusing on strategies, milestones, deadlines, and resource allocation. It serves as a management tool for guiding the company’s growth, evaluating its progress, and ensuring that all departments are aligned with the overall vision. The internal business plan also helps identify areas of improvement, fosters collaboration among team members, and provides a reference point for measuring performance.
  • Strategic Business Plan: A strategic business plan outlines long-term goals and the steps to achieve them, providing a clear roadmap for the company’s direction. It typically includes a SWOT analysis, market research, and competitive analysis. This plan allows businesses to align their resources with their objectives, anticipate changes in the market, and develop contingency plans. By focusing on the big picture, a strategic business plan fosters long-term success and stability.
  • Feasibility Business Plan: This plan is designed to assess the viability of a business idea, examining factors such as market demand, competition, and financial projections. It is often used to decide whether or not to pursue a particular venture. By conducting a thorough feasibility analysis, entrepreneurs can avoid investing time and resources into an unviable business concept. This plan also helps refine the business idea, identify potential obstacles, and determine the necessary resources for success.
  • Growth Business Plan: Also known as an expansion plan, a growth business plan focuses on strategies for scaling up an existing business. It includes market analysis, new product or service offerings, and financial projections to support expansion plans. This type of plan is essential for businesses looking to enter new markets, increase their customer base, or launch new products or services. By outlining clear growth strategies, the plan helps ensure that expansion efforts are well-coordinated and sustainable.
  • Operational Business Plan: This type of plan outlines the company’s day-to-day operations, detailing the processes, procedures, and organizational structure. It is an essential tool for managing resources, streamlining workflows, and ensuring smooth operations. The operational business plan also helps identify inefficiencies, implement best practices, and establish a strong foundation for future growth. By providing a clear understanding of daily operations, this plan enables businesses to optimize their resources and enhance productivity.
  • Lean Business Plan: A lean business plan is a simplified, agile version of a traditional plan, focusing on key elements such as value proposition, customer segments, revenue streams, and cost structure. It is perfect for startups looking for a flexible, adaptable planning approach. The lean business plan allows for rapid iteration and continuous improvement, enabling businesses to pivot and adapt to changing market conditions. This streamlined approach is particularly beneficial for businesses in fast-paced or uncertain industries.
  • One-Page Business Plan: As the name suggests, a one-page business plan is a concise summary of your company’s key objectives, strategies, and milestones. It serves as a quick reference guide and is ideal for pitching to potential investors or partners. This plan helps keep teams focused on essential goals and priorities, fosters clear communication, and provides a snapshot of the company’s progress. While not as comprehensive as other plans, a one-page business plan is an effective tool for maintaining clarity and direction.
  • Nonprofit Business Plan: Specifically designed for nonprofit organizations, this plan outlines the mission, goals, target audience, fundraising strategies, and budget allocation. It helps secure grants and donations while ensuring the organization stays on track with its objectives. The nonprofit business plan also helps attract volunteers, board members, and community support. By demonstrating the organization’s impact and plans for the future, this plan is essential for maintaining transparency, accountability, and long-term sustainability within the nonprofit sector.
  • Franchise Business Plan: For entrepreneurs seeking to open a franchise, this type of plan focuses on the franchisor’s requirements, as well as the franchisee’s goals, strategies, and financial projections. It is crucial for securing a franchise agreement and ensuring the business’s success within the franchise system. This plan outlines the franchisee’s commitment to brand standards, marketing efforts, and operational procedures, while also addressing local market conditions and opportunities. By creating a solid franchise business plan, entrepreneurs can demonstrate their ability to effectively manage and grow their franchise, increasing the likelihood of a successful partnership with the franchisor.

Using Business Plan Software

business plan

Creating a comprehensive business plan can be intimidating, but business plan software can streamline the process and help you produce a professional document. These tools offer a number of benefits, including guided step-by-step instructions, financial projections, and industry-specific templates. Here are the top 5 business plan software options available to help you craft a great business plan.

1. LivePlan

LivePlan is a popular choice for its user-friendly interface and comprehensive features. It offers over 500 sample plans, financial forecasting tools, and the ability to track your progress against key performance indicators. With LivePlan, you can create visually appealing, professional business plans that will impress investors and stakeholders.

2. Upmetrics

Upmetrics provides a simple and intuitive platform for creating a well-structured business plan. It features customizable templates, financial forecasting tools, and collaboration capabilities, allowing you to work with team members and advisors. Upmetrics also offers a library of resources to guide you through the business planning process.

Bizplan is designed to simplify the business planning process with a drag-and-drop builder and modular sections. It offers financial forecasting tools, progress tracking, and a visually appealing interface. With Bizplan, you can create a business plan that is both easy to understand and visually engaging.

Enloop is a robust business plan software that automatically generates a tailored plan based on your inputs. It provides industry-specific templates, financial forecasting, and a unique performance score that updates as you make changes to your plan. Enloop also offers a free version, making it accessible for businesses on a budget.

5. Tarkenton GoSmallBiz

Developed by NFL Hall of Famer Fran Tarkenton, GoSmallBiz is tailored for small businesses and startups. It features a guided business plan builder, customizable templates, and financial projection tools. GoSmallBiz also offers additional resources, such as CRM tools and legal document templates, to support your business beyond the planning stage.

Business Plan FAQs

What is a good business plan.

A good business plan is a well-researched, clear, and concise document that outlines a company’s goals, strategies, target market, competitive advantages, and financial projections. It should be adaptable to change and provide a roadmap for achieving success.

What are the 3 main purposes of a business plan?

The three main purposes of a business plan are to guide the company’s strategy, attract investment, and evaluate performance against objectives. Here’s a closer look at each of these:

  • It outlines the company’s purpose and core values to ensure that all activities align with its mission and vision.
  • It provides an in-depth analysis of the market, including trends, customer needs, and competition, helping the company tailor its products and services to meet market demands.
  • It defines the company’s marketing and sales strategies, guiding how the company will attract and retain customers.
  • It describes the company’s organizational structure and management team, outlining roles and responsibilities to ensure effective operation and leadership.
  • It sets measurable, time-bound objectives, allowing the company to plan its activities effectively and make strategic decisions to achieve these goals.
  • It provides a comprehensive overview of the company and its business model, demonstrating its uniqueness and potential for success.
  • It presents the company’s financial projections, showing its potential for profitability and return on investment.
  • It demonstrates the company’s understanding of the market, including its target customers and competition, convincing investors that the company is capable of gaining a significant market share.
  • It showcases the management team’s expertise and experience, instilling confidence in investors that the team is capable of executing the business plan successfully.
  • It establishes clear, measurable objectives that serve as performance benchmarks.
  • It provides a basis for regular performance reviews, allowing the company to monitor its progress and identify areas for improvement.
  • It enables the company to assess the effectiveness of its strategies and make adjustments as needed to achieve its objectives.
  • It helps the company identify potential risks and challenges, enabling it to develop contingency plans and manage risks effectively.
  • It provides a mechanism for evaluating the company’s financial performance, including revenue, expenses, profitability, and cash flow.

Can I write a business plan by myself?

Yes, you can write a business plan by yourself, but it can be helpful to consult with mentors, colleagues, or industry experts to gather feedback and insights. There are also many creative business plan templates and business plan examples available online, including those above.

We also have examples for specific industries, including a using food truck business plan , salon business plan , farm business plan , daycare business plan , and restaurant business plan .

Is it possible to create a one-page business plan?

Yes, a one-page business plan is a condensed version that highlights the most essential elements, including the company’s mission, target market, unique selling proposition, and financial goals.

How long should a business plan be?

A typical business plan ranges from 20 to 50 pages, but the length may vary depending on the complexity and needs of the business.

What is a business plan outline?

A business plan outline is a structured framework that organizes the content of a business plan into sections, such as the executive summary, company description, market analysis, and financial projections.

What are the 5 most common business plan mistakes?

The five most common business plan mistakes include inadequate research, unrealistic financial projections, lack of focus on the unique selling proposition, poor organization and structure, and failure to update the plan as circumstances change.

What questions should be asked in a business plan?

A business plan should address questions such as: What problem does the business solve? Who is the specific target market ? What is the unique selling proposition? What are the company’s objectives? How will it achieve those objectives?

What’s the difference between a business plan and a strategic plan?

A business plan focuses on the overall vision, goals, and tactics of a company, while a strategic plan outlines the specific strategies, action steps, and performance measures necessary to achieve the company’s objectives.

How is business planning for a nonprofit different?

Nonprofit business planning focuses on the organization’s mission, social impact, and resource management, rather than profit generation. The financial section typically includes funding sources, expenses, and projected budgets for programs and operations.

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Abstract Novo blue background. Learn all about target market segmentation for your small business in this article.

Target Market Segmentation

Target market segmentation helps you market better to potential customers. Let's take a look at what this means and how you can grow your small business.

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arget market segmentation helps you market better to potential customers. It's crucial to boost sales and increase the chances of long-term success.   Let's take a closer look at what this term means and how you can use it to focus your marketing efforts.

What is Target Market Segmentation, and Why Does It Matter?

Target marketing segmentation is where you divide your potential customers into segments. You'll then focus on a few segments (or groups of people) that align most with your product or services. Doing so helps you tap into their needs and desires to attract new sales and increase longevity.   You can also drill it down further by creating a marketing strategy for more specific groups of people  -  such as using different promotions and how you deliver your products or services. That way, it helps your marketing campaigns be more cost-effective, allowing you to spend time only on one focus at a time.   Let's say you have a wedding and event photography business . Instead of spending thousands of dollars on print ads in random publications, you'll first see who your target customers are. Based on this information, you'll then focus your marketing campaigns by placing ads in publications where your target audience is most likely to see them. That way, it'll increase the chances you'll get a return on your investment.  

How Do I Segment My Target Market?

The good news is that you can approach segmenting the market in many ways based on your company's market research. Four common ways are behavioral, demographic, geographic, and psychographic segmentation.  Here's a bit more detail on the types of market segmentation:  

Behavioral Segmentation

This segment looks at how consumers interact with brands and products. For instance, you can look at which platforms your ideal customer most frequents, their social media usage, and their customer journey online.  

Demographic Segmentation

Businesses tend to feel this is the most important criteria to identify their target market. These include age, gender, education level, income level, social class, nationality, family size, marital status, and religion. Knowing these demographics about your ideal customer can help you with how you want to create marketing campaigns (Gen Xers may not understand the slang Gen Z tends to use, for instance).  

Geographic Segmentation

Yes, this segment has to do with details on a consumer's location or where they live. Aside from nationality, you can consider their state, county, town, or city.

Psychographic Segmentation

Businesses can look at elements such as parts of a consumer's personality traits  -  like whether they lean towards being an extrovert or introvert. You can even consider a consumer's belief systems and lifestyles and consumer behavior.  

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How to Effectively Create Target Market Segmentation

Creating a target market analysis will help you understand the types of consumers you need to market to and will even help you break into niche markets. Don't worry; creating one isn't a difficult task, though you'll want to make sure you take the time to get it right to ensure effective marketing messages.   Here are four steps you can take.  

1. Gather Accurate and Current Data

Gathering details from outside sources can be incredibly valuable to help you gain better insights into your market segment, potential customers, and even your industry as a whole. Plus, if you're just starting out, you may not have enough internal data to get a good enough view of what customer groups you need to target based on customer needs.   The challenge when gathering data is that there is plenty out there. Make sure what you're using is both current and accurate.  

2. Divide up Market Based on Chosen Characteristics

Now's the time to wade through data and eliminate what isn't relevant to your target market. You'll want to create customer segmentations. Consumers who are most likely attracted to your brand, product, or service will share the same types of characteristics. Identifying these will ensure you're efficient when creating your messaging in your marketing campaigns.  Here are some questions to help you get the ball rolling:

  • What do my target customers have in common?
  • How does my target customer research products and services?
  • How does my target define themselves?

Once you have some shared characteristics, you can then use them to create customer profiles or personas. It will also help give you even better insight into what really matters to them, plus any trends and insights to help you develop more ideas to increase sales.  

3. Gather Intel on Your Competitors

Understanding the competition in the market is critical. This will tell you exactly what your product or service is up against and what tactics you need to take on to compete.  Ask questions like:  How many businesses have a comparable offering to you?  What's their pricing structure?  What reach do they have?  Who do they appeal to most?  You may find that one group of people is very well served by competitors while another group has yet to be tapped into.  Answering these questions will help you identify the most profitable group to target in your marketing plans, as well as identify what types of marketing communications may or may not have worked prior.

4. Use Market Segmentation As Part of Your Business Plan

Now that you've identified your target segment, it's time to use this knowledge as part of your overall business plan. Yes, you want to use the data to create better marketing plans, but this data can also help you tap into other insights. Think about how you can develop new products and services, order the right amount of stock, and even anticipate demand at certain months of the year.   That is the essence of knowing your market. For instance, if you know you want to test certain products, look at how you can further segment your target market to see whether you should include this new item as part of your regular offerings. Or, if you know that sales are slow at a particular time of the year, you can look at the data to create campaigns to encourage quick sales.  

Using Target Market Segmentation in Your Marketing Strategy

All in all, the goal of target market segmentation is to inform your company's overall business and marketing strategy. It'll help you easily create goals and develop ideas that are more audience-centric.   Doing so means you know what they want and when they want it. This will increase brand loyalty in your customer base. Imagine how your business will benefit from this wealth of knowledge!

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Business Plan: What It Is + How to Write One

Discover what a business plan includes and how writing one can foster your business’s development.

[Featured image] Woman showing a business plan to a man at a desk.

What is a business plan? 

Think of a business plan as a document that guides the journey to start-up and beyond. Business plans are written documents that define your business goals and the strategies you’ll use to achieve those goals. In addition to exploring the competitive environment in which the business will operate, a business plan also analyses a market and different customer segments, describes the products and services, lists business strategies for success, and outlines financial planning.  

How to write a business plan 

In the sections below, you’ll build the following components of your business plan:

Executive summary

Business description 

Products and services 

Competitor analysis 

Marketing plan and sales strategies 

Brand strategy

Financial planning

Explore each section to bring fresh inspiration and reveal new possibilities for developing your business. Depending on your format, you may adapt the sections, skip over some, or go deeper into others. Consider your first draft a foundation for your efforts and one you can revise, as needed, to account for changes in any area of your business.  

1. Executive summary 

This short section introduces the business plan as a whole to the people who will be reading it, including investors, lenders, or other members of your team. Start with a sentence or two about your business, development goals, and why it will succeed. If you are seeking funding, summarise the basics of the financial plan. 

2. Business description 

Use this section to provide detailed information about your company and how it will operate in the marketplace. 

Mission statement: What drives your desire to start a business? What purpose are you serving? What do you hope to achieve for your business, the team, and your customers? 

Revenue streams: From what sources will your business generate revenue? Examples include product sales, service fees, subscriptions, rental fees, licence fees, and more. 

Leadership: Describe the leaders in your business, their roles and responsibilities, and your vision for building teams to perform various functions, such as graphic design, product development, or sales.  

Legal structure: If you’ve incorporated your business, include the legal structure here and the rationale behind this choice. 

3. Competitor analysis 

This section will assess potential competitors, their offers, and marketing and sales efforts. For each competitor, explore the following: 

Value proposition: What outcome or experience does this brand promise?

Products and services: How does each solve customer pain points and fulfill desires? What are the price points? 

Marketing: Which channels do competitors use to promote? What kind of content does this brand publish on these channels? What messaging does this brand use to communicate value to customers?  

Sales: What sales process or buyer’s journey does this brand lead customers through?

4. Products and services

Use this section to describe everything your business offers to its target market. For every product and service, list the following: 

The value proposition or promise to customers, in terms of how they will experience it

How the product serves customers, addresses their pain points, satisfies their desires, and improves their lives

The features or outcomes that make the product better than those of competitors

Your price points and how these compare to competitors

5. Marketing plan and sales strategies 

In this section, you’ll draw from thorough market research to describe your target market and how you will reach it. 

Who are your ideal customers?   

How can you describe this segment according to their demographics (age, ethnicity, income, location, etc.) and psychographics (beliefs, values, aspirations, lifestyle, etc.)? 

What are their daily lives like? 

What problems and challenges do they experience? 

What words, phrases, ideas, and concepts do consumers in your target market use to describe these problems when posting on social media or engaging with your competitors?  

What messaging will present your products as the best on the market? How will you differentiate messaging from competitors? 

On what marketing channels will you position your products and services?

How will you design a customer journey that delivers a positive experience at every touchpoint and leads customers to a purchase decision?

6. Brand strategy 

In this section, you will describe your business’s design, personality, values, voice, and other details that go into delivering a consistent brand experience. 

What are the values that define your brand?

What visual elements give your brand a distinctive look and feel?

How will your marketing messaging reflect a distinctive brand voice, including tone, diction, and sentence-level stylistic choices? 

How will your brand look and sound throughout the customer journey? 

Define your brand positioning statement. What will inspire your audience to choose your brand over others? What experiences and outcomes will your audience associate with your brand? 

7. Financial planning  

In this section, you will explore your business’s financial future. Suppose you are writing a traditional business plan to seek funding. In that case, this section is critical for demonstrating to lenders or investors you have a strategy for turning your business ideas into profit. For a lean start-up business plan, this section can provide a useful exercise for planning how to invest resources and generate revenue [ 1 ].  

To begin your financial planning, use past financials and other sections of this business plan, such as your price points or sales strategies. 

How many individual products or service packages do you plan to sell over a specific period?

List your business expenses, such as subscribing to software or other services, hiring contractors or employees, purchasing physical supplies or equipment, etc.

What is your break-even point or the amount you must sell to cover all expenses?

Create a sales forecast for the next three to five years: (No. of units to sell X price for each unit) – (cost per unit X No. of units) = sales forecast

Quantify how much capital you have on hand.

When writing a traditional business plan to secure funding, you may append supporting documents, such as licences, permits, patents, letters of reference, resumes, product blueprints, brand guidelines, the industry awards you’ve received, and media mentions and appearances.

Business plan key takeaways and best practices

Remember: Creating a business plan is crucial when starting a business. You can use this document to guide your decisions and actions and even seek funding from lenders and investors. 

Keep these best practices in mind:

Your business plan should evolve as your business grows. Return to it periodically, such as quarterly or annually, to update individual sections or explore new directions your business can take.

Make sure everyone on your team has a copy of the business plan, and welcome their input as they perform their roles. 

Ask fellow entrepreneurs for feedback on your business plan and look for opportunities to strengthen it, from conducting more market and competitor research to implementing new strategies for success. 

Start your business with Coursera 

Ready to start your business? Watch this video on the Lean approach from the Entrepreneurship Specialisation on Coursera: 

Article sources

Inc. “ How to Write the Financial Section of a Business Plan ,” Accessed April 15, 2024.

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What Is a Target Market?

  • Defining a Product's Target Market
  • 4 Target Markets

Why Are Target Markets Important?

What are market segments, target market and product sales.

  • Target Market FAQs

The Bottom Line

  • Marketing Essentials

Target Market: Definition, Purpose, Examples, Market Segments

business plan target market

Investopedia / Mira Norian

A target market is a group of people that have been identified as the most likely potential customers for a product because of their shared characteristics, such as age, income, and lifestyle.

Identifying the target market is a key part of the decision-making process when a company designs, packages, and advertises its product.

Key Takeaways

  • A target market is a group of customers with shared demographics who have been identified as the most likely buyers of a company's product or service.
  • Identifying the target market is important in the development and implementation of a successful marketing plan for any new product.
  • The target market also can inform a product's specifications, packaging, and distribution.

How Do I Define My Product's Target Market?

Part of creating a new product is envisioning the consumers who will want it.

A new product must satisfy a need or solve a problem, or both. That need or problem is probably not universal unless it reaches the level of indoor plumbing. More likely, it is needed by a subset of consumers, such as environmentally-conscious vegetarians, or science nerds, or outdoor enthusiasts. It may appeal to a teenager or a middle-aged professional, a bargain-hunter or a snob.

Envisioning your likely target market is part of the process of creating and refining a product, and informs decisions about its packaging, marketing, and placement.

What Are the 4 Target Markets?

Market researchers use activity, interest, and opinion (AIO) surveys to construct psychographic profiles of their target customers. Marketing professionals divide consumers into four major segments:

Demographic: These are the main characteristics that define your target market. Everyone can be identified as belonging to a specific age group, income level, gender, occupation, and education level.

Geographic: This segment is increasingly relevant in the era of globalization. Regional preferences need to be taken into account.

Psychographic: This segment goes beyond the basics of demographics to consider lifestyle, attitudes, interests, and values.

Behavioral: This is the one segment that relies on research into the decisions of a company's current customers. New products may be introduced based on research into the proven appeal of past products.

What Is an Example of a Target Market?

Each of the four target markets can be used to consider who the customer for a new product is.

For example, there are an estimated 100,000 Italian restaurants in the U.S. Clearly, they have enormous appeal.

But a corner pizza joint might appeal mostly, although by no means entirely, to a younger and more budget-conscious consumer, while an old-fashioned white tablecloth place might be dominated by older folks and families who live in the neighborhood. Meanwhile, a newer place down the street might cater to an upscale and trend-conscious crowd who will travel a good distance for the restaurant's innovative menu and fancy wine list.

In each successful case, a savvy business person has consciously considered the ideal target market for the restaurant and has tweaked the menu, decor, and advertising strategy to appeal to that market.

Few products today are designed to appeal to absolutely everyone. The Aveda Rosemary Mint Bath Bar, available for $26 a bar at Aveda beauty stores, is marketed to the upscale and eco-conscious woman who will pay extra for quality. Cle de Peau Beaute Synactif Soap retails for $110 a bar and is marketed to wealthy, fashion-conscious women who are willing to pay a premium for a luxury product. An eight-pack of Dial soap costs $12 at CVS, and it is known to get the job done.

Part of the success of selling a good or service is knowing to whom it will appeal and who will ultimately buy it. Its user base can grow over time through additional marketing, advertising, and word of mouth.

That's why businesses spend a lot of time and money in defining their initial target markets, and why they follow through with special offers, social media campaigns , and specialized advertising.

Dividing a target market into segments means grouping the population according to the key characteristics that drive their spending decisions. Some of these are gender, age, income level, race, education level, religion, marital status, and geographic location.

Consumers with the same demographics tend to value the same products and services, which is why narrowing down the segments is one of the most important factors in determining target markets.

For example, people who fall into a higher income bracket may be more likely to buy specialty coffee from Starbucks instead of Dunkin' Donuts. The parent companies of both of these brands need to know that in order to decide where to locate their stores, where to stock their products, and where to advertise their brand.

A business may have more than one target market—a primary target market, which is the main focus, and a secondary target market, which is smaller but has growth potential. Toy commercials are targeted directly to children. Their parents are the secondary market.

Identifying the target market is an essential part of a product development plan, along with manufacturing, distribution, price, and promotion planning. The target market determines significant factors about the product itself. A company may tweak certain aspects of a product, such as the amount of sugar in a soft drink or the style of the packaging, so that it appeals more to consumers in its target group.

As a company’s product sales grow, it may expand its target market internationally. International expansion allows a company to reach a broader subset of its target market in other regions of the world.

In addition to international expansion, a company may find its domestic target market expands as its products gain more traction in the marketplace. Expanding a product's target market is a revenue opportunity worth pursuing.

How Detailed Should a Target Market Be?

It depends. Broadly speaking, a product may be designed for a mass market or a niche market, and a niche market can be a very small group indeed, especially in a product's early introductory phase.

Some carbonated beverages aim for a practically universal market. Coca-Cola had to branch out to 200 markets abroad to continue growing its customer base. Gatorade is owned by Pepsi Cola, but the brand is positioned as a drink for athletes. The soda brand Poppi, which is branded as a "Healthy, Sparkling, Prebiotic Soda with Real Fruit Juice, Gut Health, and Immunity Benefits," is clearly aimed at a younger, healthier, and more trend-conscious target market.

Consider a casual apparel company that is working to build its distribution channels abroad. In order to determine where its apparel will be most successful, it conducts some research to identify its primary target market. It discovers that the people most likely to buy their products are middle-class women between the ages of 35 and 55 who live in cold climates.

It's reasonable for the company to focus its advertising efforts on northern European websites that have a strong female audience.

But first, the company may consider how its apparel can be most attractive to that target market. It may revise its styles and colors and tweak its advertising strategy to optimize its appeal to this new prospective market.

What Is the Purpose of a Target Market?

A target market defines a product as well as vice versa.

Once a target market is identified, it can influence a product's design, packaging, price, promotion, and distribution.

A product aimed at men won't be packaged in pink plastic. A luxury cosmetic won't be sold in a pharmacy. An expensive pair of shoes comes with a branded cloth drawstring bag as well as a shoebox. All of those factors are signals to the target audience that they have found the right product.

Identifying the target market is part of the process of creating and refining a new product.

A target market can be translated into a profile of the consumer to whom a product is most likely to appeal. The profile considers four main characteristics of that person: demographic, geographic, psychographic, and behavioral.

National Geographic. " How Italian Cuisine Became as American as Apple Pie ."

Aveda. " Rosemary Mint Bath Bar ."

Cle de Peau. " Synactif Soap ."

CVS. " Dial Antibacterial Deodorant Bar Soap, White ."

Coca-Cola Australia. " Coca-Cola: From Start-Up to Global Enterprise ."

Pepsico Partners. " Gatorade ."

DrinkPoppi. " Home ."

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Home > Business Plan > Target Market in a Business Plan

Market Size in a Business Plan

Target Market in a Business Plan

… we are targeting this part of the market …

What is the Target Market?

Target Market in a Business Plan

Target Market Segments

Your product will not be of equal interest to all potential customers, as they do not all have the same needs and characteristics. This section of the business plan deals with the analysis of the target market into different groups of customers (customer or target market segments) each having distinct characteristics and needs from the product.

The target market segmentation strategy depends on the business and the product, but generally segmentation falls into the following customer characteristics groups.

Psychographic segmentation

Psychographic segmentation splits up a sales market of a business based on such things as the social class, lifestyle choices, personality traits, tastes, attitudes, and the opinions of its customers.

Psychographic market segmentation examples include the promotion of products such as cars as these often reflect a customers lifestyle, and leisure activities. For example, a car business might identify customers who are interested in keeping the environment green and promote hybrid cars to them, or a business involved in activity holidays will seek to market to customers who show a preference for an active lifestyle.

Demographic segmentation

  • Social class
  • Size of family
  • Nationality

Geographic Segmentation

Geographic segmentation is the process of splitting up a sales market of a business based on the geographical location of the customers. It is a particularly important marketing tool when the business is a multinational, worldwide business, but is also used by businesses to split their markets into region, county, state, city, neighborhood, or postal code.

A geographic segmentation example would be seasonal clothing items such as coats and swimwear. In contrast, in a colder climate coats would be marketed and sold all year round whereas swimwear would be highly seasonal during the holiday period. In a hot climate swimwear would be the all year round product and winter coats might not be sold at all.

Behavioral segmentation

Behavioral segmentation is the process of splitting up the sales market based on brand loyalty, usage, benefits required.

Target Market Presentation in the Business Plan

The business plan target market section can be presented in a number of formats, but a listing of the major customer segments together with a pie chart will show the investor where the main potential for the product lies. In the example below, the market is split into four main segments both in terms of number of customers and percentage of the total target market.

target market 1.0

The average customer spend is also included, to reconcile the total target market back to the served available market (SAM) in monetary terms. Finally, a brief statement about the growth prospects for the market is included to show the investor the potential for growth in your chosen customer segments.

When identifying the target-market segments, it is important to be as specific as possible about the customer characteristics which make up each segment. In choosing which segments to concentrate on, take into account the size and potential for growth of each segment, and identify clearly what benefits, both emotional and financial, the product provides for the customer.

This is part of the financial projections and Contents of a Business Plan Guide , a series of posts on what each section of a simple business plan should include. The next post in this series is about the analysis of the competition for the target-market.

About the Author

Chartered accountant Michael Brown is the founder and CEO of Plan Projections. He has worked as an accountant and consultant for more than 25 years and has built financial models for all types of industries. He has been the CFO or controller of both small and medium sized companies and has run small businesses of his own. He has been a manager and an auditor with Deloitte, a big 4 accountancy firm, and holds a degree from Loughborough University.

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Define your target market, identify your industry size and growth rate, identify key industry structure trends, identify customer buying habits, identify your market share potential, identify barriers to entry and regulation, perform competitive analysis.

  • 1 Product quality
  • 2 Price competitiveness
  • 3 Strong brand
  • 4 Customer service
  • 5 Innovation
  • 1 Limited product range
  • 2 High pricing
  • 3 Poor customer service
  • 4 Outdated technology
  • 5 Weak brand awareness
  • 1 Product features comparison
  • 2 Pricing analysis
  • 3 Marketing strategies
  • 4 Customer reviews analysis
  • 5 SWOT analysis

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Business Plan Writer Moscow

A well written business plan is an essential component for any company seeking to raise capital. Our team at has over 20 years of experience writing business plans and structuring business models for start-ups, later stage and expansion companies, those seeking venture or angel financing all the way to mezzanine and 144A funding, spanning a wide range of industries across the globe. We have been involved in thousands business projects and assisted with business planning, offering and private placement setup, feasibility studies, drafting financial projections, both for private companies and those seeking initial public offerings or listings on a stock exchange.  Our team is a recognized leader in business plan development. In fact, our CEO is the Chairman and Founder of  ( Business Plans Without Borders ), a not-for-profit 501c3 organization which assist low income families as well as refugees and immigrants with business plan writing services and grants.

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Raise Capital with a Business Plan

Most business plans are written with eye towards raising money for their venture. In a business plan that is written for investment capital, the structure of the business plans and therefore the most important point of the document will be the value-added benefit. Information on the products, services and the market will play central roles in the development of the plan, as well as various payout or exit strategies for the investors. Most business plans will focus on either selling equity or debt to investors.

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Managerial Guidance Business Plan

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  • Recommendations : A business plan used to simply strategically plan one’s next move is referred to as managerial guidance business plan document. No capital is being raised initially, although sometimes we may conclude that capital should be raised for the company to penetrate or open new markets or opportunities. In the course of research, we may conclude that, in fact, the company should conduct an offering and raise money. We will recommend the amount to raise based on the company’s expansion needs and the company valuation.

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Level III Enterprise Business Plan »

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Our firm has years of experience drafting securities documents and is confident we can assist with your Moscow Business Plan Writer.  Feel free to contact us anytime, or call us to setup an appointment at any one of our global offices.

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How One Family Lost $900,000 in a Timeshare Scam

A mexican drug cartel is targeting seniors and their timeshares..

This transcript was created using speech recognition software. While it has been reviewed by human transcribers, it may contain errors. Please review the episode audio before quoting from this transcript and email [email protected] with any questions.

Hello, James.

Hey. How’s it going?

Yeah. I’m not having much luck. So the problem is funding. And all of my money is in Mexico, all of it.

From “The New York Times,” I’m Katrin Bennhold. This is “The Daily.” A massive scam targeting elderly Americans who own timeshare properties has resulted in hundreds of millions of dollars sent to Mexico.

Once you move forward and make your payment, if anything were to happen, he will directly pay you the full amount of what you’re entitled to, including the gains. He will pay you the full amount.

You’ve got all my money. It’s been sent. I sold a freaking house.

Listen to this. I sold a house that I grew up in so that I could come up with funds to send to Mexico.

I don’t even have anything from the sale, nothing.

My colleague Maria Abi-Habib on one victim who lost everything and the people on the other side of the phone.

That’s it. That’s it. There’s nothing —

You know what? That’s what has been said every freaking time. Every time, just pay this. That releases the funds.

But that’s why we won’t allow it to happen again. This is the last time, James.

It’s Friday, April 12.

Maria, you’ve been looking into this scam that’s targeting Americans. Where did your investigation start?

So several weeks ago, I received a phone call from a lawyer based in St. Petersburg, Florida, who had been contacted by a family who was very concerned that the father, this man named James, was in the middle of being scammed. He’d sent hundreds of thousands dollars to Mexico. And he was considering sending another $157,000 when his daughter decided to call up this law firm and try to get her father to stop, stop sending money to Mexico.

So I called him a few weeks ago as I was trying to understand what was going on.

Hi, James. How are you?

Good. Thank you.

He’s asked that his last name be withheld for privacy concerns because he’s quite embarrassed about the story that I’m about to tell you.

You’re retired now, but what were you doing for work? And if your wife was working, what was her job?

I was with the Highway Patrol.

James is a retired state trooper from California. And his wife Nikki is a former school nurse.

She was born in ‘51. So 71-ish.

Two. She’s just reminded me, 72.

And they’re both in their early 70s. And they own this timeshare that is in Lake Tahoe, California. And they bought it in the 1990s for about $8,000.

And for someone who did not grow up vacationing in a timeshare, remind me how exactly timeshares work.

Timeshares are essentially vacation properties. And they tend to be beach resorts. And multiple people can buy into this property. The ownership is a shared ownership. And this gives you the right to use the timeshare for one to two weeks out of every year.

And so James and Nikki used their timeshare every other year with their daughters. But as they hit retirement age and their daughters are growing up and starting their own families, they’re just not really using it that much anymore. And timeshares require the owners to pay off yearly maintenance fees. And so they’re starting to think about maybe letting go of their timeshare and selling it.

Then one day, in late 2022, James gets a phone call from a company that is purporting to be based out of Atlanta, Georgia called Worry Free Vacations.

Worry Free Vacations?

That sounds enticing.

Yeah. And they start off with a simple question, which is, do you want to buy a timeshare? And James says, I already have a timeshare. And then they say, great. Well, what about selling the timeshare? Do you want to sell? There’s this Mexican businessman, and he’s interested in your timeshare. And he’s willing to buy it for about $20,000.

So we figured, well, what the heck? If we can make a few bucks on it, we’ll go for it.

And James jumps at the opportunity.

And did he do anything to try and verify that this was real?

Yeah. So remember, James is former law enforcement. And he feels very confident in his abilities to sniff out untrustworthy people. So he goes online, and he googles this Mexican businessman and sees that, yeah, he is a real person.

He’s a very well-respected individual in Mexico, very well off. And —

And this makes James feel at ease, that he’s selling to a legitimate person, that Worry Free Vacations are who they claim to be and that he’s going to double his money overnight, essentially.

And what happens next?

Well, a couple of weeks after he makes the agreement with the buyer, he’s told that he needs to send a couple thousand dollars to facilitate the purchase.

What does that mean, facilitate?


I can’t remember specifically whether it was supposed to be cross-border registration —

So he’s being told that there are these fees that are paid directly to the Mexican government.

Or SPID or some other fee that was Mexican government required or not.

A lot of these fees are the same types of fees that you would pay in the United States for a real estate transaction. So he begins wiring money to an account in Mexico.

After that —

— a few days later, we get a notification. Well, everything went well, except that we have to pay an additional fee.

Every time that he sends one fee, he’s being told that he’s got to send another fee right afterwards.

Does he get suspicious at any point?

His wife is suspicious. After the first couple of payments, she starts saying, this does not feel right.

But James is the former law enforcement officer, right? And he’s the one that basically handles the family finances. And he’s confident that all of this is going to work out because he’s being told that the buyer of the timeshare will reimburse James for all of these fees once the sale goes through.

Michael from the Worry Free Vacations was constantly reassuring me the money’s in that account. Check with the commercial escrow account. It’s there. It’s just these fees have to be paid, and you’re being reimbursed for all of this.

They’re sending James documents that show all of the reimbursements that he’s owed and how much money he’s going to get. And this just makes him feel like all of this is kosher.

We have this commercial escrow company that was involved out of New York. So there was an air of legitimacy that I was comfortable with.

Maybe OK, these guys just need one more fee and everything is going to finally be cleared.

But about a year in, James starts to get suspicious. He begins asking questions because he wants his money.

And every time I asked, hey, is there a way I can get a partial release of these funds, there was always no, these funds have to be paid from your account before they’re released.

But Worry Free Vacations, they pivot. And they tell him that, listen, there are all these complications. It’s going to be really hard to get your money out from this transaction.

I could pay about $30,000 and change to reinvest the $313,000 into an environmentally-conscious development in Loreto, Mexico.

Instead, we’ve got this other investment opportunity in Mexico.

And I’m sure you know where that is, over on the East Coast of Baja.

And that is going to make you a huge return, even more money than you had thought that you were going to make, much more than the $20,000.

I’m supposed to have 54 million pesos in a Mexican bank account.

So this is now no longer just about his timeshare. They are now partners in a real estate investment.

Right. And there’s this whole new round of fees and fines associated with that.

So how many payments would you say?

Quite a few. Couple dozen at least, maybe more.

When was your last payment?

It would have been 17 January.

Uh-huh. And what was that for?

Good question.

And all along, he believed it was necessary to pay these costs just to get the money that he’s owed.

The amount of money that I’ve sent to Mexico is just freaking exorbitant. And I mean, it is approaching $900,000 or more.

And at this point, he’s sent about $900,000 to Mexico over about a year and a half.

Nearly $1 million.

That was almost all the money that he and his wife had saved for their retirement.

It also included money from the sale of James’s childhood home and money that he had borrowed from his daughter and son-in-law, about $150,000 from them.

It’s awful. So they were completely cleaned out by these guys.

Yeah. And this is when his daughter asks a law firm to look into this, which is the point in the story when I meet James. And when we start talking, it was clear to me that he just did not know what to think, even after losing this much money.

So this started in 2022. When did it end?

We’re still in it.

And he’s still talking to the scammers.

And as a matter of fact, presently, there was a request for $157,000 and change to clear up this whole thing. It would clear the entire issue out. Now —

And James is even considering putting a second mortgage on his house to send that money that he’d been promised would finally clear all this up — one final payment of $157,000.

It really sounds like he’s still wanted to believe that this was somehow legit.

Yeah. It was pretty clear to me that he was being scammed. But I didn’t definitively know what was going on, so I asked him if he could start recording his phone calls with the scammers.

Would you be so kind as to do me a favor?

Would you be willing to give them a call and record them?

[LAUGHS]: I’ll let you in on a little secret. I’ve been recording them.

And it turns out he already had been.

Worry Free Vacations.

So he shared the recordings of these calls that he’d had with these scammers over the last year or so. And it was just remarkable. It gave me huge insight into how the scam worked and the way that it sounded over the phone.

Is this is Michael in? I think he’s trying to call me. I couldn’t get through pick up.

Yes, I believe he did try to call you, sir. Give me a second. I think he’s only going to be in for a couple of minutes. One second.

There are two main takeaways for me listening to these calls.

Good afternoon. Michael McCarthy.

Michael, I missed your call. I was trying to pick up.

Yeah, don’t worry. Yeah, I figured something was wrong with your phone. Everything OK?

The first is that these scammers had really gotten to know James so well, and they really made James believe that Worry Free was a company that was working for him.

That’s why we need to hurry up and get this money over to you. Because hey, I’m losing my mind too. I’m not even here to convince you, James. I’m not — I’m your broker, and —

One of the things they continuously say is, trust me.

Look, I’m doing everything I can in my power and will on my end. So James, just look — like I told you from the get-go, I’m going to resolve this. And we are doing it. I just need you to focus on the goal.

They would refocus the conversation on what James needed to do to get his money back.

Look, if you make your payment as a security deposit, right away they will release the funds to you. With these —

And the other thing —

I’ve been having so much trouble trying to reach you, and I have not been successful.

— is that the scammers had created this elaborate cast of characters.

Why don’t you answer my calls?

And some of them were really aggressive. James shared a recording of this one man who claimed to be an agent for the Mexican government. And he basically started yelling at James.

I don’t care if your wife is at the hospital. To be honest with you, I don’t give a damn! But you know where I do give a damn? It’s your money, and my name is written all over it! Do you understand?

And he even threatened James. If James didn’t pay off these fines, then he would lose all the money that he’d sent to Mexico already.

You could get the best lawyer you want. You could get whoever you want. And this is not a threat. This is facts. But anyways, who am I to convince you, right?

Well, thank you for the information. And — are you still there? Hello?

Wow. So these scammers were basically doing a good cop, bad cop routine to stop James from walking away and to squeeze every last penny out of him.

If you provide me your email, contact information, I will certainly be happy to forward all of the wire transfer information from my bank account to you so that you can see where those funds went.

Yeah, that would be great. I have your email.

James asks me, a reporter who’s based in Mexico, who speaks the language, if I could help him figure out where his money had gone to.

Thank you very much. I really appreciate your assistance.

I’m just doing my job. Thanks again, and we’ll talk soon.

And the only way that I could figure that out was to understand who was on the other side of the phone.

We’ll be right back.

So Maria, who was on the other side of that phone line?

So by the time that I’d met James, I’d already gotten a tip from US law enforcement agencies that they were seeing a new trend. Mexican drug cartels were getting involved in the timeshare scam industry.

Drug cartels?

Yeah. And not just any drug cartel. This is one of the most notorious, violent, bloody drug cartels that exists in Mexico and Latin America, the Jalisco New Generation cartel. And when I looked at James’s bank records, guess what? All the money that he was sending was going to various bank accounts that were all located in Jalisco state in Mexico.

Wow. So why would the drug cartels get into the timeshare scamming business?

It is a huge business. The FBI told me that it’s about $300 million in profits over the last five years.

But the thing is is that the potential for it to actually be multitudes more is huge. Because the FBI estimates that most of the scams are actually not even reported. In fact, only about 20 percent are. So that means the total timeshare scam business could actually be much larger than the $300 million that they have knowledge of over the last five years.

But wait. I thought the drug business was a pretty lucrative business in itself. So why get into the scamming of elderly people for their properties in Lake Tahoe?

Well, you have to remember that these drug cartels, they’re not just doing one thing. They’re doing multiple things. They’re essentially conglomerates. Because it’s really expensive to run a cartel. You need to pay off officials, both Mexican and American. You need to maintain basically an army in order to secure your routes up to the United States, ports of entry into Mexico from Colombia. And any big business, you need to diversify your income to make sure that you keep the money flowing. Because you never know when one business is going to be shut down by authorities or taken over by your rivals.

We’ve reported that they’re now in the avocado business and the construction business. And timeshare fraud is basically no different than any of those. So we’re seeing that the cartels have their fingers in many pies, the legitimate and the illegitimate economy here in Mexico.

It’s kind of fascinating to think of these drug cartels as like sprawling diversified business empires. But when did the cartels first get into the scamming business?

So Jalisco New Generation started about 15 years ago.

And when they started to consolidate their empire in Jalisco state, they found that there were all these scam timeshare call centers all over the state that were being run by various players, and that this was a huge, huge moneymaker. Because essentially, all you have to do is call up retired senior citizens in the US and Canada. It doesn’t take that much money to run that kind of a scheme. There’s no product you’re making.

So essentially, they conducted a hostile takeover of these call centers. They went in. They kicked down doors and dragged out the people who were managing these call centers by their hair and threatened to kill them unless they gave up the call centers or started handing over a cut of what they made. And slowly, slowly Jalisco New Generation cartel took over the entire timeshare fraud industry.

Interesting. Were you able to find any of these call centers?

So these call centers are pretty hard to find. They look like any other storefront. But I was able to visit two that were located in an upscale neighborhood in Guadalajara, which is the capital of Jalisco state. And it was just really perturbing because it was just so normal. Two villas about a mile away from each other outside. Outside of one villa, parents were walking by, holding their children’s hands as they did drop off at school.

It was right next to a park where people taking their morning exercise or their dogs for a walk. There was no real sign that the cartel was doing business there. But a few months before, Mexican law enforcement had found the bodies of eight young people who had used to work at one of these call centers and said that the Jalisco cartel had killed them.

Wow. What happened?

So I wasn’t able to talk directly to any of the victims’ families. They’re just too scared. But in general, this is usually how it starts.

The cartel seeks out English speakers to work for their call centers. Sometimes they don’t even tell them what exactly they are doing. They would tell the recruits that the job was adjacent to the hotel industry.

You have to remember, Jalisco is a huge, huge tourism magnet for Americans and Canadians and others. And the cartel would get their call lists from bribing hotel employees to give them the names of people who stayed at these hotels and also at the timeshare resorts. And the people who would work at the call centers are provided the names and a manual of what you need to do when you call, like a loose script of how to try to suck as much money as you can out of these people up North in Canada and the States.

So we don’t know for sure what exactly happened with the eight young Mexicans who were killed last year. But through an intermediary, one sibling told us that when their family member knew what their job actually was, they became extremely uncomfortable and tried to leave the call center and find another job maybe.

But the Jalisco New Generation cartel is known for being extremely brutal. They chop off heads, and they’ll put them on the gates of a playground, for instance. So that everybody in the neighborhood knows what went down. And in this case, it’s possible that they wanted to send a warning that there’s no defection from their timeshare call centers.

So basically making a very scary example of these guys, in case anyone else is thinking about quitting one of the call centers.

Exactly. And one man, who runs an organization who advocates for missing people and actually organizes search parties to comb the forests of Jalisco state looking for the missing, says that he knows of about 30 people who have disappeared from the call centers in Jalisco state since 2017. So while Americans and Canadians might be losing much of their life savings, in Mexico, this is actually deadly.

Are the authorities doing anything about this?

Not really, other than the fact that these two call centers were shut down. The authorities haven’t arrested others. They’re not putting pressure on Mexican banks, for instance, to look into these payments coming from senior citizens in the US or Canada. And you have to remember that people are really afraid. But you also have to remember that in Mexico things are not that clear. There is a lot of corruption and government collusion with organized crime and cartels.

And the tourism industry, it is huge in Mexico and particularly in Jalisco state. This is a multi-billion dollar industry. They don’t want Americans or Canadians or Europeans who are coming to Jalisco for its beautiful beaches and its mountains to hear about these stories regarding the cartels being involved in the tourism industry and think, I’m not going to send my family there for that beach vacation. It’s just simply too dangerous.

So everybody has an incentive to have the scam continue, whether because they’re too afraid and don’t want to speak out or because they’re in on it.

So in a way, local authorities have an interest in sweeping it under the carpet in order to just maintain this idea of a tourist destination.

Exactly. I mean, the spokeswoman for the prosecutor’s office was very responsive to me until I told her what I wanted to ask her questions about. And then she just simply never answered any of my texts or phone calls.

So Maria, based on everything you know, all the information you have, would you say that you’re confident that the cartels were the ones who scammed James?

Yes, 100 percent. Everything I’ve seen points in that direction.

What did James say when you told him this?

So it took him quite a while to really allow himself to believe it. On the advice of his lawyers, he stopped picking up the phone calls. And about a week ago, they stopped after the scammers kept trying to call him.

But you said he was in it for over a year. Why do you think it took him so long?

Can you tell me, after all of that had been presented to you, why do you think you weren’t willing to be entirely convinced?

Well, I actually asked him that question.

That’s a very good question. Why wasn’t I able to pick up on that right away? And I think in the back of my mind, I’m finding out that I’m a little more stubborn than I thought I was.

And for him, it was pretty complicated.

And I think that I didn’t want to believe that I had fallen for this. I didn’t feel I was that foolish and stupid when it came to this. You know? I guess I didn’t want to believe that I could be fooled.

To come to terms with the fact that he had lost so much money was to come to terms with the fact that he wasn’t the person that he thought that he was, that he wasn’t this kind of clever former law enforcement officer who was used to fighting the bad guys and winning.

I’m disappointed in myself. There’s a huge level of anger towards the perpetrators. And all of those things wrapped into one. And part of that, I think, contributes to not wanting to actually believe that I was wrong.

Hmm. Yeah, I hear you. I’m sorry. I can hear the pain in your voice.

[LAUGHS]: Yeah.

Some of it’s based on shame, right? That he lost all this money, everything that he’s worked for, and the fact that this was all supposed to be money that his children and his grandchildren were going to inherit. And now it’s gone.

And have you told your daughter that you think you’ve come to terms with the fact that this might have been a scam?

Oh, she’s been involved. Yeah. They know.

My daughter does.

I’m sorry. This is a tough time.

So I’ve got to make some sort of arrangement to compensate them for this on top of our regular debt. So yeah. It’s been a swell experience, all of it brought on by my — evidently, my stubbornness to believe that I couldn’t possibly be a victim.

How’s your wife doing throughout this whole process, with this new knowledge?

She’s not real happy, obviously, at all. I hear a lot of “I told you so.” And at this point, I’ve got no defense. She’s absolutely right. There’s no question about it.

Do you worry this is going to affect your marriage?

Yes, there has been an effect.

And do you think that at this point there’s any way for James and his family to get some kind of justice or at least find some kind of closure?

Ay. Justice? Unlikely.

At this point, I’m not necessarily expecting much in the way of restitution.

And as for closure, it’s a little bit too soon to tell. In a way, James has gone through several stages of acceptance for what happened. There’s fear. There’s shame. There’s resignation. And now he’s talking to me partly because he feels like it’s a public service, that he needs to be vocal so that other people don’t go through what he’s gone through and fall for the scam. And I think it also helps him feel a little bit empowered in a situation for over the last year and a half he was at the mercy of these people who were calling him multiple times a week.

I want to try to get as much information to as many of these official organizations as possible. I have a streak of anger through me now that I’ve developed to the point where I’m not going to let this go.

Well, Maria, thank you.

Thank you for having me.

Here’s what else you need to know today. OJ Simpson, the football star who was accused and later acquitted of murdering his former wife and her friend, died of cancer at his home in Las Vegas, his family said Thursday. He was 76.

Today’s episode was produced by Astha Chaturvedi and Will Reid, with help from Clare Toeniskoetter and Lindsay Garrison. It was edited by Brendan Klinkenberg and Michael Benoist, contains original music by Marion Lozano, Rowan Niemisto, Dan Powell, Pat McCusker, and Will Reid, and was engineered by Chris Wood. Our theme music is by Jim Brunberg and Ben Landsverk of Wonderly.


That’s it for “The Daily.” I’m Katrin Bennhold. See you on Monday.

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  • April 9, 2024   •   30:48 How Tesla Planted the Seeds for Its Own Potential Downfall
  • April 8, 2024   •   30:28 The Eclipse Chaser
  • April 7, 2024 The Sunday Read: ‘What Deathbed Visions Teach Us About Living’
  • April 5, 2024   •   29:11 An Engineering Experiment to Cool the Earth
  • April 4, 2024   •   32:37 Israel’s Deadly Airstrike on the World Central Kitchen
  • April 3, 2024   •   27:42 The Accidental Tax Cutter in Chief

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Warning: this episode contains descriptions of violence.

A massive scam targeting older Americans who own timeshare properties has resulted in hundreds of millions of dollars sent to Mexico.

Maria Abi-Habib, an investigative correspondent for The Times, tells the story of a victim who lost everything, and of the criminal group making the scam calls — Jalisco New Generation, one of Mexico’s most violent cartels.

On today’s episode

business plan target market

Maria Abi-Habib , an investigative correspondent for The New York Times based in Mexico City.

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How a brutal Mexican drug cartel came to target seniors and their timeshares .

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The Daily is made by Rachel Quester, Lynsea Garrison, Clare Toeniskoetter, Paige Cowett, Michael Simon Johnson, Brad Fisher, Chris Wood, Jessica Cheung, Stella Tan, Alexandra Leigh Young, Lisa Chow, Eric Krupke, Marc Georges, Luke Vander Ploeg, M.J. Davis Lin, Dan Powell, Sydney Harper, Mike Benoist, Liz O. Baylen, Asthaa Chaturvedi, Rachelle Bonja, Diana Nguyen, Marion Lozano, Corey Schreppel, Rob Szypko, Elisheba Ittoop, Mooj Zadie, Patricia Willens, Rowan Niemisto, Jody Becker, Rikki Novetsky, John Ketchum, Nina Feldman, Will Reid, Carlos Prieto, Ben Calhoun, Susan Lee, Lexie Diao, Mary Wilson, Alex Stern, Dan Farrell, Sophia Lanman, Shannon Lin, Diane Wong, Devon Taylor, Alyssa Moxley, Summer Thomad, Olivia Natt, Daniel Ramirez and Brendan Klinkenberg.

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Katrin Bennhold is the Berlin bureau chief. A former Nieman fellow at Harvard University, she previously reported from London and Paris, covering a range of topics from the rise of populism to gender. More about Katrin Bennhold


Money latest: Most expensive street in London revealed; easy ways you can improve your credit score - and one that takes minutes

We dig into credit scores in the latest entry in our Basically series. Read this and all the latest consumer and personal finance news in the Money blog - and share your thoughts on anything of the stories we publish below. Listen to the Ian King Business podcast while you scroll.

Tuesday 16 April 2024 11:48, UK

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  • Eyes on Bank of England and interest rates as wages grow by 6%
  • Spotlight on unpaid carers: 'I feel isolated, lonely and guilty': Daughter caring for mother with motor neurone disease alone  
  • Basically... How to improve your credit score
  • Most expensive street in London revealed

Essential reads

  • How to earn thousands letting film and music stars shoot in your home
  • Britons can now 'work from home' in Italy for a year
  • 'I'm a prisoner': Mother spending pension looking after son, 41, with cerebral palsy
  • Money Problem: My boss ruined end of maternity leave with ultimatum - what are my rights?

Ask a question or make a comment

Deliveroo has confirmed to Sky News it is adding a "small extended delivery fee" for all users. 

The online food delivery company emailed some of its Plus customers yesterday saying the charge will come into force on 1 May. 

Deliveroo told the Money team that it was still "committed to offering customers the best value for money, service and selection". 

"Over the last year, we dramatically increased the selection that customers see in the app by expanding delivery radii to give customers access to more restaurants and provide greater choice," they said. 

"This means that some of our partners are further away so riders need to go the extra mile to deliver these orders.

"We will therefore be introducing a small extended delivery fee for long distance orders which will be discounted for Plus customers." 

Plus customers are those who pay a monthly fee to enjoy additional perks.

Currently, Silver Plus customers pay £3.49 a month to get free delivery on orders more than £15 from restaurants and £25 from stores, as well as exclusive offers and rewards. 

Gold Plus members pay £7.99 a month for free delivery on orders over £10, the ability to claim back £5 if their order arrives late and access to discounted fees and rewards. 

People in search of a little extra cash have been told they could have a small fortune sitting on their bookshelves.

Research by All Top Books, an online bookshop, has revealed how much some early copies of our best loved books could be worth.

Thousands of valuable volumes could be gathering dust on shelves across the country, it said.

Treasure hunters were told to check whether elderly relatives have any unwanted old tomes.

Rare editions of the early works of children's writers such as Roald Dahl and J.K. Rowling can be worth thousands if found in good condition.

The books listed below also sold in their millions, so there is a fighting chance you've got one.

Ten tomes that could fetch a pretty penny are:

  • Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl (1967) - £1,000
  • The Tale of Mrs Tittlemouse by Beatrix Potter (1910) - £1,000
  • Now We Are Six, Winnie The Pooh by A.A. Milne (1927) - £2,000
  • James Bond: On Her Majesty’s Secret Service by Ian Fleming (1963) - £13,000
  • Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austin (1894)  - £2,500
  • Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll (1914) - £2,000
  • Sherlock Holmes: The Hound of the Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle (1902) - £5,000
  • Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J.K. Rowling (1997) - £5,000
  • Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling (1998) - £2,000
  • N or M? By Agatha Christie (1941) - £2,000

By James Sillars , business news reporter 

There is no real prospect of a new record high for the FTSE 100 today.

Stock markets have widely taken fright at the prospect of US interest rates remaining higher for longer, after further evidence of resilience in the world's biggest economy yesterday.

Energy stocks led the FTSE lower at the open - falling 1.3% to 7,862.

Sentiment in London was not improved by data from the ONS that showed UK wage growth remaining stubbornly high.

The Bank of England wants to see the pace come down markedly before relaxing its battle against inflation through an interest rate cut.

LSEG data showed a flurry of bets away from June for the first rate cut and towards August instead.

Across the market more widely, shares in Superdry were 25% down as it confirmed a story by Sky News yesterday that it had launched a restructuring plan that would result in rent reductions for some of its stores.

It also planned an equity raise, which it said would allow it to delist from the London Stock Exchange.

One other piece of market data to flag: the cost of oil.

Brent crude is still sat around the $90 a barrel mark amid the raised tensions in the Middle East.

Market experts have warned the direction will be determined by Israel's response to Iran's drone and missile attack on Israeli soil on Saturday night.

The Office for National Statistics has just released its latest data on wage growth - a factor in the sights of the Bank of England as it considers when to start cutting interest rates. 

Wages excluding bonuses grew by 6% in the three months to the end of February, compared with the same period a year ago. 

A Reuters poll of economists had predicted wage growth would slow to 5.8% from 6.1% in November to January. 

The figures, while welcome on the face of it for struggling households, will make for worrying reading at the Bank of England, which is assessing the timing for a long-awaited interest rate cut in its battle against inflation.

Other jobs figures released by the ONS showed unemployment in February rose to 4.2% from 3.9%, and the number of vacancies in January to March was 916,000, a fall of 13,000 on the previous three months.

Liz McKeown, director of economic statistics at the ONS, said: "Recent trends of falling vacancy numbers and slowing earnings growth have continued this month albeit at a reduced pace. 

"But with the rate of inflation also slowing, real earnings growth has increased and is now at its highest rate in nearly two and a half years."

Read more on what the figures mean from our business reporter James Sillars here :

A street in London (perhaps unsurprisingly) has been named the most expensive in the country. 

Nestled near Buckingham Palace and the Houses of Parliament, houses along Buckingham Gate come with an average price tag at £9,633,333, according to Rightmove. 

After Buckingham Gate, the next highest average asking price was found in Vicarage Gate in Holland Park in west London, at £6,332,000.

Outside London, Old Avenue in Weybridge, Surrey, had the highest average asking price for properties so far this year, at £2,633,333.

When it comes to renting, Albion Street in Bayswater, central London, was found to be the most expensive at £20,857 a month.

This was followed by Pavilion Road in Knightsbridge, central London, where renters spend around £15,251 a month for a new let. 

Outside the capital, London Road in Ascot, Berkshire, was found to have the highest rent price at £6,831 a month.

Basically, a credit score is a three-digit number that indicates how reliable you are at borrowing and repaying money. 

It is worked out by collecting information about you from public records, lenders and other service providers.

The scores are based on the amount you have borrowed, your repayment history and other information such as your job and age.

Credit scores can influence your ability to access loans and credit, as well as the terms you are offered if your application is successful.

It can also be a factor if you want to buy a car on finance or when buying a new smartphone through a pay-monthly contract. 

A good score can also see you have access to the lowest interest rates available on mortgages and it can affect how much you pay for your security deposit on a rental house.

What is a good credit score?

Your credit worthiness is calculated using a points system.

In the UK, there are three main credit reference agencies - Experian, Equifax and TransUnion - and they each have their own system of rating your credit worthiness. 

Experian, which gives scores out of 999, has said a credit score of 700 or above is generally considered good and a score of 800 or above is considered to be excellent. 

Equifax, which gives you a score out of 1,000, considers scores between 740 to 799 to be very good; and 800 up are considered excellent.

TransUnion considers a good credit score to be between 721-780 while 781 onwards is excellent.

How can you improve it?

This may seem an obvious one, but keeping up with repayments is a good way to show lenders you are sensible with money and are likely to pay back what you borrow on time, an Equifax spokesperson told the Money blog. 

The credit reference agency said it is also best to avoid staying close to or exceeding your credit limit as this can indicate that you're experiencing financial difficulties.

Rajan Lakhani, money expert at the money app Plum, said registering on the electoral roll is also an easy way - and only takes minutes - to improve your score as it gives lenders confidence that they know where you are based.

He also said getting a whole credit report is another way to keep an eye on any errors or even fraud.

"A lot of people will just look at the score but it's worth getting the full report," he said. 

"Even if there is something that has occurred but there were special circumstances around it, you can get a notice of correction and it explains that."

Mark Mcelvanney, client services director at IE Hub, said "consistency" was important too.

"Your credit scores are built up of lots of difference data sources so every time you make an application for a loan, credit card or any form of credit you enter information into that application," he said.

"Making sure the application information is consistent is important, even down to your job title, because if they look different in each of those applications, the ultimate worthiness will be impacted and there could be suggestions of fraud or instability."

And it is also worth "de-linking mortgages" after splitting with a partner, he added.

"If their credit file starts to suffer that can have a negative impact on you," he said.

Other tips from Equifax...

Take control of your finances

Having combined finances - like a joint mortgage or credit card -  could negatively affect your ability to access credit, if the other person's credit history is poor.

Know the difference between hard and soft credit searches

When you apply for credit, it leaves a "footprint" on your credit report and making too many applications in a short space of time can have a negative impact on your score.

Instead, space out and limit the number of applications you make.

Check your credit report regularly

Despite popular myths, checking your credit report regularly does not negatively impact your credit score. 

Read other entries in our Basically... series...

By Bhvishya Patel, Money team

Over four days this week, we're speaking to some of Britain's struggling unpaid carers, hearing at times heart-breaking accounts of their physical, emotional and financial struggles.

Today, a daughter who cares for her mother with motor neurone disease tells us the financial support she receives "is not even close to enough" and left her needing to use her savings as a last resort.

Fiona Jermaine, 39, from Grimsby, whose mother Helen, 74, was diagnosed in 2012, worked full-time until the pandemic but after she was furloughed and her mother's condition worsened she decided against returning.

"Mentally it's isolating - you feel lonely. And as much as you do, you always feel guilty and feel you are not doing enough." Fiona Jermaine

While Fiona has care agency staff come to the house to help, she is the main carer for her mother.

"Everything around the house is down to me - the washing, cleaning, shopping, cooking," Fiona says. 

"I'm very much tied to the house."

Physically it has "massively" taken a toll on her and mentally it is "isolating".

"I think because you're busy, you ignore how you are feeling. As daft as it sounds, you don't really stop until you're actually really, really poorly. So you kind of ignore a lot," she says.

"Mentally it's isolating - you feel lonely. And as much as you do, you always feel guilty and feel you are not doing enough."

Heating on 24/7

With her mother's care falling under the NHS continuing healthcare support, her carers are funded by the health service.

The funding, which is separate to the £76.75-a-week carer's allowance, is provided for those assessed as having a "primary health need" and pays for the care agency, with Fiona's mother allocated £700 a week.

But with "sky-high" gas and electricity bills in the cost of living crisis, Fiona says she is sometimes left with no option but to dip into her savings.

"Mum feels the cold so the heating is on 24/7 and she has so many pieces of medical equipment on and I can't turn them off," Fiona says.

"You don't get any help with that whatsoever."

In addition to carer's allowance, Fiona gets universal credit but she says she is not able to receive the maximum £368.74 she could be entitled to due to receiving a carer's benefit. She instead receives £222.02 a month.

She says the financial help she gets from the carer's allowance is "not even close" to enough.

"It's supposed to be based on the carer working 35 hours a week - so myself doing 35 hours of care. I challenge you to find a carer that only does that. It's really not a lot," she says.

"People tell me I'm doing a really good job, but you never feel like that, you always feel like you should do more - it's tiring.

"It feels like you can never switch off. Even if you do go out for an hour, you are still listening to your phone."

'People do not do only 35 hours'

With no other avenues of income, her financial struggles have left Fiona needing to use her savings as a last resort. Returning to work is a "possibility" but she is uncertain about how that would work.

"When the gas and electricity bills went really high, going into my savings was the only way I could pay it," she says.

"And then Mum also needed a new wheelchair accessible vehicle and the upfront payment for that was about £4,500. I had no choice, I had to pay it.

"With returning to work, it could possibly happen, but more likely it'll be when Mum's no longer with us - I lean more towards that.

"Obviously if finances meant that I had to, I would but I can't honestly tell you how I would make that work."

With carers facing unprecedented pressure on their finances, Fiona says domiciliary home care needs "vast amounts of money thrown at it" and the government needed to be a "bit more realistic" with carer's allowance.

"The 35 hours figure for care is just ridiculous. People do not do 35 hours. I don't know where they plucked that arbitrary figure from but it is ridiculous so that needs to be looked at," she says.

"And then I think they need to make it so it's not tied into your other benefits.

"There is a threshold, so you can only do so many hours or earn so much and then you lose your universal credit. It's so difficult to find a job that fits around the care side. 

"They've made out that they want everyone to go back to work. Well, make it a bit easier for us to go back to work."

A government spokesperson said: "Unpaid carers play a vital role in the lives of their family and friends, which is why from April we're boosting carer's allowance meaning carers receive an extra £1,500 a year compared to 2010.

"Those in low income households may also be eligible for additional financial support such as universal credit."

You can read the first part of our series here :

HMRC has overpaid its own staff millions of pounds over the past 10 years, according to The Telegraph. 

In total, £12.6m has been pocketed by employees but only £12.3m has been paid back, leaving a £300,000 shortfall. 

The news outlet said some 250 staff were overpaid by more than £1,000 last year. 

Some of the overpayments were caused by payroll failing to stop salary payments for people who had left the company, it added. 

The revelation comes after the tax office controversially decided to close its helplines for six months. 

"With a staff headcount of almost 67,500, we operate at a monthly payroll average accuracy rate of 99.54%, which exceeds the corporate benchmark of 98%," a HMRC spokesperson said.

"Our total pay bill in the 2022/23 financial year was £2.449bn* which means that 0.05% was incorrectly paid that year, and we have recovered over 84% of that.

"We have robust processes in place for the recovery of over and underpayments and all staff are provided with guidance on the importance of checking the payment of their salary."

Asda has become the first UK supermarket to launch an online prescription service. 

The Asda Online Pharmacy allows patients to manage prescriptions digitally and have them delivered to their home

All requests will undergo thorough checks by qualified pharmacists before being approved.

From today, new patients can register for the service by visiting 

Dr Martens has filed a lawsuit against online retailer Temu for allegedly infringing its trademarks, according to The Times. 

The British bootmaker has alleged that the online retailer paid Google to advertise boots sold on its site when users search keywords including "Dr Martens", it said. 

As a result, Temu's lookalike products were placed about Dr Martens' own in search results. 

The move is the latest sign of growing hostility between Western retailers and their cheaper Chinese rivals. 

Temu told Sky News it was yet to receive the complaint and will review it in due course.  

Tesla is cutting 10% of its global workforce in a bid to reduce costs and bolster productivity, it has been reported.

The electric vehicle maker, founded and run by Elon Musk, was yet to comment on a story earlier today by Electrek that it was to axe about 15,000 people.

The tech publication said the cuts were revealed in an internal memo - also seen by the Reuters news agency.

It added that managers had been tasked earlier this year with identifying key personnel.

The company, which had more than 140,000 staff at the end of last year, has been struggling with soft demand for its electric vehicles.

The average UK tenant is spending 30.6% of their salary on rent, data shows.

Many experts believe that a third of your earnings is considered the outer limit for affordability.

But in several areas of the UK, people are spending considerably more, an index created by Canopy has shown.

Tenants in Poole have been found to be struggling most with affordability, with the average renter giving more than 40% of their income to their landlord. 

Stirling has also made a surprising inclusion in the top 10 places, with a low average income meaning tenants are spending 37.8% of their wages on rent. 

Belfast was found to be the most affordable major city for renters, with people spending just over a quarter of their salary in rent (23.2%), on average. 

Here are the 10 places people spend the highest percentage of their income on rent: 

Chris Hutchinson, chief executive of Canopy, said the data showed homeowners spend an average of 18% of their income on their mortgage. 

"It is sobering to see that one in five tenants are spending the vast majority of their salary on rental payments, and it neatly encapsulates the tricky situation that many tenants with aspirations of homeownership are in," he said. 

"Where we could see positive change is towards longer tenancies for those who desire them, fostering greater security for families and communities."

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Russia's Nuclear Fuel Cycle

(Updated December 2021)

  • A significant increase in uranium mine production is planned.
  • There is increasing international involvement in parts of Russia's fuel cycle.
  • A major Russian political and economic objective is to increase exports, particularly for front-end fuel cycle services through Tenex, as well as nuclear power plants.

Russia uses about 5500 tonnes of natural uranium per year.

There is high-level concern about the development of new uranium deposits, and a Federal Council meeting in April 2015 agreed to continue the federal financing of exploration and estimation works in Vitimsky Uranium Region in Buryatia. It also agreed to financing construction of the engineering infrastructure of Mine No. 6 of Priargunsky Industrial Mining and Chemical Union (PIMCU). The following month the Council approved key support measures including the introduction of a zero rate for mining tax and property tax; simplification of the system of granting subsoil use rights; inclusion of the Economic Development of the Far East and Trans-Baikal up to 2018 policy in the Federal Target Program; and the development of infrastructure in Krasnokamensk.

In June 2015 Rosgeologia signed a number of agreements to expedite mineral exploration in Russia, including one with Rosatom. It was established in July 2011 by presidential decree and consists of 38 enterprises located in 30 regions across Russia, but uranium is a minor part of its interests.

Uranium resources and mining

Russia has substantial economic resources of uranium, with about 9% of world reasonably assured resources plus inferred resources up to $130/kg – 505,900 tonnes U (2014 Red Book ). Rosatom reported ARMZ resources as 517,000 tU in September 2015, mostly requiring underground mining. Historic uranium exploration expenditure is reported to have been about $4 billion. The Federal Natural Resources Management Agency (Rosnedra) reported that Russian uranium reserves grew by 15% in 2009, particularly through exploration in the Urals and Kalmykia Republic, north of the Caspian Sea.

Uranium production has varied from 2870 to 3560 tU/yr since 2004, and in recent years has been supplemented by that from Uranium One Kazakh operations, giving 7629 tU in 2012. In 2006 there were three mining projects in Russia, since then others have been under construction and more projected, as described below. Cost of production in remote areas such as Elkon is said to be US$ 60-90/kg. Spending on new ARMZ domestic projects in 2013 was RUR 253.5 million, though in November 2013 all Rosatom investment in mining expansion was put on hold due to low uranium prices.

Plans announced in 2006 for 28,600 t/yr U 3 O 8 output by 2020, 18,000t of this from Russia* and the balance from Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan and Mongolia have since taken shape, though difficulties in starting new Siberian mines makes the 18,000 t target unlikely. Three uranium mining joint ventures were established in Kazakhstan with the intention of providing 6000 tU/yr for Russia from 2007: JV Karatau, JV Zarechnoye and JV Akbastau (see below and Kazakhstan paper).

* See details for April 2008 ARMZ plans. In 2007 TVEL applied for the Istochnoye, Kolichkanskoye, Dybrynskoye, Namarusskoye and Koretkondinskoye deposits with 30,000 tU in proved and probable reserves close to the Khiagda mine in Buryatia. From foreign projects: Zarechnoye 1000 t, Southern Zarechnoye 1000 t, Akbastau 3000 t (all in Kazakhstan); Aktau (Uzbekistan) 500 t, Novo-Konstantinovskoye (Ukraine) 2500 t. In addition Russia would like to participate in development of Erdes deposit in Mongolia (500t) as well as in Northern Kazakhstan deposits Semizbai (Akmolonsk Region) and Kosachinoye.

Long term uranium production plans of Russian producer ARMZ produced in the year 2007

*(this chart is now slightly out of date but still gives a general picture)

AtomRedMetZoloto (ARMZ) is the state-owned company which took over Tenex and TVEL uranium exploration and mining assets in 2007-08, as a subsidiary of Atomenergoprom (79.5% owned). It inherited 19 projects with a total uranium resource of about 400,000 tonnes, of which 340,000 tonnes are in Elkonskiy uranium region and 60,000 tonnes in Streltsovskiy and Vitimskiy regions. The rights to all these resources had been transferred from Rosnedra , the Federal Agency for Subsoil Use under the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment .

JSC ARMZ Uranium Holding Company (as it is now known) became the mining division of Rosatom in 2008, responsible for all Russian uranium mine assets and also Russian shares in foreign joint ventures. In 2008, 78.6% of JSC Priargunsky, all of JSC Khiagda and 97.85% of JSC Dalur was transferred to ARMZ. In March 2009 the Federal Financial Markets Service of Russia registered RUR 16.4 billion of additional shares in ARMZ placed through a closed subscription to pay for uranium mining assets, on top of a RUR 4 billion issued in mid 2008 to pay for the acquisition of Priargunsky, Khiagda and Dalur. In November 2009 SC Rosatom paid a further RUR 33 billion for ARMZ shares, increasing its equity to 76.1%.

In 2009 and 2010 ARMZ took a 51% share in Canadian-based Uranium One Inc, paying for this with $610 million in cash and by exchange of assets in Kazakhstan: 50% of JVs Akbastau, Karatau and Zarechnoye, mining the Budenovskoye and Zarechnoye deposits. (An independent financial advisor put the value of ARMZ's stakes in the Akbastau and Zarechnoye JVs at $907.5 million.) Uranium One has substantial production capacity in Kazakhstan, including now those two mines with Karatau, Akdala, South Inkai and Kharasan, as well as small prospects in USA and Australia (sold in 2015). In 2013 ARMZ completed the purchase of outstanding shares in Uranium One Inc, and it became a full subsidiary of ARMZ. JSC Uranium One Group (U1 Group) is from December 2016 a 78.4% owned subsidiary of Atomenergoprom and apparently separate from ARMZ.

Following this, late in 2013 Rosatom established Uranium One Holding NV  (U1H) as its global growth platform for all international uranium mining assets belonging to Russia, with headquarters in Amsterdam. It lists assets in Kazakhstan, USA and Tanzania, as well as owning and managing Rosatom’s stake in Uranium One Inc. In 2013 it accounted for 5086 tU production at average cash cost of $16/lb U 3 O 8 , and reported 229,453 tU measured, indicated and inferred resources (attributable share). In 2014 it produced 4857 tU and listed resources of 177,000 tU. The company plans to extend its interests into rare earths. Its ‘strategic partner’ is JSC NAC Kazatomprom.

ARMZ remains responsible for uranium mining in Russia. At the end of 2013 it was 82.75% owned by Rosatom and 17.25% TVEL. Exploration expenditure has nearly doubled in two years to about US$ 52 million in 2008. In 2013 the government approved an exploration budget of RUR 14 billion ($450 million) through to 2020, principally in the Far East and Northern Siberia. Deposits suitable for ISL mining will be sought in the Transurals, Transbaikal and Kalmykyia. Other work will be in the Urals, Siberian, Far East Federal Districts (Zauralsky, Streltsovsky, Vitimsky and Vostochno-Zabaikalsky, and Elkonsky ore regions).

Rosgeologia, the Russian state-run geological exploration services company set up in 2011, has identified "promising" uranium deposits in the North-West Federal District of Russia following completion of a survey of the Kuol-Panayarvinskaya area on the border of the Murmansk region and the Republic of Karelia. It signed an agreement with Rosatom in 2015 to focus on uranium.

CJSC Rusburmash (RBM) is the exploration subsidiary of ARMZ. VNIPIPT is the subsidiary responsible for R&D and engineering of mining and processing plants.

In December 2010 ARMZ made a $1.16 billion takeover bid for Australia's Mantra Resources Ltd with a prospective Mkuju River project in southern Tanzania, which was expected in production about 2013 at 1400 tU/yr, but is now deferred. This is now under U1H.

Domestic mining

In 2009 the government accepted Rosatom’s proposal for ARMZ and Elkonsky Mining and Metallurgical Combine to set up the “open-type joint stock company” EGMK-Project. The state’s contribution through Rosatom to the EGMK-Project authorized capital will be RUR 2.657 billion, including RUR 2.391 billion in 2009 and RUR 0.266 billion in 2010. EGMK-Project is being set up to draw up the project and design documentation for Elkonsky Mining and Metallurgical Combine (see below).

The Russian Federation’s main uranium deposits are in four districts:

  • The Trans-Ural district in the Kurgan region between Chelyabinsk and Omsk, with the Dalur ISL mine.
  • Streltsovskiy district in the Transbaikal or Chita region of SE Siberia near the Chinese and Mongolian borders, served by Krasnokamensk and with major underground mines.
  • The Vitimsky district in Buryatia about 570 km northwest of Krasnokamensk, with the Khiagda ISL mine.
  • The more recently discovered remote Elkon district in the Sakha Republic (Yakutia) some 1200 km north-northeast of the Chita region.

Present production by ARMZ is principally from the Streltsovskiy district, where major uranium deposits were discovered in 1967, leading to large-scale mining, originally with few environmental controls. These are volcanogenic caldera-related deposits. Krasnokamensk is the main town serving the mines.

In 2008 ARMZ said that it intended to triple production to 10,300 tU per year by 2015, with some help from Cameco, Mitsui and local investors. ARMZ planned to invest RUR 203 billion (US$ 6.1billion) in the development of uranium mining in Russia in 2008-2015. It aimed for 20,000 tU per year by 2024. Total cost was projected at RUR 67 billion ($2 billion), mostly at Priargunsky, with RUR 4.8 billion ($144 million) there by end of 2009 including a new $30 million, 500 tonne per day sulfuric acid plant commissioned in 2009, replacing a 1976 acid plant.

Russian uranium mining

Source: 2016 ‘Red Book’ except Olovskaya and Lunnoye.

Russian uranium production, tonnes U

Trans-Ural, Kurgan region

A modest level of production is from Dalur in the Trans-Ural Kurgan region. This is a low-cost ($40/kg) acid in situ leach (ISL) operation in sandstones. About 1350 km east of Moscow, Uksyanskoye is the town supporting the Dalur mine. ARMZ’s 2008 plan had production at Dalur by acid ISL increasing from 350 to 800 tU/yr by 2019 (expanding from the Dalmatovskoye field in the Zauralsk uranium district to Khokhlovskoye in the Shumikhinsky district, then Dobrovolnoye in the Zverinogolovsky district). In 2014 JSC Dalur completed further exploration of the Khokhlovskoye deposit and increased its resources from 4700 to 5500 tonnes. A mill upgrade was started in 2016. More than half of 2016 production was from the Ust-Uksyansky part of Dalmatovskoye field.

In 2016 geological exploration at the Dobrovolnoye deposit was advanced, and a permit for development was received in June 2017, allowing construction of the pilot plant, which commenced in 2020. Its reserves are quoted as 7067 tU. After pilot operation to 2021, commercial operation is expected to maintain Dalur production at 700 tU per year to about 2025 after Dalmatovskoye and Khokhlovskoye are exhausted, reaching full capacity in 2031.

Transbaikal Chita region, Streltsovskiy district

Here, several underground mines operated by JSC Priargunsky Industrial Mining and Chemical Union ( PIMCU  – 85% ARMZ) supply low-grade ore to a central mill near Krasnokamensk. PIMCU was established in 1968, and produces some other metals than uranium. Since 2008 it has been an ARMZ subsidiary. Historical production from Priargunsky is reported to be 140,000 tU (some from open cut mines) and 2011 known resources (RAR + IR) are quoted as 115,000 tU at 0.159%U. In 2013 ‘reserves’ were quoted by ARMZ at 108,700 tonnes. Production is up to about 3000 tU/yr, about one-tenth of it from heap leaching. In 2015 production was 1977 tU and costs were reduced by 11%, so that it hoped to break even in mid-2016.

The company has six underground mines, most of them operating: Mine #1, Mine #2, Glubokiy Mine, Shakhta 6R, Mine #8 with extraction from Maly Tulukui deposit, and Mine #6 (see below). ARMZ’s 2008 plan called for Priargunsky's production to be expanded from 3000 to 5000 tU/yr by 2020.

Mine #1 production rate was increased in 2016. It is on the opposite side of the Oktyabriski settlement from mine #2 and about 2 km from it.

Mine #2 was making a loss in 2013 due to market conditions, so it was closed in order to concentrate on bringing mine #8 to full production. Stoping operations resumed in February 2015, with production target 130 tU for the year, from average grade 0.15%. It is now known as section 2 of mine #8. Some production has been exported to France, Sweden and Spain.

Mine #8 began producing in 2011, towards phase 1 target capacity of 400 t/yr by the end of 2014. The total cost of development is expected to be RUR 4.8 billion (RUR 3.5 billion for phase 1). Production was increased 22% in 2016.

Mine #6  will access the Argunskoye and Zherlovoye deposits which comprise 35% of the Streltsovskoye reserves of 40,900 tU, with much higher grade (0.3%U) than the rest. Production cost from mine #6 is projected at $90/kgU. Future plans for Priargunsky are focused on development of mine #6, official construction of which commenced in 2018.

Development began in 2009 for stage 1 production from 2015 to reach full capacity in 2019, but this was put on hold in 2013. In March 2015 ARMZ said it hoped to find co-investors in the project, and federal funds might be forthcoming. Then in June 2015 Rosatom’s Investment Committee decided to finance the development. In August 2016 ARMZ said that RUR 27 billion was required to enable 2022 commissioning. In March 2018 a new financing arrangement was announced to the extent of RUR 18.5 billion, with Priargunsky to own 51% of the project and ARMZ 49% directly. Most of the project financing – RUR 16.1 billion – would be from China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC), with the balance of RUR 2.5 billion from a new Russia-China Investment Fund for Regional Development (RCIF) “as a first step in widening cooperation” with China. According to the Russian Gazette (quoted by Platts Nuclear Fuel ), CNNC’s investment would give it a 49% stake in the joint venture, entitling it to that proportion of annual production. Construction recommenced in March 2018, aiming for first production in 2023, ramping up to full capacity of 1800 tU/yr by 2026. Rosatom reported that the Mine #6 development project is supervised by the government of Zabaikalsky Krai.

Mine #4. Mining the Tulukuy pit of Mine #4 ceased in 1991 due to low grades, but now low-cost block-type underground leaching is ready to be employed in the pit bottom to recover the remaining 6000 tU. Following this the pit will be filled with low-grade ore for heap leaching.

A re-evaluation of reserves in 2012 suggested that mineable resources apart from Mine #6 amounted to only 32,000 tU. Mine #8 resources were quoted at 12,800 tU in December 2012. In 2014 PIMCU, as part of the Kaldera project, identified four promising areas over 100 sq km in the Streltsovskoye ore field, with resources estimated at 80,000 tU, and they will be explored over 2015-17.

In 2014 PIMCU completed an upgrade of its sulfuric acid plant to take daily production from 400 to 500 tonnes, for use in both the conventional mill and in underground and heap leaching. Also the mill (hydrometallurgical plant) process was improved.

There is a legacy environmental problem at Priargunsky arising from 30 waste rock and low-grade ore dumps as well as tailings. Rehabilitation of waste rock dumps and open pits is proceeding and low-grade ores are being heap leached. Dams and intercepting wells below the tailings dams with hydrogeological monitoring and wastewater treatment is addressing water pollution. Final rehabilitation of the impacted areas will occur after final closure takes place. In 2016 ARMZ announced a new heap leaching initiative for very low-grade ores stockpiled on the surface, to produce 50 to 63 tU/yr.

In 2006 Priargunsky won a tender to develop Argunskoye and Zherlovoye deposits in the Chita region with about 40,000 tU reserves. Dolmatovsk and Khokhlovsk have also been identified as new mines to be developed (location uncertain).

Development of Olovskoye and Gornoye deposits* in the Transbaikal region near Priargunsky towards Khiagda would add 900 tU/yr production for RUR 135 billion ($5.7 billion). Measured resources together are 12,200 tU and inferred resources 1600 tU, all at 0.072% average (JORC-compliant). In 2007 newly-formed ARMZ set up two companies to undertake this, and possibly attract some foreign investment:

  • Gornoye Uranium Mining Company (UDK Gornoye) to develop the Gornoye and Berezovoye mines in the Krasnochikoysky and Uletovsky districts in Chita, with underground mining and some heap leach (ore grade 0.226%U) originally to produce 300 tU/yr from 2014, but now anticipating up to 1000 tU/yr from 2025.
  • Olovskaya Mining & Chemical Company to develop the Olovskoye deposits in the Chernyshevsk district of Chita region with underground, open cut and heap leach to produce 600 tU/yr from 2016.

The 2016 Red Book noted that UDK Gornoye was undertaking pilot mining project design for the Berezovoye deposit.

* 2006 plans were for 2000t/yr at new prospects in Chita Region and Buryatia (Gornoye, Berezovoye, Olovskoye, Talakanskoye properties etc.), plus some 3000t at new deposits.

Buryatia, Vitimsky district

JSC  Khiagda 's operations are at Vitimsky in Buryatia about 570 km northwest of Krasnokamensk, serving Priargunsky's operations in Chita region, and 140 km north of Chita city. They are starting from a low base – in 2010 production from the Khiagdinskoye ore field was 135 tU, rising to 440 tU in 2013 (fully utilising the pilot plant) and targeting 1000 tU/yr from 2018 with a new plant. These are a low-cost (US$ 70/kgU) acid in situ leach (ISL) operations in sandstones, and comprise the only ISL mine in the world in permafrost. Groundwater temperature is 1-4°C, giving viscosity problems, especially when winter air temperature is -40°C. The main uranium mineralisation is a phosphate, requiring oxidant addition to the acid solution. In the Khiagdinskoye field itself there are eight palaeochannel deposits over 15 x 8 km, at depths of 90 to 280 metres (average 170 m). Single orebodies are up to 4 km long and 15 to 400 m wide, 1 to 20 m thick.

JSC Khiagda has resources of 55,000 tU amenable to ISL mining, with resource potential estimated by Rosatom of 350,000 tU, giving a mine life of over 50 years. In 2015 ‘reserves’ were quoted by ARMZ at 39,300 tonnes U. The 2008 ARMZ plan envisaged production from JSC Khiagda's project increasing to 1800 tU/yr by 2019, but in 2013 the higher target was postponed. The 2018 plan is now 1000 tonnes. In 2014 JSC Khiagda continued construction of the main production facility and on the sulfuric acid plant, the first stage of which was commissioned in September 2015. Its final design capacity is 110,000 t/yr.

JSC Khiagda is currently mining uranium from the Khiagdin and Istochnoy deposits of the Khiagda ore field. Preparatory work for mining operations at the Vershinny deposit is under way. In May 2018, JSC Khiagda announced that engineering and geological surveys ahead of the construction of mining facilities was under way at Kolichikan and Dybryn deposits. The other two fields in the immediate vicinity are Namaru and Tetrakhskoye. All these deposits occur over an area about 50 x 20 km. There are also plans to install plant for extracting rare earth oxides (REO) as by-product. The nearest towns are Romanovka, 133 km north of Chita, and Bagdarin.

Sakha/Yakutia, Elkon district

ARMZ’s long-term hope is development of the massive Elkon project with several mines in the Sakha Republic (Yakutia) some 1200 km north-northeast of the Chita region. The Elkon project is in a mountainous region with difficult climate conditions and little infrastructure, making it a challenging undertaking. Production from metasomatite deposits is planned to ramp up to 5000 tU/yr over ten years, for RUR 90.5 billion ($3 billion), and 2020 start up was envisaged, but this is now "after 2030". Elkon is set to become Russia's largest uranium mining complex, based on resources of over 270,000 tU (or 357,000 tU quoted by Rosatom in 2015). It will involve underground mining, radiometric sorting, milling, processing and uranium concentrate production of up to 5000 tU/yr.

Elkon Mining and Metallurgical Combine (EMMC) was set up by ARMZ to develop the substantial Elkonsky deposits. The Elkon MMC project involves the JSC Development Corporation of South Yakutia and aims to attract outside funding to develop infrastructure and mining in a public-private partnership, with ARMZ holding 51%. Foreign equity including from Japan, South Korea and India is envisaged, and in March a joint venture arrangement with India was announced. The Elkon MMC developments are to become “the locomotive of the economic development of the entire region”, building the infrastructure, electricity transmission lines, roads and railways, as well as industrial facilities, from 2010. Of 15 proposed construction sites, three have been tentatively selected: at the mouth of Anbar River, Diksi Village and Ust-Uga Village. The building of four small floating co-generation plants to supply heat and electricity to northern regions of Yakutia is linked with the Elkon project in southern Yakutia.

There are eight deposits in the Elkon project with resources of 320,000 tU* (RAR + IR) at average 0.146%U, with gold by-product: Elkon, Elkon Plateau, Kurung, Neprokhodimoye, Druzhnoye (southern deposits), as well as Yuzhnaya, Severnaya, Zona Interesnaya and Lunnoye (see below). In mid-2010 ARMZ released JORC-compliant resource figures for the five southern deposits: 71,300 tU as measured and indicated resources, and 158,500 tU as inferred resources, averaging 0.143%U. ARMZ pointed out that the resource assessment against international standards will increase the investment attractiveness of EMMC. However, in September 2011 ARMZ said that production costs would be US$ 120-130/kgU, which would be insufficient in the current market, and costs would need to be cut by 15-20%.

* 257,800 tU of this was in the five southern deposits. The 2011 Red Book gives 271,000 tU resources for Elkon, or 319,000 tU in situ.

First production from EMMC was expected in 2015 ramping up to 1000 tU/yr in 2018, 2000 tU/yr in 2020 and 5000 tU/yr by 2024 based on the southern deposits as well as Severnoye and Zona Interesnoye. This schedule has slipped by at least ten years. Also, it is remote, and mining will be underground, incurring significant development costs. ARMZ and EMMC are seeking local government (Sakha) support for construction of main roads and railways to access the Elkon area, and make investment there more attractive.

JSC Lunnoye was set up by ARMZ at the same time as EMMC to develop a small deposit jointly by ARMZ (50.1%) and a gold mining company Zoloto Seligdara as a pilot project to gain practical experience in the region in a polymetallic orebody. Lunnoye is expected in full production in 2016, reaching 100 tU/yr. It has reserves of 800 tU and 13 t gold, and is managed by Zoloto Seligdara. ARMZ in mid 2011 expressed impatience with the rate of development.

Further mine prospects

The Federal Subsoil Resources Management Agency (Rosnedra) was transferring about 100,000 tonnes of uranium resources to miners, notably ARMZ, in 2009-10, and 14 projects, mainly small to medium deposits, were prepared for licensing then. They are located mainly in the Chita (Streltsovskiy district), Trans-Ural (Zauralskiy district) and Buryatia (Vitimskiy district) uranium regions.

The projects prepared for licensing include:

  • Chita Oblast – Zherlovskoye, Pyatiletnee, Dalnee and Durulguevskoye.
  • Republic of Buratiya – Talakanskoye, Vitlausskoye, Imskoye, Tetrakhskoye, and Dzhilindinskoye.
  • Kurgan Oblast – Dobrovolnoye (now licensed).
  • Khabarovsk Krai – Lastochka.
  • Republic of Tyva – Ust-Uyuk and Onkazhinskoye.
  • Republic of Khakassia – Primorskoye.

All together these projects have 76,600 tonnes of reasonably assured and inferred resources, plus 106,000 tonnes of less-certain 'undiscovered' resources.

Rosnedra published a list of deposits in the Republic of Karelia, Irkutsk Region and the Leningrad Region to be offered for tender in 2009. In particular, Tyumenskiy in Mamsko-Chuiskiy District of Irkutsk Region was to be offered for development, followed by Shotkusskaya ploshchad in Lodeinopolsky District of Leningrad Region. In Karelia Salminskaya ploshchad in Pitkyaranskiy District and the Karku deposit were offered. None of these 2009 offerings had reasonably assured or inferred resources quoted, only 'undiscovered' resources in Russia's P1 to P3 categories and it appears that none were taken up. In 2016 the Karelia Ministry of Natural Resources and Ecology acknowledged only one uranium deposit “of no commercial interest” at Srednyaya Padma (Medvezhegorsk District) and announced that no mining was planned.

Foreign and private equity in uranium mining

In October 2006 Japan's Mitsui & Co with Tenex agreed to undertake a feasibility study for a uranium mine in eastern Russia to supply Japan. First production from the Yuzhnaya mine in Sakha Republic (Yakutia) is envisaged for 2009. Mitsui had an option to take 25% of the project, and was funding $6 million of the feasibility study. Construction of the Yuzhnaya mine was estimated to cost US$ 245 million, with production reaching 1000 tU/yr by 2015. This would represent the first foreign ownership of a Russian uranium mine. However, according to the 2016 Red Book , Yuzhnaya now appears to be part of the Elkon project (see above).

Following from previous deals with Tenex, in November 2007 Cameco signed an agreement with ARMZ. The two companies are to create joint ventures to explore for and mine uranium in both Russia and Canada, starting with identified deposits in northwestern Russia and the Canadian provinces of Saskatchewan and Nunavut.

In addition to ARMZ, private companies may also participate in tenders for mining the smaller and remote uranium deposits being prepared for licensing in Russia. ARMZ is open to relevant investment projects with strategic partners, and Lunnoye deposit is an example where a private company Zoloto Seligdara is partnering with ARMZ.

Mine rehabilitation

Some RUR 340 million (US$10m) is being allocated in the federal budget to rehabilitate the former Almaz mine in Lermontov, Stavropol Territory, in particular Mine 1 on Beshtau Mountain and Mine 2 on Byk Mountain, as well as reclamation of the tailings dump and industrial site of the hydrometallurgical plant. The work will be undertaken by Rosatom organizations under Rostechnadzor. In 2008, rehabilitation of Lermontovsky tailings was included in a federal target program, and over RUR 360 million was allocated for the purpose.

Secondary supplies

Some uranium also comes from reprocessing used fuel from VVER-440, fast neutron and submarine reactors - some 2500 tonnes of uranium has so far been recycled into RBMK reactors.

Also arising from reprocessing used fuels, some 32 tonnes of reactor-grade plutonium has been accumulated for use in MOX. Added to this there is now 34 tonnes of weapons-grade plutonium from military stockpiles to be used in MOX fuel for BN-600 and BN-800 fast neutron reactors at Beloyarsk, supported by a $400 million payment from the USA. Some of this weapons plutonium may also be used in the MHR high-temperature gas-cooled reactor under development at Seversk, if this proceeds.

About 28% of the natural uranium feed sent to USEC in USA for enrichment, and contra to the LEU supplied from blended-down Russian military uranium, is being sent to Russia for domestic use. The value of this to mid 2009 was US$ 2.7 billion, according to Rosatom. See also Military Warheads as Source of Fuel paper.

Russia's uranium supply is expected to suffice for at least 80 years, or more if recycling is increased. However, from 2020 it is intended to make more use of fast neutron reactors.

Fuel Cycle Facilities: conversion & enrichment

Many of Russia's fuel cycle facilities were originally developed for military use and hence are located in former closed cities (names bracketed) in the country. In October 2015 the ministry of economic development moved to open four of these which host facilities managed by Rosatom: Novouralsk, Zelenogorsk, Seversk and Zarechny.

In 2009 the conversion and enrichment plants were taken over by the newly-established JSC Enrichment & Conversion Complex, and in 2010 this became part of TVEL , a subsidiary of Atomenergoprom.

Seversk in Western Siberia is a particular focus of new investment, with Rosatom planning to spend a total of RUR100 billion on JSC Siberian Chemical Combine (SCC, SGChE) over 2012-20 to develop its “scientific, technical and production potential in terms of nuclear technology.” SCC comprises several nuclear reactors and plants for conversion, enrichment, separation and reprocessing of uranium and separation of plutonium. In 2012 Rosatom announced that it was investing RUR 45.5 billion ($1.6 billion) in SCC at Seversk to 2017 for modernising the enrichment capacity and setting up a new conversion plant.

TVEL has decided to rationalize some of its activities at Novouralsk, setting up a scientific and production association (SPA) in 2016 to incorporate Urals Gas Centrifuges Plant (UZGT or UGCP), Novouralsk Scientific and Design Center (NSDC), Uralpribor, and Electrochemical Converters Plant (ECCP).

Russia’s total uranium conversion capacity is about 25,000 tU/yr, but only about half of this is used as of 2013.

TVEL plans to consolidate its conversion capacity at JSC Siberian Chemical Combine (SCC) at Seversk near Tomsk, where some capacity already operates. In 2012 Rosatom said it would spend RUR 7.5 billion to set up a new conversion plant at SCC Seversk, to commence operation in 2016. The new plant is designed to have a capacity of 20,000 tU per year from 2020, including 2000 t of recycled uranium. Public hearings on the project were under way in 2014. The 2015 edition of the World Nuclear Association Nuclear Fuel Report gives capacity then as 12,500 tU.

The main operating conversion plant has been at Angarsk near Irkutsk in Siberia, with 18,700 tonnes U/yr capacity – part of TVEL's JSC Angarsk Electrolysis & Chemical Combine (AECC). In anticipation of the planned new plant at SCC Seversk however, the Angarsk conversion plant was shut down in April 2014.

TVEL also had conversion capacity at Kirovo-Chepetsky Chemical Combine (KCCC) in Glazoy, which was shut down in the 1990s. Since 2009 this has been a RosRAO site, for clean-up

The Elektrostal conversion plant, 50 km east of Moscow, has 700 tU/yr capacity for reprocessed uranium, initially that from VVER-440 fuel. It is owned by Maschinostroitelny Zavod (MSZ) whose Elemash fuel fabrication plant is there. Some conversion of Kazakh uranium has been undertaken for west European company Nukem, and all 960 tonnes of recycled uranium from Sellafield in UK, owned by German and Netherlands utilities, has been converted here. UK-owned recycled uranium has also been sent there.

Uranium enrichment

Four enrichment plants totalling 24 million kg SWU/yr of centrifuge capacity operate at Novo-Uralsk (formerly Sverdlovsk-44) near Yekaterinburg in the Urals, Zelenogorsk (formerly Krasnoyarsk-45), Seversk (formerly Tomsk-7) near Tomsk, and Angarsk near Irkutsk – the last three all in Siberia. The first two service foreign primary demand and Seversk specialises in enriching reprocessed uranium, including that from western Europe. As of early 2011, all are managed by TVEL, rather than Tenex (Techsnabexport).

The Novouralsk (Novo-Uralsk) plant is part of the JSC Urals Electrochemical Combine (UECC) in the Sverdlovsk region. It has operated 8th generation centrifuges since 2003, and 9 th generation units from 2013. The fourth cascade of 9 th generation centrifuges was commissioned in August 2016. TVEL is spending RUR 42 billion on re-equipping the plant with 9 th generation units by 2019. In 2016 it was operating 6 th to 9 th generation centrifuges. The plant can enrich to 30% U-235  (for research and BN fast reactors), the others only to 5% U-235.

The TVEL-Kazakh JV Uranium Enrichment Centre (UEC) bought a 25% share of UECC and became entitled to half its output – up to 5 million SWU/yr (see below). In April 2013 the government commission for control over foreign investments approved this sale.

UECC once claimed 48% of Russian enrichment capacity and 20% of the world’s. Rosatom in 2015 applied to the government to create a territory of priority development (TPD) in Novouralsk, a special economic zone enjoying low taxes, simplified administrative procedures and other benefits.

The Zelenogorsk plant is known as the PA Electrochemical Plant (ECP) in the Krasnoyarsk region (120 km east of that city), and has ISO 14001 environmental accreditation and ISO 9001 quality assurance system. It is starting to run 9 th generation centrifuges and in 2021 commissioned its third cascade of these. In 2011 Rosatom said the plant's capacity was 8.7 million SWU/yr and it planned to increase that to 12 million SWU/yr by 2020, with a view to exporting its services. Rosatom was investing RUR 70 billion ($2.3 billion) by 2020 in developing the plant, with up to 90% of the new centrifuges installed there to make it the main enrichment plant. It is the site of a new deconversion plant (see below).

The Seversk plant is part of the JSC Siberian Chemical Combine (Sibirsky Khimichesky Kombinat – SKhK or SCC), Tomsk region, which opened in 1953. It is about 15 km from Tomsk. As well as the enrichment plant with substantial capacity for recycled uranium the site has other facilities, and several plutonium production reactors (now closed). It is starting to run 9th generations centrifuges.

Angarsk , near Irkutsk in Siberia, is part of the JSC Angarsk Electrolysis & Chemical Combine (AECC). It is the only enrichment plant located outside a 'closed' city, nor has it had any defence role, and hence it became the site of the new International Uranium Enrichment Centre (IUEC) and fuel bank. In 2014 AECC said it would retain its present capacity. In December 2014 it started to undertake enrichment of tails (depleted UF 6 ) stored onsite up to natural UF 6 levels, and expects this to continue to 2030 as a major activity.

Technology: Diffusion technology was phased out by 1992 and all plants now operate modern gas centrifuges, with fitting of 8th generation equipment now complete. New units have a service life of up to 30 years, compared with half that previously. The last 6th & 7th generation centrifuges were set up in 2005, 8th generation equipment was supplied over 2004 to 2012, and about 240,000 units per year replaced 5th generation models. (6th generation units are still produced for export to China.) Two new 9 th generation cascades were commissioned in 2015 and 10 th generation units were being tested in 2016.

While TVEL had taken over responsibility for manufacture, in 2016 Rosatom decided to combine the design and production of centrifuges at the Urals Gas Centrifuge Plant (UZGT or UGCP) in Novouralsk, as part of the scientific and production association (SPA) set up by TVEL. OKB-Nizhniy Novgorod and Cetrotech-SPb had been involved in design and manufacture. The first 9 th generation centrifuges were supplied to UECC early in 2013 from UZGT.

Tails re-enrichment: A significant proportion of the capacity of Novouralsk and Zelenogorsk plants – some 7 M SWU/yr – was earlier taken up by enrichment of tails (depleted uranium), including for west European companies Areva and Urenco. According to WNA sources, about 10,000 to 15,000 tonnes of tails per year, with U-235 assays between 0.25% and 0.40%, has been shipped to Russia for re-enrichment to about 0.7% U-235 since 1997. The tails were stripped down to about 0.10% U-235, and remain in Russia, being considered a resource for future fast reactors. The contracts for this work for Urenco and Areva ended in 2010.

A portion of the Zelenogorsk capacity, about 4.75 M SWU/yr, was taken up with re-enrichment of tails to provide 1.5% enriched material for downblending much of the Russian HEU destined for USA. It was also the site for downblending much of the of ex-weapons uranium for sale to the USA (though all the other three plants may have contributed over the 20 years).

Seversk capacity is about 3 M SWU/yr, and some recycled uranium (from reprocessing) has been enriched here for Areva, under a 1991 ten-year contract covering about 500 tonnes UF 6 . (French media reports in 2009 alleging that waste from French nuclear power plants was stored at Seversk probably refer to tails from enrichment of the recycled uranium.) It is understood to be enriching the 960 tU of reprocessed uranium from Sellafield in UK, belonging to its customers in Germany and Netherlands, sent to Elektrostal in eight shipments over 2001-09.

In 2012 Rosatom announced that it was investing RUR 45.5 billion ($1.6 billion) in SCC at Seversk to 2017 for modernising the enrichment capacity and setting up a new conversion plant.

Angarsk (AECC) is the smallest of three Siberian plants, with capacity of about 2.6 million SWU/yr. In July 2011 TVEL confirmed that there were no plans to expand it. A significant focus is tails enrichment. The International Uranium Enrichment Centre (IUEC) has been set up at Angarsk (see following IUEC section).

TVEL-Kazakh JV Uranium Enrichment Centre (UEC)

In the context of a December 2006 agreement with Kazakhstan, in 2008 Kazatomprom set up a 50-50 joint venture with Techsnabexport (Tenex) for financing a 5 million SWU/yr increment to the Angarsk plant, with each party to contribute about US$ 1.6 billion and hold 50% equity. It then appeared that initial JV capacity would be about 3 million SWU/yr, with first production in 2011. However, in 2010 Rosatom announced that this would not proceed, due to surplus world capacity, but other joint venture enrichment arrangements with Kazatomprom were offered, notably up to a 49% share in Novouralsk or Zelenogorsk.

After deciding that it would be uneconomic to expand capacity at Angarsk, in March 2011 it was announced that Kazatomprom would buy a share in Urals Electrochemical Combine (UECC) which owns the Novouralsk plant through its 50% equity in the TVEL-Kazakh JV Uranium Enrichment Centre (UEC), "instead of building new capacity at AECC" at Angarsk where UEC was originally established. In mid-2011 it was reported that Kazatomprom would acquire shares in UECC either directly (30%) or in the event as a 50% shareholder in UEC with TVEL, related to the need to enrich 6000 tU/yr. Over 2012-13 UEC acquired 25% of UECC, and UEC became operational in the second half of 2013, with access to 5 million SWU/yr – about half of UECC production. The cost of the Kazatomprom share, earlier estimated by it at $500 million, was not disclosed. The first batch of enriched uranium was shipped in November 2013. UEC share of production in 2014 was 4.99 million SWU.


Russia's W-ECP or W-EKhZ deconversion plant is at Zelenogorsk Electrochemical Plant (ECP). The 10,000 t/yr deconversion (defluorination) plant was built by Tenex under a technology transfer agreement with Areva NC (now Orano), so that depleted uranium can be stored long-term as uranium oxide, and hydrogen fluoride is produced as a by-product. The W1-ECP plant is similar to Areva's W2 plant at Pierrelatte in France and has mainly west European equipment. It was commissioned in December 2009 and to January 2021 had processed 100,000 t depleted uranium hexafluoride. The Russian-designed phase 2 for production of anhydrous hydrogen fluoride was commissioned in December 2010. During the ten years to end of 2020, some 11,000 t of anhydrous hydrogen fluoride as well as much more hydrofluoric acid were shipped to customers. TVEL is building a second unit, W2-ECP, with equipment from Orano Projects in France. This will expand ECP’s capacity to 20,000 t/yr depleted uranium hexafluoride from 2023 and producing up to 2400 t/yr of anhydrous hydrogen fluoride. 

Fuel fabrication

Fuel fabrication is undertaken by JSC TVEL, which supplies 76 nuclear reactors in Russia and 13 in other countries as well as 30 research reactors and fuel for naval and icebreaker reactors. Its operations are certified against ISO 9001 and it has about 17% of the world market for fabricated fuel. Russian fuel technology is supported by TVEL’s A.A. Bochvar High Technology Research Institute of Inorganic Materials ( VNIINM ).

Fuel cycles

Russia aims to maximise recycling of fissile materials from used fuel. Hence reprocessing used fuel is a basic practice, with reprocessed uranium being recycled and plutonium used in MOX, at present only for fast reactors. However, innovative developments of MOX use open up wider possibilities, and both the REMIX cycle and the Dual Component Power System are described below.

Uranium fuel fabrication

TVEL has two fuel fabrication plants with combined capacity of 2800 t/yr finished fuel:

  • The huge Maschinostroitelny Zavod (MSZ) at Elektrostal 50 km east of Moscow – known as Elemash.
  • Novosibirsk Chemical Concentrates Plant (NCCP) in Siberia.

TVEL's Chepetsk Mechanical Plant (CMP or ChMZ) near Glazov in Udmurtiya makes zirconium cladding and also some uranium products.

Most fuel pellets for RBMK and VVER-1000 reactors were being made at the Ulba plant at Ust Kamenogorsk in Kazakhstan, but Elemash and Novosibirsk have increased production. MSZ/Elemash produces fuel assemblies for both Russian and west European reactors using fresh and recycled uranium. It also fabricates research reactor and icebreaker fuel and in 2016 is producing the first fuel for the RITM-200 reactors in new icebreakers. VNIINM claims the fuel has greater energy density than previous icebreaker fuel.

Novosibirsk produces mainly VVER-440 & 1000 fuel, including that for initial use in China.

MSZ/Elemash is the principal exporter of fuel assemblies. Total production is about 1400 t/yr, including fuel assemblies for VVER-440, VVER-1000, RBMK-1000, BN-600 reactors, powders and fuel pellets for delivery to foreign clients. It has a contract to supply high-enriched uranium (HEU) fuel over seven years for China's first CFR600 fast reactor. The plant also produces nuclear fuel for research reactors.

TVEL is developing a uranium-erbium fuel for VVERs enriched to 5-7% for load-following and longer fuel cycles. Some RBMK fuel is already enriched over 5%.

Early in 2021 MSZ set up a new production line for fast reactor fuel, including HEU. Russia’s BN-600 reactor uses uranium fuel with three levels of enrichment: 17%, 21% and 26%. Fuel for China’s CFR600 is likely to be similar. On another production line MSZ has already provided fuel for China’s CEFR, including a 2020 reload, reported to be 64% enriched.

TVEL’s NCCP also produces pure lithium-7, and accounts for over 70% of the world supply of Li-7, both 99.95% for use in PWR cooling systems, and also now 99.99% pure. A plant upgrade in 2013 makes it possible to double the volume of Li-7 output there.

TVEL has done extensive work done on utilization of reprocessed uranium (RepU) in VVER-type reactors, and there are plans for all units of the Kola nuclear station to shift to RepU fuel. Some PWR reactors, e.g. Kalinin 2 and Balakovo 3, are using recycled uranium in TVSA fuel assemblies already.

There is no plan or provision to use MOX in light-water reactors.

TVEL owns 35% equity in the Ulba Metallurgical Plant in Kazakhstan. This has major new investment under way. It has secured both ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 accreditation. Since 1973 Ulba has produced nuclear fuel pellets from Russian-enriched uranium which are used in Russian and Ukrainian VVER and RBMK reactors. Some of this product incorporates gadolinium and erbium burnable poisons. Ulba briefly produced fuel for submarines (from 1968) and satellite reactors. Since 1985 it has been able to handle reprocessed uranium, and it has been making fuel pellets incorporating this for western reactors, supplied through TVEL.

TVEL's Moscow Composite Metal Plant designs and makes control and protection systems for nuclear power reactors.

REMIX fuel cycle

REMIX (Regenerated Mixture) fuel has been developed by the  V.G. Khlopin Radium Institute  for Tenex as a development of MOX to supply light water reactors. Remix fuel is produced directly from a non-separated mix of recycled uranium and plutonium from reprocessing used fuel, with a low-enriched uraniium (up to 17% U-235) make-up comprising about 20% of the mix. This gives fuel with about 1% Pu-239 and 4% U-235 which can sustain burn-up of 50 GWd/t over four years and has similar characteristics to normal LWR fuel. It is distinct from MOX in having low and incidental levels of plutonium – none is added. The spent Remix fuel after four years is about 2% Pu-239* and 1% U-235, and following about five years of cooling and then reprocessing the non-separated uranium and plutonium is recycled again after LEU addition. The waste (fission products and minor actinides) is vitrified, as today from reprocessing, and stored for geological disposal. Before vitrification it may be processed to recover valuable fission products such as isotopes Cs, Sr and Tc.

* a 68% increase, compared with 104% in MOX fuel cycle, according to Tenex.

Remix fuel can be repeatedly recycled with 100% core load in current VVER-1000 reactors and correspondingly reprocessed many times – up to five times, so that with fewer than three fuel loads in circulation a reactor could run for 60 years using the same fuel, with LEU recharge. As with normal MOX, the use of Remix fuel reduces consumption of natural uranium in VVERs by about 20% at each recycle as compared with open fuel cycle. Remix can serve as a replacement for existing reactor fuel, but in contrast to MOX there is a higher cost for fuel fabrication due to the high activity levels from U-232. Compared with UO 2  fuel, the cost increment is 25-30%. The Remix cycle can be modified from the above figures according to need. The increasing concentrations of even isotopes of both elements is compensated by the fresh uranium top-up, possibly at increasing enrichment levels.

A 2019 study showed that the use of regenerated uranium in Remix fuel for VVER reactors, and therefore the U-236 isotope, also significantly increases the proportion of Pu-238 in the fuel, which prevents its diversion for non-peaceful purposes.

Remix allows all the recovered uranium and plutonium to be recycled and will give a saving in used fuel storage and disposal costs compared with the once-through fuel cycle, matched by the reprocessing cost, though this is expected to reduce. Compared with the MOX cycle, it has the virtue of not giving rise to any accumulation of reprocessed uranium (RepU) or allow any separated plutonium.

Rosatom loaded three TVS-2M fuel assemblies each with six REMIX fuel rods into Balakovo 3 in June 2016. They remained for two fuel cycles, and a third 18-month cycle began in early 2020. These all showed good results, and Rosatom is now proceeding to pilot operation of several full-REMIX fuel assemblies. No changes in reactor design or safety measures are required. Remix fuel is also being tested in the MIR research reactor at RIAR in Dimitrovgrad.

Tenex suggests Remix being used with a form of fuel leasing from a supplier to a utility, with repeated recycle between them. Commercial application is planned for the mid-2020s. 

In August 2020 Rosatom announced that Remix fuel for VVER-1000 reactors would be produced on a new production line at the Siberian Chemical Plant (SCC) at Seversk from 2023. In June 2021 TVEL commissioned equipment for the pilot fuel production line, enabling initial production of fuel assemblies by year end, using fuel pellets made at the MCC Zheleznogorsk plant. Eventually a commercial-scale Remix fuel fabrication plant is envisaged.

MOX fuel fabrication (only for fast reactors)

In late 2007 it was decided that MOX fuel production using recycled materials should be based on electrometallurgical (pyrochemical) reprocessing and vibropack dry processes for fuel fabrication, as developed at RIAR. The goals for closing the fuel cycle included minimising cost, recycle of minor actinides (for burning), excluding separated plutonium, and arrangement of all procedures in remote systems to allow for 'hot' materials. However, plans for vibropack fuels are not being pursued with any vigour.

MCC Zheleznogorsk MOX plant: A 60 t/yr commercial mixed oxide (MOX) fuel fabrication facility (MFFF) commenced operation at Zheleznogorsk (formerly Krasnoyarsk-26, 70 km northeast of Krasnoyarsk) in 2015, operated by the Mining & Chemical Combine (MCC or GKhK). This was built at a cost of some RUR 9.6 billion as part of Rosatom’s Proryv, or 'Breakthrough', project, to develop fast reactors with a closed fuel cycle whose MOX fuel will be reprocessed and recycled. It represents the first industrial-scale use of plutonium in the Russian civil fuel cycle, and is also the Russian counterpart to the US MFFF for disposition of 34 tonnes of weapons-grade plutonium.* About half the plant’s equipment was imported.

* The head of Rosatom reported to the president in September 2015: “Industrial operation has begun at a new MOX fuel (uranium-plutonium fuel) production plant, the first such plant in history. Our American partners have still not managed to finish the plant they were building. They have already spent $7.7 billion on it and, as Congress informs, they are now going to suspend the project because no one knows how much more money it will cost. We built our plant in 2.5 years at a cost of a little over $200 million, or 9.6 billion rubles. The plant is working and is now reaching industrial capacity.”

MCC’s MFFF will make 400 pelletised MOX fuel assemblies per year for the BN-800 and future BN-1200 fast reactors. The MOX can have up to 30% plutonium. The capacity is designed to be able to supply five BN-800 units or equivalent BN-1200 capacity. First production of 20 fuel assemblies for Beloyarsk 4 was in 2015, working up to full capacity in 2017. The BN-800 each year requires 1.84 tonnes of reactor-grade plutonium recovered from 190 tonnes of used VVER fuel. The first serial batch of MOX for BN-800 passed acceptance tests in December 2018. (Plutonium from used BN fuel will be used in VVER-1000 reactors.) The MFFF is built in rock tunnels at a depth of about 200 metres.

Longer-term MCC Zheleznogorsk was intending to produce MOX granules for vibropacked fuel using civil plutonium oxide, ex-weapons plutonium metal and depleted uranium. Initial capacity of 14 t/yr of granules was funded to RUR 5.1 billion (US$ 169 million then) over 2010-12. The granulated MOX is sent to RIAR Dimitrovgrad for vibropacking into FNR fuel assemblies.

In June 2011 Rosatom announced that it was investing RUR 35 billion in MCC to 2030, including particularly MOX fuel fabrication. In February 2012 the figure was put at RUR 80 billion minimum.

Mayak MOX plant: A small pelletised MOX fuel fabrication plant has operated at the Mayak plant at Ozersk since 1993, for BN-350 and BN-600 fuel (40 fuel assemblies per year), and it supplied some initial pelletised MOX fuel for BN-800 start-up, the assemblies being made by RIAR Dimitrovgrad.

Seversk MOX plant: Another MOX plant for disposing of military plutonium is planned at Seversk (Tomsk-7) in Siberia, to the same design as its US equivalent. This is for dense MOX fuel for fast reactors, and was planned for completion by the end of 2017, with RUR 5.8 billion allocated by TVEL for the equipment. (Seversk had the other two dual-purpose but basically military plutonium production reactors, totalling 2500 MWt. One of these – ADE4 – was shut down in April 2008, the other – ADE5 – in June 2008.)

RIAR Dimitrovgrad MOX plant: The Research Institute of Atomic Reactors (RIAR or NIIAR) at Dimitrovgrad, Ulyanovsk, has a small MOX fuel fabrication plant. This produces vibropacked fuel which was said to be more readily recycled. Under the federal target programme this was allocated RUR 2.95 billion (US$ 83 million) for expansion from 2012. Its main research has been on the use of military plutonium in MOX, in collaboration with France, USA and Japan. From 2014 the plant produced 106 fuel assemblies for Beloyarsk 4 BN-800, before MCC's MFFF took over this role.

Vibropacked MOX fuel (VMOX) was earlier seen as the way forward. This is made by agitating a mechanical mixture of (U,Pu)O 2 granulate and uranium powder, which binds up excess oxygen and some other gases (that is, operates as a getter) and is added to the fuel mixture in proportion during agitation. The getter resolves problems arising from fuel-cladding chemical interactions. The granules are crushed (U,Pu)O 2 cathode deposits from pyroprocessing. VMOX needs to be made in hot cells. It has been used in BOR-60 since 1981 (with 20-28% Pu), and tested in BN-350 and BN-600 as part of a hybrid core (with some military plutonium). This was evaluated by OKBM and Japan Nuclear Cycle Development Institute. However, its future is uncertain, and MOX fuel may revert to being conventional sintered pellets.

Dual-component power system MOX

Rosatom has proposed a fuel cycle involving both thermal and fast reactors, using two kinds of MOX fuel, and envisages implementing this system when the first BN-1200 reactors are online about 2027. In 2020 the first MOX using plutonium from conventional power reactors was loaded into Beloyarsk's BN-800 reactor and later in the year another 180 such fuel assemblies will be added. By the end of 2021, the reactor will fully switch to MOX fuel.

Russia REMIX concept for closing the nuclear fuel cycle showing a balanced arrangement for a dual-component nuclear power system

In this fuel cycle, normal thermal reactors are the primary plutonium source, but this plutonium is reactor-grade, with about one-third even-mass number non-fissile isotopes. The plutonium is mixed with deflourinated tails from uranium enrichment ( i.e. depleted uranium). Whether derived from used uranium fuel or MOX fuel, it is separated and made into MOX fuel for fast breeder reactors with not less than 1.2 breeding ratio, and the used fuel from these has a much lower proportion of even-number non-fissile plutonium isotopes.

In future this ‘clean’ or high-fissile plutonium recovered from fast reactor fuel can then made into MOX fuel for the original thermal reactors, and comprise about 30% of their fuel. The other 70% could be enriched reprocessed uranium (RepU), the depleted tails of which are also used for MOX, instead of using normal depleted uranium. Their used fuel is reprocessed to continue the dual cycle. Minor actinides are burned in the fast reactors.

One fast reactor running on 'dirty' MOX would therefore be in balance with two VVER reactors fuelled with 'clean' MOX (30% of load) and RepU oxide enriched to about 17% U-235 (70% of load) via segregated reprocessing facilities and segregated fuel fabrication.

Further details are in the information paper on Mixed Oxide Fuel .

Nitride fuel fabrication for fast reactors

Overall, RUR 17 billion is budgeted for nitride fuel development, which is mainly for the BREST-300 reactor, part of Rosatom’s Proryv or 'Breakthrough' project . Both SCC plants will be part of the Pilot Demonstration Power/Energy Complex (PDPC or PDEC) with the BREST reactor, integral to the Proryv project and approved by government decree in August 2016. The Proryv project at SCC is expected to be fully operational from 2023.

To avoid problems in reactor operation and spent fuel, nitrogen-15 is the preferred isotope. VNIINM has patented a technique for enrichment in N-15, annual demand for which is expected to be several tonnes.

SCC nitride fuel plant KEU-1: In collaboration with TVEL, the Siberian Chemical Combine (SCC) at Seversk is making test batches of dense mixed nitride uranium-plutonium (MNUP) fuel for fast reactors, essentially prototype fuel for BREST. Construction of SCC’s pilot nitride fuel plant started in March 2014 with a view to commissioning in 2017-18, in time to produce fuel for the first BREST-300 reactor, which is now expected in operation about 2024. In April 2016 Atomenergomash supplied to SCC a plant for preparation of input materials for automated fabrication of MNUP fuel for fast neutron reactors. 

SCC completed acceptance tests on the first ETVS nitride fuel assembly in September 2014, and it had further ones (ETVS-10 & 11) ready a year later, using parts supplied by VNIINM. In April 2015 the first ETVS nitride fuel assemblies were put into the BN-600 reactor at Beloyarsk for testing over three years, and by August 2015 there were nine ETVS there. In November 2015 the post-irradiation inspection of ETVS-1 after six-month storage to cool showed it to be in good shape. In April 2016 two more dense nitride fuel assemblies (ETVS-12 & 13) were delivered to Beloyarsk for irradiation in the BN-600 reactor. They were designed by VNIINM and made by SCC as prototypes for BREST-300 and BN-1200 reactors. In mid-2016 VNIINM produced two more pilot fuel assemblies, ETVS-14 & 15, with mixed nitride fuel for testing in the BN-600 reactor at Beloyarsk.  MSZ completed acceptance tests on these in August. In December 2016 SCC announced successful post-irradiation tests on ETVS fuel assemblies, confirming their suitability for BREST. ETVS-16 to 21 were scheduled for 2017. The next series of ETVS will be of a different design. By November 2020, more than 1000 MNUP fuel rods had been produced and more than 21 fuel assemblies had been irradiated in BN-600, the latest ones each with 61 fuel rods.

SCC nitride fuel plant KEU-2: SCC started construction of a second integrated experimental facility (KEU-2) in 2016, to fabricate fuel for testing in the BN-800 reactor at Beloyarsk. A U-Pu-Np nitride fuel fabrication and recycling facility is part of the Pilot Demonstration Power Complex (PDPC; Russian acronym: ODEK) at SCC. Rosatom began installing equipment here for MNUP fuel fabrication and refabrication for the BREST-300 in 2017. The main fabrication line was expected in operation in 2020, with daily production capacity of up to 60 kg of fuel, or 120 nuclear fuel assemblies, and a total of 14.7 tonnes of fuel per year.

In October 2014 SCC announced a tender for a reprocessing plant to be completed by 2018, with VNIPIET as SCC’s preferred bidder. It included a module for processing used nuclear fuel, to examine technologies VNIINM and the VG Khlopin Radium Institute have developed. VNIINM said its experiments in 2016 had confirmed for the first time that the technology used for the reprocessing of used mixed nitride fuel enables the re-use of more than 99.9% of the actinides. The actual RUR 20 billion plant is to have a capacity of 5 t/yr used fuel from the BREST-300 and 0.5 t/yr of “rejects from electrolysis process and americium-containing burning elements.” It will  commence operation about 2024, after the BREST-300 is in service. This will be part of the Pilot Demonstration Power/Energy Complex (PDPC or PDEC) with the BREST reactor.

SCC started testing three different refining technologies for the plant in 2016. The best option will be selected and used in the used fuel recycling module within PDPC. The project manager said that the refining installation “can be used as a sector-wide test-bench to deal with uranium, plutonium, and neptunium.”

Mayak nitride fuel plant: A new 14 tonne per year plant to fabricate dense mixed nitride fuel for fast neutron reactors is planned at PA Mayak, to operate from 2018. In the federal target programme to 2020, RUR 9.35 billion ($310 million) was budgeted for it. Later it may be expanded to 40 tonnes per year.

International Uranium Enrichment Centre (IUEC)

The IUEC concept was inaugurated at the end of 2006 in collaboration with Kazakhstan, and in March 2007 the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) agreed to set up a working group and continue developing the proposal. In September 2007 the joint stock company Angarsk International Uranium Enrichment Centre (JSC Angarsk IUEC) was registered and a year later Rostechnadzor licensed the centre.

Late in 2008 Ukraine's Nuclear Fuel Holding Company, SC Nuclear Fuel, decided to take a 10% stake in it, matching Kazatomprom's 10%, and this was effected in October 2010. Armenia finalised its 10% share in IUEC in May 2012 (2600 shares for RUR 2.6 million). Negotiations since then have proceeded with South Africa, Vietnam, Bulgaria, UAE, Jordan, South Korea and Mongolia (in connection with Russian uranium interests there). Russia also invited India to participate in order to secure fuel for its Kudankulam plant. The aim is for Techsnabexport/TVEL eventually to hold only 51%. Each of the 26,000 IUEC shares is priced at RUR 1000.

Present equity in JSC Angarsk IUEC: TVEL 70%, Kazatomprom 10%, Ukraine State Concern Nuclear Fuel 10%, Armenia NPP 10%.

The centre is to provide assured supplies of low-enriched uranium for power reactors to new nuclear power states and those with small nuclear programmes, giving them equity in the project, but without allowing them access to the enrichment technology. Russia will maintain majority ownership. IUEC will sell both enrichment services (SWU) and enriched uranium product. Arrangements for IAEA involvement were being sorted out in 2009, and in 2010 a feasibility study commenced on IUEC investment, initially for equity in JSC Angarsk Electrolysis & Chemical Combine (AECC) so that part of its capacity supplies product to IUEC shareholders.

The existing enrichment plant at Angarsk was to feed the IUEC and accordingly was removed from the category of "national strategic installations", though it had never been part of the military programme. In February 2007 the IUEC was entered into the list of Russian nuclear facilities eligible for implementation of IAEA safeguards. The USA has expressed support for the IUEC at Angarsk. Since 2010 the facility has been under IAEA safeguards.

Development of the IUEC was envisaged in three phases:

  • Use part of the existing capacity at Angarsk in cooperation with Kazatomprom and under IAEA supervision.
  • Expand Angarsk capacity (perhaps double) with funding from new partners by 2017.
  • Full internationalisation with involvement of many customer nations under IAEA auspices.

In 2012-13 the IUEC website said: “The JSC IUEC has been established within the Angarsk Electrolysis Chemical Complex , but it can use capacities of other three Russian combines to diversify production and optimize logistics.”

In 2016 a major customer was Ukraine’s State Concern Nuclear Fuel, which since 2012 has bought 60,000 SWU per year, proportional to its shareholding.

IUEC guaranteed LEU reserve ('fuel bank')

In November 2009 the IAEA board approved a Russian proposal to create an international guaranteed LEU reserve or 'fuel bank' of low-enriched uranium under IAEA control at the IUEC at Angarsk. This was established a year later and comprises 123 tonnes of low-enriched uranium as UF 6 , enriched 2.0-4.95% U-235 (with 40t of latter), available to any IAEA member state in good standing which is unable to procure fuel for political reasons. It is fully funded by Russia, held under safeguards, and the fuel will be made available to the IAEA at market rates, using a formula based on spot prices. Following an IAEA decision to allocate some of it, Rosatom will transport material to St Petersburg and transfer title to the IAEA, which will then transfer ownership to the recipient. The 120 tonnes of low-enriched uranium as UF 6 is equivalent to two full fuel loads for a typical 1000 MWe reactor, and in 2010 was worth some $250 million.

This initiative complements the   IAEA LEU Bank set up in Kazakhstan by making more material available to the IAEA for assurance of fuel supply to countries without their own fuel cycle facilities. The IAEA LEU Bank is located at the Ulba Metallurgical Plant (UMP) in Kazakhstan, which has 50 years of experience in handling UF 6 . A formal agreement with Kazakhstan to establish the legal framework was signed in August 2015, and the partnership agreement between the IAEA and UMP was signed in May 2016. Construction of the building with 600 m 2 storage area started in September 2016, and the facility was formally opened at the end of August 2017. It became operational in 2019, and it awarded contracts to Orano and Kazatomprom to supply it.

Used fuel and reprocessing

Russian policy is to close the fuel cycle as far as possible and utilise recycled uranium, and also to use plutonium in MOX fuel. However, its achievements in doing this have been limited – in 2011 only about 16% of used fuel was reprocessed, this being from VVER–440s, BN-600, research reactors and naval reactors. The reprocessed uranium (RepU) is mainly used for RBMK fuel. By 2030 Rosatom hopes to fully close the fuel cycle. Commercial reprocessing started in 1977, and several projects at two sites have been under way to progress this intention:

  • At Mayak Production Association in Ozersk, the RT-1 spent fuel reprocessing facility was first updated and returned to service in 2016, and will then be shut down in about 2030.
  • At Mining and Chemical Combine (MCC) in Zheleznogorsk, the MOX fuel fabrication plant for fast reactors was commissioned in 2015 (see above).
  • At MCC the Pilot Demonstration Centre (PDC) for used nuclear fuel reprocessing was commissioned in 2015.
  • At MCC the full-scale RT-2 facility would be completed by 2025 to reprocess VVER, RBMK and BN used fuel into mixed-oxide (MOX) fuel or into REMIX – the regenerated mixture of uranium and plutonium oxides.
  • At MCC Zheleznogorsk the spent fuel pool storage would be supplemented by dry storage, commissioned in 2012, and MCC will become the destination for all of Russia’s used fuel.

In 2013 used fuel arisings in Russia were:

All used fuel is stored at reactor sites for at least three years to allow decay of heat and radioactivity. High burn-up fuel requires longer before it is ready to transport. At present the used fuel from RBMK reactors and from VVER-1000 reactors is stored (mostly at reactor sites) and not reprocessed. It is expected that used fuel in storage will build up to about 40,000 tonnes by the time substantial reprocessing at MCC Zheleznogorsk gets under way about 2022. The materials from this will be burned largely in fast reactors by 2050, when none should remain.

In late 2007 it was decided that MOX fuel production using recycled materials from both light water and fast reactors should be based on electrometallurgical (pyrochemical) reprocessing. The goals for closing the fuel cycle are minimising cost, minimising waste volume, recycle of minor actinides (for burning), excluding separated plutonium, and arrangement of all procedures in remote-handled systems. This reprocessing route remains to be developed.

In August 2016 a new program for management of used fuel to 2020 was announced. It provides for transport of used fuel to Mayak at Ozersk for reprocessing, or to a central storage facility at MCC Zheleznogorsk where the reprocessing plant is due to be commissioned.

RT-1 reprocessing plant, Mayak

Used fuel from VVER-440 reactors Kola 1-4 and Rovno 1-2 in Ukraine), the BN-600 (Beloyarsk) and from naval reactors is sent to the Mayak Chemical Combine's 400 t/yr RT-1 plant (Chelyabinsk-65) at Ozersk, near Kyshtym 70 km northwest of Chelyabinsk in the Urals for reprocessing.* An upgrade of the RT-1 plant to enable it to take VVER-1000 fuel was completed in 2016, and reprocessing of fuel from Rostov began late in the year. In 2017, 20 tonnes of used VVER-1000 fuel from Balakovo is to be reprocessed.

* The original reprocessing plant at the site was hastily built in the mid-1940s, for military plutonium production in association with five producer reactors (the last shut down in 1990).

The RT-1 plant started up in 1971 and employs the Purex process. Since about 2000 the plant has been extended and modified so that it can accept a wide variety of inputs, including U-Be research reactor fuel.  It had reprocessed about 5000 tonnes of used fuel to 2012 and was reported to be running at about 100 t/yr capacity, following the loss of foreign contracts. In 2015 RT-1 processed 230 tonnes of fuel, 35% more than in 2014, and its capacity is expected to reach 400 t/yr “within several years”, comprising all types from Russian designed reactors, notably VVER-1000 and RBMK. From 2017 it will also be able to reprocess uranium nitride fuel. However, after the commissioning of the RT-2 plant at MCC, it is due to be decommissioned about 2030.

About 93% of its feed to 2015 has been from Russian and Ukrainian VVER-440 reactors, about 3% from naval sources or icebreakers and 3% from the BN-600 reactor. It earlier reprocessed BN-350 used fuel. Damaged used fuel is to be reprocessed there to avoid the need for prolonged storage. In September 2015 Rosatom said that reprocessing the fuel from 201 decommissioned vessels transferred to it from the Ministry of Defence was 97% complete, and that no naval fuel remained in the Far East. Regular shipments of used submarine fuel from Andreeva Bay storage to Mayak for reprocessing commenced in mid-2017, and 22,000 naval fuel assemblies are expected to be shipped by 2024, via Murmansk.

In 2015 Mayak started reprocessing the uranium-beryllium fuel from dismantled Alfa -class submarines, as a ‘nuclear legacy project’. These unsuccessful vessels had a single reactor of 155 MWt cooled by lead-bismuth and using very highly enriched uranium – 90% enriched U-Be fuel. The experience gained with lead-bismuth eutectic is being applied in Russia’s fast reactor programme – notably BREST (since SVBR was dropped).

Recycled uranium is enriched to 2.6% U-235 by mixing RepU product from different sources and is used in all fresh RBMK fuel, while separated plutonium oxide is stored. High-level waste is vitrified and stored. There are plans to use RepU for all the Kola VVER reactors. Vitrified HLW from Ukraine’s VVER-440 used fuel is to be returned to Ukraine from 2018.

Used fuel storage capacity there is being increased from 6000 to 9000 tonnes, but will remain limited compared with Zheleznogorsk. Hence the used fuel received is usually treated fairly promptly. In 2015, 5184 RBMK used fuel assemblies were sent there from the Leningrad and Kursk plants, for storage initially.

Zheleznogorsk MCC: Pilot Demonstration Centre and RT-2 reprocessing plant

A Pilot Demonstration Centre (PDC) for several reprocessing technologies is operated by MCC at Zheleznogorsk, built at a cost of RUR 8.4 billion and completed in 2015 as a "strategic investment project". Its initial capacity with research hot cells is 10 t/yr, increasing to 100 t/yr, with later increase to 250 t/yr from 2018 as phase 2. PDC phase 2 was expected to be in full operation in 2019. It will have innovative technology including embrittlement by crystallization, and simultaneous gas, thermo and mechanical spent fuel assembly shredding. Initially it will deal with VVER-1000 fuel, later with fuel from fast reactors. It will effectively be the first stage of the large redesigned RT-2 plant at the MCC/GHK site to be operational about 2024. The cost of RepU product is expected to be some €500/kg. The PDC “can be used for demonstration of the closed nuclear fuel cycle of thermal neutron reactors running on REMIX-fuel” as well as producing MOX fuel.

The RT-2 reprocessing plant at Zheleznogorsk is now on track for completion with 700 t/yr capacity by 2025 (in addition to the 250 t/yr at PDC). Another 800 t/yr is planned by 2028. Originally it was planned to have two 1500 t/yr lines, but for some time the project was under review. Construction started in 1984 but halted in 1989 when 30-40% complete due to public opposition and lack of funds (though in 1993 it was officially reported as "under construction"). It has now been redesigned and is expected to operate from around 2025 with advanced Purex process, for both VVER-1000 and RBMK fuel, and also BN fuel. Its cost is about $2 billion, with no federal funds. The facility could form part of the new Global Nuclear Infrastructure Initiative and foreign equity in a joint stock company is being considered. (See also International Collaboration section below.)

Zheleznogorsk MCC: RBMK and VVER used fuel storage

VVER-1000 used fuel is sent to the Mining & Chemical Combine (MCC) (Gorno-Khimichesky Kombinat – GHK) at Zheleznogorsk (Krasnoyarsk-26) in Siberia for pool storage. The site is about 60 km north of Krasnoyarsk. This fuel comes from three Russian, three Ukrainian and one Bulgarian plants. A large pool storage facility was built by MCC at Zheleznogorsk in 1985 for VVER-1000 used fuel, though its 6000 tonne capacity would have been filled in 2010. The facility was fully refurbished over 2009-10, and some dry storage capacity was commissioned in 2011. In December 2009 Rostechnadzor approved pool storage expansion to 7200 tonnes and MCC sought approval to expand it to 8400 tonnes capacity to allow another 6 years input. It is now planned to expand wet storage for VVER-1000 fuel to 11,000 tonnes.

In 2012 the first stage of an 8600 tonne dry storage facility for used fuel (INF DSF-2) was commissioned at Zheleznogorsk. It was built by the E4 Group at a cost of about $500 million for the MCC/GHK. It is the largest dry storage facility in the world, holding 8129 tonnes of RBMK fuel, initially from Leningrad and Kursk power plants, followed by Smolensk. At Leningrad the fuel is cut up and put into the large containers before being shipped to MCC. RBMK fuel is not presently economic to reprocess so has been stored at reactor sites, and when transferred to MCC it is stored in hermetically sealed capsules filled with nitrogen and helium, inside a building but air-cooled.

The second stage of MCC dry storage will take VVER-1000 fuel currently in wet storage there and increase capacity to over 37,000 tonnes (26,510 t RBMK, 11,275 t VVER). MCC expects to commission it about the end of 2016. It is expected to be commissioned about the end of 2015. The original wet storage facility is to be decommissioned in 2026. Used fuel will be stored for up to 50 years, pending reprocessing. MCC has flagged the possibility of storing foreign VVER-1000 used fuel, such as that from fuel take-back arrangements linked to foreign reactor sales (initially Iran). This can be reprocessed in Russia, but the waste must be repatriated.

Bilibino's LWGR used fuel is stored at Bilibino site.

(Three decommissioned graphite-moderated reactors which principally produced military plutonium, with associated underground reprocessing plant, are also at MCC Zheleznogorsk. The huge underground complex, 200-250 m deep, was originally established in 1950 for plutonium and weapons production.)

Other reprocessing plants

At SCC Seversk a reprocessing plant for nitride fuel from BREST fast reactors is envisaged to operate from 2024, closing that fuel cycle. See above under SCC nitride fuel plant KEU-2 .

In  2016 it was announced that decommissioning of the HEU downblending and mixing plant at SCC would be completed by 2022. The plant was built in 1996 at the conversion plant in order to implement the Russia-US program for blending down high-enriched uranium from Russian nuclear weapons into low-enriched uranium for export and use in US nuclear power plants. This program concluded in 2013.

Some kind of radioactive waste processing plant is under construction at the Kursk nuclear power station, according to Nikimt-Atomstroy. A completed section, fully operational by the end of 2014, would process liquid radioactive waste. The two remaining sections of the project include a processing facility for solid radioactive waste and a storage facility.

Legacy materials

Russia has a significant amount of legacy materials, some as a result of military materials production ( e.g. slightly irradiated uranium), others from the civil fuel cycle ( e.g. reprocessed uranium), and as a result of reviews over 2006-08 these are now recognised as potentially having significant value. The total quantity is not such as to impact the civil market; there are some technical challenges ( e.g. limiting U-232 to 5 ppb in enriched RepU), and in any case Russia’s preference is to use the material domestically while making resultant expertise available internationally.

The main material not found in the civil nuclear fuel cycle is slightly irradiated uranium (SIU, 0.65% U-235) from military plutonium production with low burn-up of natural uranium, after reprocessing to separate that plutonium. If SIU is enriched, the product can readily be used in nuclear plants and the tails become DSIU, with lower content of even uranium isotopes (232, 234, 236) than normal RepU, hence more valuable.

Historically, Russian used fuel from all but VVER-1000 civil reactors has been reprocessed at Mayak to yield RepU with about 0.9% U-235. This has mostly been enriched to provide fuel for RBMK reactors, with the tails as DRepU.

Also historically, to 2000, foreign used fuel was reprocessed and the RepU blended with LEU to yield reactor fuel which was returned as if the RepU had been enriched.

In the centrifuge enrichment process, different ways of feeding cascades with both U nat and RepU and blending the product can control U-232 levels and also U-236 levels (which if over 0.1% can be compensated by higher enrichment levels). Russian enrichment plants have provision for this flexible cascading. Then blending the enriched uranium product (from SIU, DSIU or RepU) with U nat or SIU can further reduce both of these even isotopes according to customer requirements, and below the pending Russian limit of 5 ppb U-232 (now 2 ppb).

This will enable use of RepU in VVER-1000 reactors from 2021 and increase the value of Russian RepU for domestic needs. It will also mean that production and use of RepU are balanced, especially as RBMK units are decommissioned and the Mayak RT-1 plant capacity is increased to 250 t/yr and the PDC at MCC Zheleznogorsk reaches 250 t/yr.

Russia expects to have spare capacity to process foreign RepU from about 2020.

Radioactive waste

Russia's Duma passed a new Federal Law on Radioactive Waste Management in June 2011, after 19 months consideration and many amendments. It was passed by the state Council in July and then signed into law. It establishes a legal framework for radioactive waste management, provides for a national radwaste management system meeting the requirements of the Joint Convention on the Safe Management of Spent Nuclear Fuel and on the Safe Management of Radioactive Waste ratified by Russia in 2006.

In November 2015 the government approved Rosatom’s second federal target programme (FTP NRS-2) for nuclear and radiation safety for 2016 to 2030. "The key issue is the deferred liabilities accumulated during the 70 years of the nuclear industry, particularly during the time of the Soviet Union.” In the first FTP since 2008 Rosatom has completed more than was set out then, against a budget of RUR 123 billion. About 73% of the new FTP budget of RUR 562 billion will be for decommissioning commercial reactors, and the withdrawal of buildings and facilities at Mayak Production Association, Siberian Chemical Combine, Angarsk Electrolysis and Chemical Complex and Novosibirsk Chemical Concentrates Plant – facilities once involved in state defence programmes. Nearly 20% of the funding will go on creating the infrastructure required for the processing and final disposal of used nuclear fuel and radioactive waste; 5% on monitoring and ensuring nuclear and radiation safety; and 2% on scientific and technological support. About 70% of the budget is from federal funds, much of the rest from Rosatom. It will be implemented in three 5-year stages, and involves the transition to new used fuel recycling technologies to close the fuel cycle, establishing a final HLW repository, decommissioning of 82 nuclear & radiation hazardous facilities, two nuclear icebreakers and other tasks.

Rosatom and the National Operator for Radioactive Waste Management – FSUE NO RAO – is responsible for coordination and execution of works associated with radwaste management, notably its disposal. This includes military waste. The law establishes time limits for interim radwaste storage and volume limits for waste generators, and defines how they should bring waste in condition suitable for disposal and transfer it to the national operator along with payment of disposal charges. Import and export of radwaste is banned. All newly-generated waste is the responsibility of its generators who will pay for its disposal and storage, with funds accumulated in the SC Rosatom’s bank account as a special fund. However, the 2011 law did not address how to resolve property disputes in siting, nor local authority responsibilities, nor financing mechanisms for affected municipalities. In October 2014 NO RAO submitted to Rosatom proposals for changes in legislation on these matters so that it could proceed with its mandate. In 2015 RUR 6.5 billion will be paid over by various enterprises to Rosatom’s reserved fund for radioactive waste disposal, at rates set in 2013 for the period to 2017.

Rosatom plans to draft two more laws: on decommissioning and used fuel management.

FSUE RosRAO is a Moscow-based Rosatom company providing commercial back-end radwaste and decommissioning services for intermediate- and low-level waste as well as handling non-nuclear radwaste and nuclear decommissioning. It commenced operation in 2009 under a temporary arrangement pending finalisation of regulations under the new legislation, and became part of Rosatom’s Life Cycle Back-End Division (LC BED) in 2013. It incorporates Radon, and now has branches in each of seven federal districts. The Kirovo-Chepetsk branch is responsible for decommissioning that conversion plant with 440,000 tonnes of waste by 2025 at a cost of RUR 2.1 billion.

Naval waste

RosRAO’s Far East Centre for Radioactive Waste Management is DalRAO , near Vladivostok in the Maritime Territory. It has Fokino and Viluchinsk divisions or regions, and operates a long-term open-air storage facility in Razboinik Bay for reactor compartments* from dismantled submarines. The long-term storage facility was under construction from 2006 with Japanese assistance and was commissioned in 2012. It has three nuclear service ships, and the Japanese government donated a floating dock and other equipment to move the reactor compartments. RosRAO plans to have the Regional Center for Conditioning and Long-term Storage of Radioactive Waste (RAW Regional Center) here, mainly for naval waste pending handover to NO RAO. In October 2014 the last spent fuel from dismantled nuclear submarines in the Maritime Territory was dispatched to the Mayak reprocessing plant.

* In 2014 the first three were brought ashore, in 2015 RosRAO planned to move five and then raise the number to ten per year, with a total of 54 three-compartment units to be placed. 

RosRAO's Northwest Centre for Radioactive Waste Management is SevRAO , in the Murmansk region, which is engaged in remediation of the sites which were Navy Northern Fleet bases, and dismantling of retired nuclear-powered naval ships and submarines as well as nuclear service ships at several sites. Andreeva Bay is the main centre of attention today, and international funding is applied to removing its stock of used naval fuel under the Northern Dimension Environmental Partnership ( NDEP ), which was established in 2002 and is supported by many countries and the EU through the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). Its Nuclear Window funds work at Andreeva Bay, dismantling Lepse and the Papa -class submarine at Severodvinsk, with €165 million pledged to mid-2017.

Sayda Bay west of Murmansk was a low-level waste storage site for the navy and has become a regional radioactive waste storage centre as well as a major ship and submarine dismantling centre. After being docked for 24 years at Atomflot’s base near Murmansk, the nuclear service ship Lepse was towed to the Nerpa shipyard in Sayda Bay in 2012 and cut up on a slipway over 2013-16, leaving two problematical sections of the hull. It had served as a floating receptacle for used fuel from Russian icebreakers from 1961 to 1988, and stored damaged fuel from the Lenin . An aft section contained radioactive waste that was sent to the nearby Sayda Bay facility, and a fore section contained 639 used fuel assemblies from icebreakers, many of them badly damaged, were removed over 2019-21 inside a special structure and sent to Mayak. All this is funded internationally under the NDEP.

The old Volodarsky, used as a nuclear service ship from 1966 to 1991 and laden with a lot of low- and intermediate-level radioactive waste, anchored near Murmansk until 2013, was also towed to Sayda Bay, unloaded and then dismantled by the end of 2014. This was funded by the Russian government. Other solid radioactive waste was collected at Andreeva Bay for transport to Sayda Bay for long-term storage. A lot of submarine dismantling was undertaken at Sayda Bay, with many three-compartment reactor units now stored there on land. In August 2021 Rosatom reported that 120 out of 123 decommissioned submarines in the Arctic region had been dismantled.

Gremikha is a current naval base between Murmansk and Archangel where SevRAO is undertaking the defuelling and dismantling of 11 highly-radioactive liquid metal-cooled naval reactors from Alfa -class submarines from 2014 to 2023. After the 50-tonne reactors are removed from the hull segments shipped apparently from Sayda Bay, they are put into a hot cell and then defuelled, with the fuel loaded into containers for transport to Mayak for reprocessing. This work takes about a year for each core. Raising the scuttled K-27 submarine with similar reactors and dismantling it is pending there (see below). 

Andreeva Bay, in Litsa Fjord 55 km from the Norway border, was set up in the 1960s as a naval base for nuclear submarine refuelling. In 1982 a major leak from a used fuel pool caused the contents to be transferred to temporary and poorly engineered dry storage. Most of the used fuel from dismantled Northern Fleet submarines was stored at Andreeva Bay – some 22,000 fuel assemblies from 100 naval reactors. In 1992 Norway signed an agreement to address the nuclear legacy issues of the former Northern Fleet and the decommissioning of the nuclear submarines. Andreeva Bay was transferred to civil management in 1993 as Branch #1 of SevRAO. The strategy for removing used fuel from the original dry storage units was developed from 2002, with funding from the UK. The removal procedure included building an enclosure of the dry storage units, some of which are damaged and leaking, then transferring the fuel to new canisters, which are then put into 40-tonne casks for storage or transport. In May 2014 SevRAO signed a RUR100 million contract with Norway’s Finnmark to upgrade the Andreeva Bay dry storage facility, and this was commissioned in 2017. From 2017 to 2020 about 10,000 fuel assemblies were removed from Andreeva Bay to a storage site outside the Murmansk region for disposal.

Submarine fuel is shipped to Andreeva Bay in the 1620 dwt Rossita . This is a dedicated ship to transport up to 720 tonnes of used nuclear fuel and radioactive waste, and was built for Atomflot in Italy in 2011. The Rossita is primarily for naval waste and fuel from decommissioned submarines, and is used on the Northern Sea Route cruising between Gremikha, Andreeva Bay, Sayda Bay, Severodvinsk and other Russian facilities which dismantle nuclear submarines.  Rossita also moves casks of used submarine fuel from Andreeva Bay to the railhead at the Atomflot base at Murmansk, for transport to Mayak.

A new vessel built in Italy under a 2013 contract, the semi-submersible pontoon dock Itarus , designed to transport three-compartment units of dismantled Russian nuclear submarines for SevRAO in Sayda Bay, was delivered in 2016.

As SevRAO has made good progress, there are plans costed at €123 million to recover seven items of radioactive debris from Arctic waters, where most were dumped in Soviet times, by 2032. This includes submarine reactor compartments and two entire submarines with fuel still in their reactors – K-27 which was scuttled in 1982 in shallow water after major failure in one of its lead-bismuth cooled reactors, and K-159 which sank while under tow to decommissioning in 2003. The majority of the debris is in the eastern bays of the Novaya Zemlya, in the Kara Sea. Some is in the Barents Sea. The total radioactivity of nuclear submarines in both seas is estimated at 37 PBq.

Civil waste

RosRAO is envisaged as an international operator, providing back-end fuel cycle services globally.

The National Operator for Radioactive Waste Management ( NO RAO ) is a federal-state unitary enterprise set up in March 2012 as the national manager of Russia's used nuclear fuel and radioactive waste, including its disposal. It is the national operator for handling all nuclear waste materials and the single organisation authorised to carry out final disposal of radioactive waste, and also other related functions. Its functions and tariffs are set by government, notably the Ministry of Natural Resources. Its branches are at Zheleznogorsk in Krasnoyarsk, Seversk in Tomsk, Dimitrovgrad in Ulyanovsk and (from late 2013) Novouralsk in Sverdlovsk.

NO RAO is planning an underground research laboratory in Nizhnekansky granitoid massif near Krasnoyarsk for study into the feasibility of disposal of solid HLW and solid medium-level long-lived waste. It has called for tenders, with stage 1 to be completed by the end of 2019, and the whole project completed in 2024. See section below on High-level waste disposal, geological repositories .

The System of State Accounting and Control of Nuclear Materials and Radioactive Waste (SSAC RM&RAW) is intended to perform physical inventory testing of nuclear materials and radioactive waste at their locations, and carry out accounting and control of them at the federal, regional and departmental levels. In February 2015 Rosatom introduced an automated system for accounting and control of radwaste from more than 2000 organisations, which is to be fully implemented by the end of the year.

About 32 million cubic metres of radioactive waste is to be disposed of within the framework of NO RAO’s program at a cost of about RUR 307 billion, according to Rosatom. NO RAO’s investment program runs to 2035 and includes capital investment in infrastructure of RUR 158 billion ($4.77 billion). Owners of the radioactive waste needing disposal are to provide 80% of that money, while the remaining 20% is to come from the federal budget. In 2013, 24,000 tonnes of used fuel was reported to be awaiting reprocessing or disposal. Rosatom’s Social Council plays a major role in achieving public acceptance.

Plant 20 at PA Mayak, Ozersk, is understood to be a military plutonium processing facility employing 1900 people. There was a plan to close it down and transfer operations to the Siberian Chemical Combine at Seversk as part of restructuring the nuclear weapons complex, but this was cancelled in March 2010. In 2011 Rostechnadzor said that urgent attention was needed “to the 20 open liquid radioactive waste pools, including decommissioning those at FGUP PA Mayak as containing the highest concentration and amount of liquid radioactive waste.”

Used fuel from Russian-built foreign power and research reactors is repatriated, much of it through the port of Murmansk. Some 70 containers were unloaded and moved south by rail over 2008-2014.

High-level waste disposal, geological repositories

No repository is yet available for high-level waste. Earlier, site selection was proceeding in granite on the Kola Peninsula, and 30 potential disposal sites have been identified in 18 regions, including Siberia, the Urals, the Volga region and the Northwest federal district in order of priority. In 2003 Krasnokamensk in the Chita region 7000 km east of Moscow was suggested as the site for a major spent fuel repository.

Then in 2008 the Nizhnekansky Rock Massif at Zheleznogorsk in Krasnoyarsk Territory was put forward as a site for a national deep geological repository. Rosatom said the terms of reference for the facility construction would be tabled by 2015 to start design activities and set up an underground rock laboratory. Public hearings on the Nizhnekansky Granite Massif were held in July 2012 and in November 2013 it was identified in the Regional Energy Planning Scheme as the planned repository site. In August 2016 the Territorial Planning Scheme to 2030 confirmed the site and approved construction of repository facilities here for 4500 m 3 net of class 1 waste and 155,000 m 3 net of class 2 waste.

The National Operator for Radioactive Waste Management (NO RAO) envisages the establishment of an underground laboratory in the Yeniseysky area near Krasnoyarsk for this waste and then no less than nine years' research. It completed the design documentation for the underground laboratory in March 2015 and expects to begin construction in 2017. A decision on repository construction is due by 2025, and the facility itself is to be completed by 2035. Phase 1 of the facility is to be designed to hold 20,000 tonnes of intermediate- and high-level waste, which will be retrievable.

Low- and intermediate-level waste

These are mostly handled similarly to those in other countries. Radon has been the organisation responsible for medical and industrial radioactive waste. It has had 16 storage sites for waste up to intermediate level. Not far outside Moscow, the major Radon facility has both laboratories and disposal sites. Other near-surface storage facilities were in 2008 planned for Sosnovy Bor, Glazov, Gatchina, Novovoronezh, Kirovo-chepetsky, Murmansk, Sarov, Saratov, Bilibino, Kransokamensk, Zelenogorsk, Seversk, Dimitrovgrad, Angarsk, and Udomlya.

NO RAO is planning to establish repositories for at least 300,000 m 3 of low- and intermediate-level waste (LILW, class 3&4 radioactive waste), and these plans are to be in place by 2018. One facility would be built in each of Russia’s seven federal districts to dispose of these three waste streams. In August 2016 the Territorial Planning Scheme to 2030 approved construction of the following near-surface repository facilities:

  • 100,000 m 3 LILW at Ozersk in Chelyabinsk region for Mayak.
  • 200,000 m 3 LILW at Tomsk/ Seversk for SCC.
  • 48,000 m 3 LILW from Urals Electrochemical Combine at Novouralsk.
  • 50,000 m 3 LILW at Sosnovy Bor in the Leningrad oblast.

In December 2015 NO RAO received a licence to operate the first stage of a repository at Novouralsk. The licence permits the near-surface disposal of solid radioactive waste by its Seversk branch on behalf of the Urals Electrochemical Combine, and the first stage of 15,000 m 3 was opened in December 2016. Construction of the second stage is to start in 2017, taking capacity to 54,000 m 3 . The facility with a total final capacity of 150,000 m 3 is planned to operate until 2035. “The investments in design, operation and care & maintenance of the facility, as well as subsequent monitoring of the environment will be RUR 6 billion (US$820 million), as per preliminary estimates,” according to NO RAO.

NO RAO has received local government approval in the Chelyabinsk and Tomsk regions respectively for the final disposal of low- and intermediate-level waste (LILW) at the sites of Mayak Production Association in Ozersk, and Siberian Chemical Combine (SCC), based in Tomsk. In 2017 NO RAO said it planned a 214,000 m 3 repository near Ozersk, and 150,000 m 3 at Seversk near Tomsk, both to be built by 2021.

However, Russia has also for many years used deep-well injection for low- and intermediate-level waste from some facilities, notably Seversk, Zheleznogorsk and Dimitrovgrad. This is mainly waste from reprocessing. A Central Europe review report in 1999 said that the wells ranged from 300 up to 1500 metres deep, and that Seversk was the main site utilising the method, with 30 million cubic metres injected. This practice has delayed Russian acceptance of an IAEA standard for radioactive waste disposal, since it has no packaging or engineered barriers and relies on the geology alone for safe isolation. The new 2011 Radioactive Waste Management law said: “Underground disposal of liquid radioactive waste may be executed, in accordance with the requirements of federal regulations and rules, inside geological formations (‘collector horizons’) as limited by the bounds of the area allotted, within which liquid radioactive waste must remain localised.”

In July 2013 Rostechnadzor issued five-year licences to the three regional branches of NO RAO, for “activities associated with final disposal of liquid radioactive waste.” In the November 2013 Regional Energy Planning Scheme two active sites for deep geological disposal of liquid radioactive waste (LRW) are identified: Dimitrovgrad, Ulyanovsk oblast, on the NIIAR site 1300 km SE of Moscow, and a northern one: Zheleznogorsk, Krasnoyarsk territory in Siberia, on the MCC site. A preliminary finding of the 2013 IRRS mission from IAEA was that “License conditions related to the safety assessment and safety case of liquid radioactive waste disposal facilities should be revised.” In August 2016 the Territorial Planning Scheme to 2030 approved deep well repository for 50 million m 3 of liquid radioactive waste.

Energospetsmontazh announced in March 2015 that the trial operation of plasma-based processing of radioactive waste had started at Novovoronezh. The system is designed for plasma pyrolysis processing of solid radioactive waste of medium and low activity containing both combustible and non-combustible components.

Kyshtym accident and related pollution

There was a major chemical accident at Mayak Chemical Combine (then known as Chelyabinsk-40) near Kyshtym in Russia in 1957. This plant had been built in haste in the late 1940s for military purposes. The failure of the cooling system for a tank storing many tonnes of dissolved nuclear waste resulted in an explosion due to ammonium nitrate having a force estimated at about 75 tonnes of TNT (310 GJ). Most of the 740-800 PBq of radioactive contamination settled out nearby and contributed to the pollution of the Techa River, but a plume containing 80 PBq of radionuclides spread hundreds of kilometres northeast. The affected area was already very polluted – the Techa River had previously received about 100 PBq of deliberately dumped waste, and Lake Karachay had received some 4000 PBq. This ‘Kyshtym accident’ killed perhaps 200 people and the radioactive plume affected thousands more as it deposited particularly Cs-127 and Sr-90. It is rated as a level 6 ‘serious accident’ on the International Nuclear Event Scale, only surpassed by Chernobyl and Fukushima accidents.

Up to 1951 the Mayak plant had dumped its waste into the Techa River, whose waters ultimately flow into the Ob River and Arctic Ocean. Then they were disposed of into Lake Karachay until at least 1953, when a storage facility for high-level waste was built – the source of the 1957 accident. Finally, a 1967 duststorm picked up a lot of radioactive material from the dry bed of Lake Karachay and deposited it on to the surrounding province. It appears that some radioactive discharges into the Techa River continued, and that in particular between 2001 and 2004, some 30-40 million cubic metres of radioactive effluent was discharged near the reprocessing facility, which “caused radioactive contamination of the environment with the isotope strontium-90.” There is no radiological quantification.

The outcome of these three events made some 26,000 square kilometres the most radioactively-polluted area on Earth by some estimates, comparable with Chernobyl.


Rostechnadzor oversees a major programme of decommissioning old fuel cycle facilities, financed under the Federal target program on Nuclear and Radiation Safety. The government said it planned to spend some $5 billion to 2015 on decommissioning and waste management. Since 1995 nuclear power plants have contributed to a decommissioning fund.

Several civil reactors are being decommissioned: an experimental 50 MWt LWGR type at Obninsk which started up in 1954 (5 MWe) and was the forerunner of RBMKs, two early and small prototype LWGR (AMB-100 & 200) units – Beloyarsk 1&2 – the Melekess VK-50 prototype BWR, and three larger prototype VVER-440 units at Novovoronezh, a V-210 and V-365 and a V-179. Five were shut down 1981-90 and await dismantling. The fuel has been removed from these and that from Novovoronezh has been shipped to centralised storage in Zheleznogorsk and will be stored there for about ten years before reprocessing. The Beloyarsk fuel is still onsite since reprocessing technology for it is not yet available. The plant is being dismantled, and the site is due to be clear by 2032.

Shutdown Civil Power Reactors

At Novovoronezh 1&2 a decommissioning project with partial dismantling of equipment was largely completed in 2020. The work will take several years, and buildings are likely to be re-used. In particular that portion of the site houses the district heating pumps and equipment, which provides 75% of the heat for the city, and a spare parts store for Rosenergoatom. Novovoronezh 3 was shut down in December 2016 and it will be cannibalised to keep unit 4 (also V-179) operating for up to 60 years.

In 2010 Siberian Chemical Combine (SCC) in collaboration with Rosatom set up the JSC Pilot Demonstration Center for Decommissioning of Uranium-Graphite Reactors (PDC UGR) at SCC site to implement a decommissioning concept for 13 shut-down uranium-graphite production reactors (PUGR) for military plutonium. These are at Mayak Chemical Combine at Ozersk (5), near Kyshtym, at Siberian Chemical Combine, Seversk (5), and at Mining & Chemical Combine, Zheleznogorsk (3). The last plutonium production reactor, ADE-2 at Zheleznogorsk, finally closed for decommissioning in April 2010.* The fuel has been removed from the shut-down reactors and nearly all of it has been reprocessed at Mayak and Seversk. The concept provides for building multiple safety barriers and sealing of shut-down reactors rather than their dismantling, at a cost estimated to be RUR 2 billion (US$ 67 million) each. Entombment is the option selected for EI-2, ADE-4 and ADE-5 reactors. All 13 are expected o be decommissioned by 2030. EI-2, also described as Russia’s first industrial nuclear power station since it produced power as well as military plutonium, operated to the end of 1990 and was decommissioned in 2015. In 2009 SCC won a tender to prepare for decommissioning of the four Bilibino reactors (due to close 2019-21) and two closed ones at Beloyarsk (all LWGRs).

*Russia's plutonium was produced by 13 reactors at three sites: PO Mayak in Ozersk, also known as Chelyabinsk-65 (A, AV-1-3, AI-IR); SKhK – the Siberian Chemical Combine in Seversk, also known as Tomsk-7 (ADE-3,4&5, EI-1, EI-2); and GKhK – the Mining and Chemical Combine in Zheleznogorsk, also known as Krasnoyarsk-26 (AD, ADE-1&2). The five Mayak reactors produced an estimated 31t of weapons-grade plutonium between 1948 and 1990, the five SKhK reactors produced 68t between 1955 and 2008, and the three GKhK reactors produced 46t between 1958 and 2010. Ten of these reactors were shut down between 1987 and 1992, leaving only ADE-2, 4 and 5 until 2008 & 2010. Of four heavy water reactors at Mayak (OK-180, OK-190, OK-190M and LF-2) the first was intended for plutonium production but in fact all were used for producing isotopes and tritium. LF-2 remains in operation.

In January 2014 Rosatom announced that the PDC UGR, having established its credibility and expertise, would cease to be part of SCC and become part of its new End-of-Life (EOL) Management Division, under the Federal Centre for Nuclear and Radiation Safety (FC NRS).

Three nuclear-powered icebreakers have been decommissioned: Lenin , Sibir and Arktika, also the support vessel: Lepse which held some used nuclear fuel from the Arctic fleet. Lepse was taken out of the water in October 2014 for further dismantling at the Nerpa Shipyard in Murmansk. Lenin is being turned into a museum. SevRAO, the northern branch of RosRAO, dismantles nuclear-powered naval vessels at its Sayda Bay site in Murmansk, and Atomflot is considering using it for retired icebreakers.

In 2014 the Angarsk Electrolysis & Chemical Complex (AECC) said that decommissioning of its conversion plant and diffusion enrichment plants would require RUR 20 billion ($500 million). Decommissioning the conversion capacity at Kirovo-Chepetsky Chemical Combine which was shut down in the 1990s is expected to cost RUR 2.1 billion.


The State Corporation (SC) Rosatom is a vertically-integrated holding company which took over Russia's nuclear industry in 2007, from the Federal Atomic Energy Agency (FAEA, also known as Rosatom). This had been formed from the Ministry for Atomic Energy (Minatom) in 2004, which had succeeded a Soviet ministry in 1992. The civil parts of the industry, with a history of over 60 years, are consolidated under JSC AtomEnergoProm (AEP).

During 2008 there was a major reorganisation or "privatisation" of nuclear industry entities involving change from Federal State Unitary Enterprises (FSUE) to Joint Stock Companies (JSC), with most or all of the shares held by AtomEnergoProm. By mid August 2008, 38 of 55 civil nuclear FSUEs had been reformed. Some renaming occurred due to new restrictions on the use of "Russia" or derivatives (eg "Ros") in JSC names. In mid 2014 eight of the remaining FSUEs were designated ‘federal nuclear organisation’, including Mayak PA and MCC.

The State Nuclear Energy Corporation Rosatom (as distinct from the earlier Rosatom agency) is a non-profit company set up in 2007 to hold all nuclear assets, including more than 350 companies and organisations, on behalf of the state. In particular, it holds all the shares in the civil holding company AtomEnergoProm (AEP). It took over the functions of the Rosatom agency and works with the Ministries of Industry and Energy (MIE) and of Economic Development and Trade (MEDT) but does not report to any particular ministry. Early in 2012 the government announced that its civil divisions might be privatized, at least to a 49% share in individual entities. The total workforce is over 250,000.

SC Rosatom divisions are:

  • Nuclear weapons complex.
  • Nuclear & radiation safety and waste.
  • Nuclear power – Atomenergoprom, Rosenergoatom.
  • Applied and fundamental science, composite materials.
  • Atomflot – Arctic fleet of seven nuclear icebreakers and one nuclear merchant ship.

AtomEnergoProm (Atomic Energy Power Corporation, AEP) is the single vertically-integrated state holding company for Russia's nuclear power sector, separate from the military complex. It was set up at the end of 2007 to consolidate the civil activities of Rosatom including uranium production, engineering, design, reactor construction, power generation, isotope production and research institutes in its several branches, but not used fuel reprocessing or disposal facilities. It incorporates more than 80 enterprises operating in all areas of the nuclear fuel cycle. The April 2007 Presidential decree establishing it specifies nuclear materials, which may be owned exclusively by the state, lists Russian legal entities allowed to possess nuclear materials and facilities, existing joint stock companies to be incorporated into Atomenergoprom, and lists federal state unitary enterprises to be corporatized first and incorporated into Atomenergoprom at a later stage. Exclusive state ownership of nuclear materials had been seen as a barrier to competitiveness and other Russian corporate entities will now be allowed to hold civil-grade nuclear materials, under state control.

Entities from Atomenergoprom itself down to various third-level subsidiaries will be joint stock companies eventually. Public investment in the bottom level operations is envisaged – the joint venture between Alstom and Atomenergomash to provide large turbines and generators is cited as an example.

JSC AtomEnergoProm's many entities include the following (most are JSCs):

- ARMZ Uranium Holding Co (JSC AtomRedMetZoloto) – uranium production – owns Russian mine assets. - Uranium One Group (U1 Group) – responsible for all foreign uranium mining, 78.4% owned. - Techsnabexport (TENEX) – foreign trade in uranium products and services, with North American subsidiary TENAM. - JSC Enrichment & Conversion Complex. - TVEL – conversion, enrichment and nuclear fuel fabrication. The BREST-300 reactor is being built by TVEL at SCC Seversk, apparently due to the integration of fuel cycle facilities in the project. - ASE Group is Rosatom’s engineering division, accounting for 30% of the global nuclear power plant construction market according to Rosatom. Most foreign projects are ASE's reponsibility. It now incorporates the following entities: - Atomproekt, the new name for VNIPIET (All-Russia Science Research and Design Institute of Power Engineering Technology) which since 2013 incorporates St Petersburg Atomenergoproekt (SPbAEP) – design of nuclear power projects, radiochemical plants and waste facilities. From 2015 this is part of the ASE Group. - Nizhny-Novgorod Atomenergoproekt (NN AEP or NIAEP) – power plant design, from 2012: holding company for ASE. Sometimes then known as NIAEP-ASE, but re-named Atomstroyexport in December 2016. From October 2014 this is the parent company of Moscow JSC Atomenergoproekt (AEP), so the whole entity became the ASE Group (united company NIAEP-ASE-AEP). Then in 2015 Atomproekt was added to it. - Atomstroyexport (ASE) – construction of nuclear plants abroad, merged with NIAEP in 2012. Sometimes known as NIAEP-ASE until re-named Atomstroyexport in December 2016. From the end of 2014, ASE owns all the shares in JSC Atomenergoproekt and 49% of those in NIAEP, taking them over from Atomenergoprom. - Moscow Atomenergoproekt (AEP) – power plant design, became part of NIAEP-ASE. - Energospetsmontazh – construction and assembly, also repair of nuclear plants. - Atomenergomash (AEM) – a group of companies building reactors. - OKBM Afrikantov (formerly just OKBM – Experimental Design Bureau of Machine-building – Mashinostroyeniya) at Nizhny Novgorod- reactor design and construction. - OKB Gidropress (Experimental Design Bureau pressurised water – Hydropress) at Podolsk near Moscow – PWR reactor design. - JSC Rosenergoatom (briefly Energoatom) – responsible for construction and operation of nuclear power generation. - Rusatom Overseas was established in 2011 to promote Russian nuclear technologies in world markets. After restructuring in May 2015, it is divided into two companies served by Rusatom International Network which runs Rosatom's regional offices around the world, supporting the activities of Rosatom's divisions in foreign markets, seeking new business opportunities and promoting Rosatom's products and services abroad. The two companies are:  • JSC Rusatom Energy International , 44% owned by Rosatom and 56% by Atomenergoprom. It manages foreign construction projects and operation of those nuclear power plants as a shareholder in project companies. It is a major shareholder in JSC Akkuyu Nuclear in Turkey and a 34% shareholder in Fennovoima Oy in Finland. The functions of the company include financing, construction on budget and on time, safe and efficient operation of nuclear power plants, and sale of electricity on foreign markets. • JSC Rusatom Overseas Inc , based in Moscow and responsible for promotion of the integrated offer of nuclear power plant construction projects in international markets. Its key tasks are growth of the overseas orders portfolio of Rosatom companies and retaining the leading positions of Russia in global nuclear market. It is to ensure full back-up of the customer nuclear power programmes at all stages of implementation, including financing, training, localisation of supply chain, fuel supply with take-back of used fuel for reprocessing, and decommissioning. - Rusatom Overseas Germany (RAOS Germany) in 2016 will take over the international sales and marketing activities of NUKEM Technologies GmbH in the regions outside of the Western European markets, hence bundling all international marketing activities in the nuclear back-end area and high-temperature reactor fuel with Rusatom Overseas. - Rusatom Service – coordination of servicing nuclear plants abroad, providing “customised solutions for the modernization and operating period extension of VVER-based nuclear power plants”. - Atomenergoremont – maintenance and upgrading of nuclear power plants, - NUKEM Technologies GmbH is active worldwide in management of radioactive waste and spent fuel, and decommissioning of nuclear facilities. NUKEM Technologies Engineering Services GmbH focuses on engineering. Both are wholly-owned subsidiaries of JSC Atomstroyexport, and from 2016 are apparently part of Rusatom Overseas. - Research & Development Institute for Power Engineering (NIKIET) at Moscow – power plant design (originally: submarine power plants) - Central Design Bureau for Marine Engineering (CDBME) of the Russian Shipbuilding Agency – involved in some reactor design. - JSC State Specialised Design Institute (SSDI or GSPI) was a direct subsidiary of Atomenergoprom set up in 1948 for producing plutonium but now designing SMRs.


JSC Rosenergoatom is the only Russian organization primarily acting as a utility operating nuclear power plants. It was established in 1992 and reorganized in 2001 and then in 2008 as an open JSC. From December 2011 JSC Atomenergoprom holds 96% of the shares, and SC Rosatom (which owns Atomenergoprom) holds 4%. Rosenergoatom owns all nuclear power plants, both operating and under construction.

InterRAO UES was formerly a joint venture of Rosenergoatom and RAO UES, the utility which was broken up in mid 2008. It is now 57.3% owned by Rosatom and focused on electricity generation in areas such as Armenia and the Kaliningrad part of Russia, as the country's exporter and importer of electricity. It has 8 GWe of generating plant of its own and plans to increase this to 30 GWe by 2015, with the Baltic nuclear plant at Kaliningrad as an early priority. It heads a group of over 20 companies located in 14 countries, involving 18 GWe of capacity. Inter RAO-WorleyParsons (IRWP, with Inter RAO 51%) was set up in mid 2010 to work on the transfer of power engineering technology into Inter RAO's market and to promote Inter RAO's projects oversees.

Engineering and general designers:

In July 2008 the St Petersburg, Moscow and Nizhny-Novgorod divisions of Atomernergoproekt were converted to joint stock companies, with all shares held by Atomenergoprom. The first two are engineering companies and general designers of nuclear power plants mainly using VVER reactors developed by Gidropress. By the end of 2015 all the following engineering companies had been consolidated into the ASE Group as Rosatom's engineering division.

Atomproekt at St Petersburg was formed from the 2013 merger of St Petersburg Atomenergoproekt (SPbAEP) with the All-Russia Science Research and Design Institute of Integrated Power Engineering Technology – VNIPIET (established in 1933) to create the country’s largest nuclear power plant design and development company. It has a particular focus on fast reactors as well as VVER. The company supports all stages of the nuclear fuel cycle, from a decision to start a nuclear power plant construction project to decommissioning. On completion of the merger in mid-2014 it became Atomproekt. Earlier, SPbAEP worked closely with Atomstroyexport (ASE) on exported plants. Atomproekt is responsible for Leningrad II plant, Beloyarsk, Baltic, and also the Belarus, Tianwan, Hanhikivi and Paks II plants as export projects.

Atomproekt is also much involved in fuel fabrication and radioactive waste management. It is Russia's sole design company for used nuclear fuel storage facilities. It is closely involved with the Proryv project for closed fuel cycle with fast reactors.

Atomenergoproekt (formerly Moscow AEP) established in 1986 is a major general design and engineering company for nuclear power plants. It may also function as general contractor. In October 2014 it became a subsidiary of NIAEP-ASE.

Its version of the AES-2006 evolved to the VVER-TOI, which Rosatom says is planned to be standard for new projects in Russia and worldwide. It is general designer of Novovoronezh II, being built by NIAEP-ASE, Kursk II, Smolensk II as well as Kudankulam in India and Akkuyu in Turkey. It has been responsible for Kursk and Smolensk RBMK plants, Novovoronezh I, Balakovo, and the Zaporozhe, Temelin and Bushehr plants.

NIAEP-ASE:  Nizhny-Novgorod Engineering Company Atomenergoproekt (NIAEP) set up in 1951 is building plants at Rostov (Volgodonsk) and Kalinin. NIAEP in March 2012 was merged with Atomstroyexport (ASE) to bolster the latter's engineering capability. (Earlier it had linked with ASE to utilize some 1980s VVER equipment not required for Bulgaria's proposed Belene plant, and built it at Kalinin.)  NIAEP  became a holding company for JSC ASE, but NIAEP-ASE was being used as acronym to late 2014.

Atomstroyexport  (ASE), established by merger in 1998, emerged from the reorganisation as a closed joint stock company owned by Atomenergoprom (50.2%) and Gazprombank (49.8%, it is 69% owned by Gazprom). Early in 2009 the Atomenergoprom and related equity was increased to 89.3% by additional share issue, leaving Gazprombank with 10.7%. It was responsible for export of nuclear plants to China, Iran, India and Bulgaria. In 2009 German-based Nukem Technologies GmbH, which specialises in decommissioning, waste management and engineering services, became a 100% subsidiary of Atomstroyexport. In 2012 ASE merged with Nizhny-Novgorod Atomenergoproekt (NN AEP or NIAEP) to form NIAEP-ASE.

Rosatom, through NIAEP-ASE, offers both EPC (engineering, procurement, construction) and BOO (build, own, operate) contracts for overseas nuclear power plant projects, the latter involving at least 25% Rosatom equity. Rosatom offers various kinds of project financing, including attraction of strategic and institutional investors and debt financing. Some project finance is covered by international agreements involving either export credits, Russian government credit or the participation of Russian state banks. It says that lending rates can be optimized for nuclear power plant projects, and up to 85% of the finance may be provided by government credit from Russia.

In November 2014 the projects in hand on the company website were: Rostov 3&4, Baltic 1&2, Nizhny Novgorod 1&2, Kursk II, all in Russia, and Kudankulam 1&2, Tianwan 3&4, Akkuyu 1-4, Ostrovets 1&2, Bushehr 1, Ninh Thuan 1&2. In mid-2013 Rooppur in Bangladesh was added (but then removed). It is also building a large (3x400 MWe) gas combined-cycle plant: South Ural/Yuzhnouralskaya GRES-2 units 1&2.

NIAEP (post 2012 merger) has a design institute in Nizhny-Novgorod, project management offices in Nizhny-Novgorod, Moscow and St Petersburg, and 11 representative offices in Europe and Asia to oversee projects.

Titan-2 was a major subcontractor for the Leningrad II construction, and in 2015 it took over as general contractor for units 1&2. It will also be general contractor for Hanhikivi in Finland.

Rusatom Service was set up in October 2011 by Rosenergoatom (51%), Atomenergomash (16%), Gidropress (16%) and Atomtekhenergo (16%). It will undertake maintenance and repair as well as modernization of Russian-design nuclear power plants abroad, applying Russian domestic experience. The company is also to work in the area of technical consultancy, training and retraining of plant personnel. The market is estimated at €1.5 billion per year, rising to €2.5 billion by 2020, including western-design reactors by then.

OTsKS – Rosatom Branch Centre for Capital Construction – was set up in August 2012 to manage its capital investment program in Russia and internationally. It oversees regulatory, technical and legal aspects of capital construction projects, as well as estimating costs and developing schedules. It also provides training for customer-contractors and general contractors such as NIAEP-ASE as well as the personnel of construction companies. Rosatom subsidiary companies had to complete their transition to new rules on planning capital construction projects developed by OTsKS, by the end of 2013. Its main customer is Rosenergoatom which is building about ten units in Russia, with 12 more planned by 2025.

AKME-engineering was established in 2009 to implement the SVBR-100 project at Dimitrovgrad, including design, construction and commercial operation. It is a JV of Rosatom and JSC Irkutskenergo, and is licensed for construction and operation of nuclear plants by Rostechnadzor.

Uralenergostroy in Yekaterinburg is a civil works general contractor responsible for BN-800, BN-1200 and MBIR plants.

The Federal Centre of Nuclear and Radiation Safety ( FC NRS ) is a federal-state unitary enterprise set up in 2007 by Rosatom as part of its End-of-Life (EOL) Management Division. The Pilot Demonstration Center for Decommissioning of Uranium-Graphite Reactors (PDC UGR) is to become part of it, rather than staying with SCC.

The National Operator for Radioactive Waste Management ( NO RAO ) is a federal-state unitary enterprise set up in 2012 responsible for waste management and disposal. It is the National Operator for handling all nuclear waste materials, with functions and tariffs set by government.

FSUE RosRAO provides commercial back-end radwaste and decommissioning services for intermediate- and low-level waste as well as handling non-nuclear radwaste. It commenced operation in 2009 under a temporary arrangement pending finalisation of regulations under the new legislation. It incorporates Radon, which was the organisation responsible for medical and industrial radioactive waste, and now has branches in each of seven federal districts. RosRAO’s Far East Centre (DalRAO) operates long-term storage for over 70 submarine reactor compartments, pending their recycling. Its northern centre is SevRAO, in the Murmansk region, is engaged in remediation of the sites of Navy Northern Fleet bases, and dismantling of retired nuclear-powered naval ships and submarines. RosRAO is envisaged as an international operator. RosRAO became part of Rosatom’s Life Cycle Back-End Division (LC BED) in 2013.

In 2013 Rosatom’s Life Cycle Back-End Division (LC BED) was set up to incorporate entities hitherto the responsibility of FC NRS: the Mining and Chemical Combine (MCC), RosRAO, SPA V.G.Khlopin Radium Institute and Radon. FC NRS will continue involvement with the new division.

FSUE Atomflot is a Rosatom division operating the nuclear powered icebreakers and merchant ship in Arctic waters.

Situation and Crisis Centre of Rosatom was established in 1998 acts as the Operator of the Nuclear Industry System for Prevention and Management of Emergencies. It keeps track of nuclear enterprises and transport of nuclear materials.

SNIIP Systematom is an engineering company for nuclear and radiation safety systems. It will supply the equipment for automated radiation monitoring systems (ARMS) at the Kalinin 1 nuclear unit in Russia and Tianwan 4 in China.

The VI Lenin All-Russian Electrotechnical Institute and its affiliated Experimental Plant were made FSUEs by presidential decree in March 2015, and removed from the Ministry of Education & Science.

Supply chain entities

Atomenergomash (AEM) was set up in 2006 to control the supply chain for major reactor components. After an equity issue in 2009 it was 63.6% owned by AEP, 14.7% by TVEL and 7.6% by Tenex, and 7% by AEM-finance. In 2009 AEM had sales of RUR 16 billion. AEM companies claim to have provided equipment in 13% of nuclear plants worldwide. Rosatom has one of the largest procurement budgets in the Russian economy, with the annual value of its orders totaling more than RUR 1000 billion ($17.8 billion) in recent years. Almost 85,000 companies are registered as suppliers to Rosatom and 70,000 contracts are signed each year by the group.

Supply chain reliability for nuclear procurement is a significant concern for Rosatom, and it is seeking reform from the Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS), in particular to ensure a credible ability to deliver high quality goods and services on time rather than just accepting the lowest price. Rosatom wants to conduct audit checks of suppliers prior to their participation in competitive bidding procedures, in order to verify that they would actually be able to fulfil the orders on which they bid. Rosatom cited as an example of the need for procurement reform the purchase of circulation pumps and combined valves for the Novovoronezh power plant. The supplier agreed to a schedule, but this stretched to 80 months and the equipment eventually delivered failed safety tests at the plant. A similar situation occurred at the Beloyarsk plant. The costs of such delays to Rosatom far exceed any compensation it can claim from delinquent suppliers.

The former main nuclear fabrication company, Atommash, was established in 1973 at Volgodonsk and went bankrupt in 1995. It was then profoundly restructured and resurrected as EMK-Atommash before becoming part of JSC Energomash, a major diversified engineering company apparently independent of Rosatom/AEP. Atommash largely moved away from nuclear equipment, though Atomenergomash (subsidiary of AEP) was keen to resuscitate it as an alternative heavy equipment supplier to OMZ. In 2009 Atomenergomash was doing due diligence on the Energomash group, with a view to taking a half share in it, "to create competition in the segment of monopoly suppliers of long-lead nuclear equipment.” In October 2014 AEM-Assets, a subsidiary of Rosatom, acquired the production assets and a 100% interest in Energomash LLC (Volgodonsk)-Atommash, the forging company, and Energomash JSC (Volgodonsk)-Atommash, which provides services related to the lease of equipment and immovable property. Atommash was integrated into Rosatom as part of AEM-Technology, and can now produce four complete sets of nuclear island equipment per year. The reactor pressure vessel supplied to Belarus in 2015 was the first it had produced in 30 years. Two reactor pressure vessels for the RITM-200 reactors for Russia’s new icebreaker were also produced in 2015. In 2017 it was building the reactor pressure vessel for the MBIR fast research reactor.

Objedinennye Mashinostroitelnye Zavody (OMZ – Uralmash-Izhora Group) itself is the largest heavy industry company in Russia, and has a wide shareholding. Izhorskiye Zavody, the country's main reactor component supplier, became part of the company in 1999, and Skoda Steel and Skoda JS in Czech Republic joined in 2003. OMZ is expected to produce the forgings for all new domestic AES-2006 model VVER-1200 nuclear reactors (four per year from 2016), plus exports. At present Izhora can produce the heavy forgings required for Russia's VVER-1000 reactors at the rate of two per year, and it is manufacturing components for the first two Leningrad II VVER-1200 units.

The Power Machines Company (JSC Silovye Mashiny Concern, or Silmash) was established in 2000 and brought together a number of older enterprises including Leningradsky Metallichesky Zavod (LMZ), Elektrosila, Turbine Blades Factory, etc. Siemens holds 26% of the stock. Silmash makes steam turbines up to 1200 MWe, including the 1000 MWe turbines for Atomstroyexport projects in China, India and Iran, and has supplied equipment to 57 countries worldwide. It is making 1200 MWe turbine generators for the Leningrad and Novovoronezh II nuclear plants. A significant amount of Power Machines' business is in Asia.

The Russian EnergyMachineBuilding Company (REMCO) was established as a closed joint stock company in Russia in 2008, amalgamating some smaller firms, with half the shares owned by Atomenergomash. It is one of the largest manufacturers of complex heat-exchange equipment for nuclear and thermal power plants, oil and gas industry. Its subsidiaries include JSC Machine-Building Plant ZiO-Podolsk and JSC Engineering Company ZIOMAR.

JSC Machine Building Plant ZiO-Podolsk is one of the largest manufacturers designing and producing equipment for nuclear power and other plants. It has made equipment, including steam generators and heat exchangers, for all nuclear plants in the former USSR. It is increasing capacity to four nuclear equipment sets per year. It appears to be 51% owned by REMCO. It is making the reactor pressure vessel and other main equipment for the BN-800 fast reactor at Beloyarsk as well as steam generators for Novovoronezh, Kalinin 4, Leningrad and Belene.

In April 2007 a joint venture company to manufacture the turbine and generator portions of new nuclear power plants was announced by French engineering group Alstom and JSC Atomenergomash. The 49:51 Alstom-Atomenergomash LLC (AAEM) joint venture, in which both parties would invest EUR 200 million, was established at Podolsk, near Moscow. It includes the technology transfer of Alstom's state of the art Arabelle steam turbine and generator (available up to 1800 MWe) tailored to Russian VVER technology. In 2010 AAEM signed an agreement with Inter RAO-Worley Parsons (IRWP) to establish an engineering consortium to design turbine islands for Russia's VVER reactor-based nuclear power plants. At the same time Alstom signed strategic agreements with major Russian energy companies to jointly provide power generation products and services for Russia's power industry in hydro, nuclear and thermal power generation and electricity transmission. Another agreement, between Alstom Power and Rosatom, details plans to set up a local facility to manufacture Alstom's Arabelle steam turbines for nuclear plants. In 2011 Petrozavodskmash joined the group, and its site is more suitable for shipping large components, so in 2011 the company decided to build its factory for Arabelle manufacture at Petrozavodsk, in Karelia, by 2015 instead of continuing with ZiO-Podolsk near Moscow. First production was expected in 2013 with output reaching three 1200 MWe turbine and generator sets per year in 2016. The Baltic plant will be the first customer, in a RUB 35 billion order, with Russian content about 50%. This will increase to over 70% for subsequent projects.

In September 2007 Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) signed an agreement with Russia's Ural Turbine Works (UTZ) to manufacture, supply and service gas and steam turbines in the Russian market. Under the agreement, MHI, Japan's biggest machinery maker, will license its manufacturing technologies for large gas turbines and steam turbines to UTZ – part of the Renova Group. The agreement also calls for a joint venture to be established in Russia to provide after-sales service.

Russia has developed several generations of centrifuges for uranium enrichment. Ninth-generation machines are now being deployed, 10th generation ones re being developed, and 11th generation are being designed. The 9th generation units are said to be 1.5 times as efficient as 8th. Overall since 1960, the machine weight, size and power characteristics have remained practically unchanged, but their efficiency was raised more than six-fold, design service life was increased from 3 to 30 years, and the SWU cost was reduced “several times”. Centrifuges for China under a US$ 1 billion contract are manufactured at both Tocmash and Kovrov Mechanical plant, both of which will become part of the Fuel Company being established by TVEL. Russia intends to export its centrifuges to the USA and SE Asia.

For more up to date information on heavy engineering, see paper on Heavy Manufacturing of Power Plants .

Early in 2006 Rosenergoatom set up a subsidiary to supply floating nuclear power plants (BNPPs) ranging in size from 70 to 600 MWe. The plants are designed by OKBM in collaboration with others. The pilot plant, now under construction, is 70 MWe plus heat output and incorporates two KLT-40S reactors based on those in icebreakers.

Regulation and safety

Two main laws govern the use of nuclear power: the Federal Law on the Use of Atomic Energy (November 1995 and Federal Law on Radiation Safety of Populations (January 1996). These are supported by federal laws including those on environmental protection (2002) and the Federal Law on Radioactive Waste Management (2011). The 1996 Federal Law on Radiation Safety of Populations is administered by the Federal Ministry of Health.

Rostekhnadzor   is the regulator, set up (as GAN) in 1992, reporting direct to the President. Because of the links with military programs, a culture of secrecy pervaded the old Soviet nuclear power industry. After the 1986 Chernobyl accident, changes were made and a nuclear safety committee established. The State Committee for Nuclear and Radiation Safety – Gosatomnadzor (GAN) succeeded this in 1992, being responsible for licensing, regulation and operational safety of all facilities, for safety in transport of nuclear materials, and for nuclear materials accounting. Its inspections can result in legal charges against operators. However, on some occasions when it suspended operating licences in the 1990s, Minatom successfully overrode this. In 2004 GAN was incorporated into the Federal Ecological, Technological & Atomic Supervisory Service, Rostechnadzor, which has a very wide environmental and safety mandate. It has executive authority for development and implementation of public policy and legal regulation in the environmental field, as well as in the field of technological and nuclear supervision. It controls and supervises natural resources development, industrial safety, nuclear safety (except for weapons), safety of electrical networks, hydraulic structures and industrial explosives. It licences nuclear energy facilities, and supervises nuclear and radiation safety of nuclear and radiologically hazardous installations, including supervision of nuclear materials accounting, control and physical protection.  A 2011 overview is on IAEA website.

Safety has evidently been improving at Russian nuclear power plants. In 1993 there were 29 incidents rating level 1 and higher on the INES scale, in 1994 there were nine, and since then to 2003, no more than four. Also, up until 2001 many employees received annual radiation doses of over 20 mSv, but since 2002 very few have done so.

In 2008 Rostechnadzor was transferred to the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment, but this was reversed in mid 2010 and it was brought back under direct control of the government and focused on civil nuclear energy. Following other changes in federal legislation, an IAEA Integrated Regulatory Review Service (IRRS) mission in 2013 said that Rostechnadzor had made "significant progress" in its development since 2009 and had “become an effective independent regulator with a professional staff”. Rostechnadzor undertook to make the final IRRS report early in 2014 public.

Glavgosexpertiza , the Russian State Expert Examination Board, is the authority responsible for appraising design documentation and engineering services on behalf of the Ministry of Construction of Russia. Glavgosexpertiza ensures compliance of all major infrastructure construction projects with national technical regulations and statutory requirements. 

Rosprirodnadzor , the Federal Service for Supervision of Natural Resources needs to give environmental approval to new projects, through its State Environmental Commission.

Exports: fuel cycle

Soviet exports of enrichment services began in 1973, and Russia has strongly continued this, along with exports of radioisotopes. After 1990, uranium exports began, through Techsnabexport (Tenex). At 2015 Atomexpo it was announced that at the start of the year Rosatom’s foreign portfolio totaled US$ 101.4 billion, of which $66 billion was reactors, $21.8 billion was the contracted sales of EUP and SWU, and the remaining $13.6 billion was attributable to the sales of fabricated fuel assemblies and uranium. Rosatom’s goal is to gain half its revenue from exported goods and services.

Tenex expects to increase its share in the global market for front-end fuel cycle services to 40% by 2030, assisted by offering an ‘integrated product’ covering the entire nuclear fuel cycle, and to contribute up to half of Rosatom’s foreign currency revenue. Tenex revenue in 2014 was over $2.2 billion, and forward orders totalled almost $23 billion, including almost $6 billion in over 20 contracts with US utilities for enriched uranium product. Tenex sees the Asia-Pacific market as a growth area, using a new transport route through Vostochny Seaport, Primorye Territory.

In 2009 Tenex signed long-term enrichment services contacts with three US utilities – AmerenUE, Luminant and Pacific Gas & Electric – and one in Japan – Chubu. The contracts cover supply from 2014 to 2020. Then it contracted to supply enriched uranium product over the same period with Exelon, the largest US nuclear utility. By the end of 2010, the value of contracts with US companies rose to about $4 billion, beyond the diluted ex-military uranium already being supplied to 2013 from Russian weapons stockpiles. In 2012, Tenex supplied about 45% of world demand for enrichment services and 17% of that for fabricated fuel. It exported fuel for 34 reactors as well as supplying 33 Russian ones.

This US-Russian "Megatonnes to Megawatts" program supplies about 15% of world reactor requirements for enriched uranum and is part of a US$ 12 billion deal in 1994 between US and Russian governments, with a non-proliferation as well as commercial rationale. USEC and Tenex are the executive agents for the program. However, Rosatom confirmed in mid 2006 that no follow-on program of selling Russian high-enriched uranium from military stockpiles was anticipated once this program concludes in 2013. The 20-year program is equivalent to about 140,000 to 150,000 tonnes of natural uranium, and has supplied about half of US needs. By September 2010 it was 80% complete.

TVEL in 2010 won a tender to construct a fuel manufacturing plant in Ukraine, against competition from US company Westinghouse. Russia's long-term contract to supply fuel to the Ukrainian market is set to run until the end of the useful life of existing Ukrainian reactors, perhaps up to 35 years.

TVEL in 2014 secured contracts with foreign partners that exceeded $3 billion, keeping its ten-year order book at more than $10 billion. Contracts were signed with Finland, Hungary and Slovakia, as well as for research reactors in the Czech Republic, the Netherlands and Uzbekistan. TVEL said it has 17% of the global nuclear fuel supply market.

Rosatom has claimed to be able to undercut world prices for nuclear fuel and services by some 30%.

It was also pushing ahead with plans to store and probably reprocess foreign spent fuel, and earlier the Russian parliament overwhelmingly supported a change in legislation to allow this. The proposal involved some 10% of the world's spent fuel over ten years, or perhaps up to 20,000 tonnes of spent fuel, to raise US$ 20 billion, two thirds of which would be invested in expanding civil nuclear power. In July 2001 President Putin signed into effect three laws including one to allow this import of spent nuclear fuel (essentially an export of services, since Russia would be paid for it).

The President also set up a special commission to approve and oversee any spent fuel accepted, with five members each from the Duma, the Council, the government and presidential nominees, chaired by Dr Zhores Alferov, a parliamentarian, Vice-President of the Russian Academy of Sciences and Nobel Prize physicist. This scheme was progressed in 2005 when the Duma ratified the Vienna Convention on civil liability for nuclear damage. However in July 2006 Rosatom announced it would not proceed with taking any foreign-origin used fuel, and the whole scheme lapsed.

Exports: general, plants and projects

Russia is engaged with international markets in nuclear technology, well beyond its traditional eastern European client states. An important step up in this activity was in August 2011 when Rosatom established Rusatom Overseas company, with authorized capital of RUR 1 billion. In mid-2015 it was split into JSC Rusatom Overseas Inc. and JSC Rusatom Energy International .

Rusatom Overseas Inc  is responsible for implementing non fuel-cycle projects in foreign markets, though apparently it also promotes products, services and technologies of the Russian nuclear industry generally to the world markets. According to Rosatom, "Rusatom Overseas acts as an integrator of Rosatom's complex solutions in nuclear energy, manages the promotion of the integrated offer and the development of Russian nuclear business abroad, as well as working to create a worldwide network of Rosatom marketing offices." Rusatom Overseas planned to open some 20 offices around the world by 2015, as a market research front and shop window for all Rosatom products and services.

Rusatom Energy International acts "as a developer of Rosatom's foreign projects, which are implemented with the build-own-operate (BOO) structure" and is a shareholder in those project companies. One of the first projects that Rosatom is implementing using the BOO structure is the Akkuyu plant in Turkey. A second project is Hanhikivi in Finland.

At 2015 Atomexpo it was announced that at the start of the year Rosatom’s foreign portfolio totaled US$ 101.4 billion, of which $66 billion was reactors, $21.8 billion was the contracted sales of EUP and SWU, and the remaining $13.6 billion was attributable to the sales of fabricated fuel assemblies and uranium. The total at the end of 2015 was over $110 billion, and export revenues in 2015 were $6.4 billion, up 20% from 2014. Rosatom’s goal is to gain half its revenue from exported goods and services. Its long-term strategy, approved by its board in late 2011, calls for foreign operations to account for half of its business by 2030. It aims to hold at least one-third of the global enrichment services market by then, as well as 5% of the market for pressurized water reactor (PWR) fuel. The corporation said that it is "actively strengthening its position abroad for the construction of nuclear power plants." In April 2015 Rosatom said that it had contracts for 19 nuclear plants in nine countries, including those under construction (5). In September 2015 it said it had orders for 30 nuclear power reactors in 12 countries, at about $5 billion each to construct, and it was negotiating for 10 more. It said that the total value of all export orders was $300 billion. It aims to have orders for the construction of some 30 power reactors outside of Russia by 2030.

Atomstroyexport (ASE, now NIAEP-ASE) has had three reactor construction projects abroad, all involving VVER-1000 units. It is embarking upon and seeking more, as detailed in Nuclear Power in Russia companion paper, final section on Exports of Nuclear Reactors.

Since 2006 Rosatom has actively pursued nuclear cooperation deals in South Africa, Namibia, Chile and Morocco as well as with Egypt, Algeria, Jordan, Vietnam, Bangladesh and Kuwait. In 2012 an agreement with Japan was concluded.

Tenex has also entered agreements (now taken over by ARMZ) to mine and explore for uranium in South Africa (with local companies) and Canada (with Cameco).

In September 2008 ARMZ signed a MOU with a South Korean consortium headed by Kepco on strategic cooperation in developing uranium projects. This included joint exploration, mining and sales of natural uranium in the Russian Federation and possibly beyond, but no more has been heard of it.

International collaboration

Russia is engaged with international markets in nuclear energy, well beyond its traditional eastern European client states. In June 2011 Rosatom announced that it was establishing Rusatom Overseas company, a new structure to be responsible for implementing non fuel-cycle projects in foreign markets. It could act as principal contractor and also owner of foreign nuclear capacity under build-own-operate (BOO) arrangements. It is vigorously pursing markets in developing countries and is establishing eight offices abroad.

President Putin's Global Nuclear Infrastructure Initiative was announced early in 2006. This is in line with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) 2005 proposal for Multilateral Approaches to the Nuclear Fuel Cycle (MNA) and with the US Global Nuclear Energy Partnership (GNEP). The head of Rosatom said that he envisages Russia hosting four types of international nuclear fuel cycle service centres (INFCCs) as joint ventures financed by other countries. These would be secure and maybe under IAEA control. The first is an International Uranium Enrichment Centre (IUEC) – one of four or five proposed worldwide (see separate section). The second would be for reprocessing and storage of used nuclear fuel. The third would deal with training and certification of personnel, especially for emerging nuclear states. In this context there is a need for harmonized international standards, uniform safeguards and joint international centers. The fourth would be for R&D and to integrate new scientific achievements.

In March 2008 AtomEnergoProm signed a general framework agreement with Japan's Toshiba Corporation to explore collaboration in the civil nuclear power business. The Toshiba partnership is expected to include cooperation in areas including design and engineering for new nuclear power plants, manufacturing and maintenance of large equipment, and "front-end civilian nuclear fuel cycle business". In particular the construction of an advanced Russian centrifuge enrichment plant in Japan is envisaged, also possibly one in the USA. The companies say that the "complementary relations" could lead to the establishment of a strategic partnership. Toshiba owns 77% of US reactor builder Westinghouse and is also involved with other reactor technology.

Regarding reactor design, Rosatom has said it is keen to be involved in international projects for Generation IV reactor development and is keen to have international participation in fast neutron reactor development, as well as joint proposals for MOX fuel fabrication.

In April 2007 Red Star, a government-owned design bureau, and US company Thorium Power (now Lightbridge Corporation) agreed to collaborate on testing Lightbridge's seed and blanket fuel assemblies at the Kurchatov Institute with a view to using thorium-plutonium fuel in VVER-1000 reactors, partly in order to dispose of surplus military plutonium (see information papers on Fuel Fabrication and Military Warheads as a Source of Nuclear Fuel for details).

In 2006 the former working relationship with Kazakhstan in nuclear fuel supplies was rebuilt. Kazatomprom has agreed to a major long-term program of strategic cooperation with Russia in uranium and nuclear fuel supply, as well as development of small reactors, effectively reuniting the two countries' interests in future exports of nuclear fuel to China, Japan, Korea, the USA and Western Europe.

In June 2010 Rosatom signed a major framework agreement with the French Atomic Energy Commission (CEA) covering "nuclear energy development strategy, nuclear fuel cycle, development of next-generation reactors, future gas coolant reactor systems, radiation safety and nuclear material safety, prevention and emergency measures." Much of the collaboration will be focused on reprocessing and waste, also sodium-cooled fast reactors. Subsequently EdF and Rosatom signed a further cooperation agreement covering R&D, nuclear fuel, and nuclear power plants - both existing and under construction.

In March 2007 Russia signed a cooperation declaration with the OECD's Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA), so that Russia became a regular observer in all NEA standing technical committees, bringing it much more into the mainstream of world nuclear industry development. Russia had been participating for some years in the NEA's work on reactor safety and nuclear regulation and is hosting an NEA project on reactor vessel melt-through. This agreement was expected to assist Russia's integration into the OECD, and in October 2011 Russia made an official request to join the NEA. It was accepted as the 31st member of the OECD NEA in May 2012, effective from January 2013. Russia will be represented by its Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Rosatom, and nuclear regulator Rostechnadzor.

Over two decades to about 2010 a Russian-US coordinating committee* was discussing building a GT-MHR prototype at Seversk, primarily for weapons plutonium disposition. Today OKBM is responsible to collaboration with China on HTR development, though NIIAR and Kurchatov Institute are also involved.

* involving SC Rosatom, NIIAR, OKBM, RRC Kurchatov Institute and VNIINM on the Russian side and NNSA, General Atomics, Oak Ridge National Laboratory on the US side.

Research & development

In mid-2009 the Russian government said that it would provide more than RUR 120 billion (about US$3.89 billion) over 2010 to 2012 for a new program devoted to R&D on the next generation of nuclear power plants. It identified three priorities for the nuclear industry: improving the performance of light water reactors over the next two or three years, developing a closed fuel cycle based on deployment of fast reactors in the medium term, and developing nuclear fusion over the long term. Rosatom said that its 2014 spending on R&D would amount to RUR 27-28 billion (US$ 528 million), about 4.5% of its revenue. In 2013 it spent RUR 24 billion, and in 2012 RUR 22.7 billion on R&D. In 2015 Rosatom said that it invested 5% of its revenues in R&D “to reinforce our technological leadership.”

Many research reactors were constructed in the 1950s and 60s. In 2015, 52 non-military research and test reactors were operational in Russia, plus about three in former Soviet republics and eight Russian ones elsewhere. Most of these use ceramic fuel enriched to 36% or 90% U-235. Overall over 130 research reactors have been built based on Russian technology. MBIR is now under construction at Dimitrovgrad.

Kurchatov Institute

Russia has had substantial R&D on nuclear power for seven decades. The premier establishment for this is the Russian Research Centre Kurchatov Institute in Moscow, set up 1943 as the Laboratory No. 2 of the Soviet Academy of Sciences. In 2010 it joined the Skolkovo project, an R&D centre set up to rival Silicon Valley in the USA, and became a Federal State Unitary Enterprise. It has run twelve research reactors there, six of which are now shut down. The 24 kW F-1 research reactor was started up in December 1946 and has passed its 70th anniversary in operation. The largest reactor is IR-8, of 8 MWt, a high-flux unit used for isotope production.

The Kurchatov Institute has designed nuclear reactors for marine and space applications, and continues research on HTRs. Since 1995 it has been involved internationally with accounting, control and physical protection of nuclear materials. US Lightbridge Corporation's seed and blanket fuel assemblies are being tested there with a view to using thorium-based fuel in VVER-1000 reactors.

Kurchatov’s Molten Salt Actinide Recycler and Transmuter (MOSART) is fuelled only by transuranic fluorides from uranium and MOX LWR used fuel, without U or Th support. The 2400 MWt reactor has a homogeneous core of Li-Na-Be or Li-Be fluorides without graphite moderator and has reduced reprocessing compared with the original US design. Thorium may also be used, though MOSART is described as a burner-converter rather than a breeder.

Since 1955 the Institute has hosted the main experimental work on plasma physics and nuclear fusion, and the first tokamak systems were developed there. Since 1990, much of its funding comes from international cooperation and commercial projects.

Petersburg Nuclear Physics Institute (PNPI)

The Petersburg Nuclear Physics Institute ( PNPI ) is near St Petersburg but part of the Kurchatov Institute. It was formerly the B.P. Konstantinov Petersburg Nuclear Physics Institute (PIYaF). In 1959 the 18 MWt WWR-M high-flux research reactor was put into operation, and in 1970 the 1 GeV proton synchrocyclotron SC-1000 started up, these continue in operation.

A 100 MWt high-flux reactor with 25 associated research facilities, PIK , achieved criticality in 2011 at Gatchina but further major work led to its launch at 100 kW in 2019. It uses 27 kg of 90% enriched uranium fuel, tenders for which were called in 2020. PIK is the most powerful high-flux research beam reactor in Russia and is planned to be the basis for the International Centre for Neutron Research. In October 2020 Glavgosexpertiza approved a project for the modernisation of the PIK reactor, and a further launch was announced in February 2021.

The Institute for High Energy Physics and the Institute of Theoretical and Experimental Physics are also part of the Kurchatov Institute, as are the 'Prometheus' Central Research Institute of Structural Materials and the Research Institute of Chemical Reagents and High Purity Chemicals, which were previously part of the Ministry of Education and Science.

Research Institute of Atomic Reactors (RIAR/NIIAR)

Russia's State Scientific Centre – Research Institute of Atomic Reactors ( RIAR , or NIIAR) – said to be the biggest nuclear research centre in Russia, is in Dimitrovgrad (Melekess), in Ulyanovsk county 1300 km SE of Moscow. It was founded in 1956 to host both research and experimental reactors, and it researches fuel cycle, radiochemicals and radioactive waste management, as well as producing radionuclides for medicine and industry. It hosts the main R&D on electrometallurgical pyroprocessing, especially for fast reactors, and associated vibropacked fuel technology for these.

RIAR/NIIAR has the largest materials study laboratory in Eurasia, used particularly for irradiated fuel.* The complex's major future role will be in fuel reprocessing. The initial fuel for MBIR is likely to be from reprocessed BOR-60 fuel, as also intended for SVBR-100. In 2014 construction of a new multifunctional radiochemical research centre for closed fuel cycles for fast reactors commenced as part of the revised federal target programme for 2010-2015 and until 2020. Fuel research at RIAR already includes integration of minor actinides into FNR closed fuel cycle, nitride fuel (both mononitride and U-Pu nitride), metallic fuel (U-Pu-Zr, U-Al, U-Be) and RBMK spent fuel conditioning. It also is working on molten salt fuel – reprocessing and minor actinide behaviour, though Kurchatov Institute seems to be the main locus of MSR research.

* In 2010 TerraPower from the USA proposed that RIAR should carry out in-pile tests and post-irradiation examinations of structural materials and fuel specimens planned for its travelling-wave reactor. A final agreement was expected in November, but apparently did not eventuate.

RIAR's first research reactor – SM – has been running since 1961 and now produces radioisotopes and does materials testing. It is a 100 MWt very high-flux water-cooled pressure vessel-type reactor originally using 90% enriched fuel with a neutron trap that operates in the intermediate neutron spectrum. It has been modernised several times and as SM-3 it was recommissioned in 1993. In 2020 it again had a new core. It is expected to operate until 2040. 

The MIR-MR  loop-type reactor commissioned in 1967 is used for testing fuels in runs up to 40 days at up to 100 MWt. It has been important in developing fuel rod designs for power and naval reactors. It is testing the first batch of REMIX fuel and also accident-tolerant fuel (ATF). It has a beryllium moderator and uses 90% enriched fuel. It was due to be retired in 2020.

The small pool-type reactors RBT-6 & RBT-10/2 commissioned in 1975 and 1984 are used for long-term experiments and use the spent fuel assemblies from SM. They are 6 & 7 MWt respectively. 

As well as three other research reactors, the BOR-60 * experimental fast reactor is operated here by RIAR – the world’s only operating fast research reactor. It started up in 1969 and is to be replaced with the  MBIR , with four times the irradiation capacity.

* BOR = bystry opytniy reaktor. BOR-60 was licensed to 2015 but was extended to December 2020.

The multi-purpose fast neutron research reactor – MBIR* – will be a 150 MWt multi-loop reactor capable of testing lead or lead-bismuth and gas coolants as well as sodium, simultaneously in three parallel outside loops. Initially it will have sodium coolant. It will run on vibropacked MOX fuel with plutonium content of 38%, produced at RIAR in existing facilities. A 24% Pu fuel may also be used. RIAR intends to set up an on-site closed fuel cycle for it, using pyrochemical reprocessing it has developed at pilot scale. MBIR’s cost was estimated at RUR 40 billion in 2015. Rostechnadzor granted a site licence to RIAR in August 2014, and a construction licence in May 2015. Construction started in September 2015. Completion was expected in 2020, but the project was paused after starting construction. In November 2020 Rosatom appointed a new contractor, AO Institut Orgenergostroy, and construction resumed, with commissioning expected in 2028. The reactor pressure vessel is being made by Atommash at Volgodonsk.

* MBIR = mnogotselevoy issledovatilskiy reaktor na bystrych neytronach.

Russia's only boiling water reactor, the prototype VK-50 of 200 MWt was commissioned in 1964 and was due to be retired in 2020.

Rosatom is setting up an International Research Centre (IRC) based on MBIR and is inviting international participation in connection with the IAEA INPRO programme. In June 2013 an agreement with France and the USA was signed to this end. In April 2017 Rosatom was soliciting Japanese involvement. The full MBIR research complex is now budgeted at $1 billion, with the Russian budget already having provided $300 million from the federal target programme. Pre-construction shares of 1% were being offered for $10 million, allowing involvement in detailed design of irradiation facilities. From 2020 the fee would rise to $36 million per 1% share. RIAR will be the legal owner of MBIR, performing operational and administrative functions, while the International Research Centre will be the legal entity responsible for marketing and research management. In May 2017 Rosatom announced that the multifunctional radiochemical research facility under construction at RIAR would be included in the IRC, to be used for testing technologies to close the fast reactor fuel cycle.

The first 100 MWe Lead-Bismuth Fast Reactor (SVBR) from Gidropress was to be built at RIAR, but the project was dropped in 2018. It was designed to use a wide variety of fuels, though the demonstration unit would initially have used uranium enriched to 16.3%. With U-Pu MOX fuel it would operate in closed cycle. It was described by Gidropress as a multi-function reactor, for power, heat or desalination.

RIAR has established a joint venture with JSC Izotop – Izotop-NIIAR – to produce Mo-99 at Dimitrovgrad from 2010, using newly-installed German equipment. This aimed to capture 20% of the world market for Mo-99 by 2012, and 40% subsequently. In September 2010 JSC Isotop signed a framework agreement with Canada-based MDS Nordion to explore commercial opportunities outside Russia on the basis of this JV, initially over ten years.

Institute of Physics and Power Engineering (FEI/IPPE)

In 1954 the world's first nuclear powered electricity generator began operation in the then closed city of Obninsk at the Institute of Physics and Power Engineering (FEI or IPPE). The AM-1* reactor is water-cooled and graphite-moderated, with a design capacity of 30 MWt or 5 MWe. It was similar in principle to the plutonium production reactors in the closed military cities and served as a prototype for other graphite channel reactor designs including the Chernobyl-type RBMK** reactors. AM-1 produced electricity until 1959 and was used until 2000 as a research facility and for the production of isotopes. FEI also bid to host the MBIR project.

* AM = atom mirny – peaceful atom

** RBMK = reaktor bolshoi moshchnosty kanalny – high power channel reactor

In the 1950s the FEI at Obninsk was also developing fast breeder reactors (FBRs), and in 1955 the BR-1* fast neutron reactor began operating. It produced no power but led directly to the BR-5 which started up in 1959 with a capacity of 5 MWt which was used to do the basic research necessary for designing sodium-cooled FBRs. It was upgraded and modernised in 1973 and then underwent major reconstruction in 1983 to become the BR-10 with a capacity of 8 MWt which is now used to investigate fuel endurance, to study materials and to produce radioisotopes.

* BN = bystry reaktor – fast reactor

Research & Development Institute for Power Engineering (NIKIET)

NIKIET in Moscow is one of Russia’s major nuclear design and research centres with a primary focus on advanced reactor technologies including those for regional power supplies, research and isotope production reactors, and neutronic systems for the international fusion reactor (ITER). 

NIKIET is at concept development stage with a seabed reactor module – SHELF – a 6 MWe, 28 MWt remotely-operated PWR with low-enriched fuel of UO 2 in aluminium alloy matrix. Fuel cycle is 56 months. The SHELF module uses an integral reactor with forced and natural circulation in the primary circuit, in which the core, steam generator, motor-driven circulation pump and control and protection system drive are housed in a cylindrical pressure vessel. The reactor and turbogenerator are in a cylindrical pod about 15 m long and 8 m diameter, sitting on the sea bed. It is intended as electricity supply for oil and gas developments in Arctic seas. In 2018 NIKIET also proposed its use for the RUR 100 billion Pavlovsky lead-zinc mine project in northern Novaya Zemlya.

In 2010 the government was to allocate RUR 500 million (about US$ 170 million) of federal funds to design a space nuclear propulsion and generation installation in the megawatt power range. In particular, SC Rosatom was to get RUR 430 million and Roskosmos (Russian Federal Space Agency) RUR 70 million to develop it. The work would be undertaken by (NIKIET) in Moscow, based on previous developments including those of nuclear rocket engines. A conceptual design was expected in 2011, with the basic design documentation and engineering design to follow in 2012. Tests were planned for 2018.

Since 2010 NIKIET is also involved with Luch Scientific Production Association (SPA Luch) and a Belarus organization, the Joint Institute for Power Engineering and Nuclear Research (Sosny), to design a small transportable nuclear reactor. The project draws on Sosny’s experience in designing the Pamir-630D truck-mounted small nuclear reactor, two of which were built in Belarus from 1976 during the Soviet era. This was a 5000 kWt/630 kWe HTR reactor using 45% enriched fuel in rods with zirconium hydride moderator and driving a gas turbine with dinitrogen tetroxide (N 2 O 4 ) through the Brayton cycle. After some operational experience in 1985-86 the Pamir project was scrapped. The new design will be a similar HTR concept but about 2 MWe.

Joint Institute for Nuclear Research

The Joint Institute for Nuclear Research, at Dubna near Moscow, is an international physics research centre with 18 member states and six associate members. It has the IBR-2M fast periodic pulsed reactor of 2 MWt, commissioned in 1984 and modernised in 2010 with higher neutron flux. It uses plutonium oxide fuel. 

Mining & Chemical Combine (MCC)

At the Mining & Chemical Combine (MCC), Zheleznogorsk the ADE2 reactor was the third nuclear reactor of its kind built in Russia and came on line in 1964, primarily as a plutonium production unit. However, from 1995 heat and electricity production became its main purposes. The ADE-2 operating experience contributed to technological measures to justify and extend service lives of RBMK reactors at nuclear power plants, with considerable economic benefit and safety improvement. This work was given a governmental science and technology award in 2009. ADE2 was closed for final decommissioning in April 2010 after "46 years of nearly faultless operation".

MCC Zheleznogorsk also produces granulated MOX for vibropacked FNR fuel, using both military and civil plutonium.

Other R&D establishments

PA Mayak  at Ozersk is the main production centre for radioisotopes.

The Institute for Reactor Materials  (IRM) is at Zarechny, near Beloyarsk, Penza oblast.

TVEL's A.A. Bochvar High Technology Research Institute of Inorganic Materials ( VNIINM ) at Mayak supplies components for fast reactor fuel assemblies. It earlier developed the technology for reprocessing spent uranium-beryllium fuel from liquid metal-cooled fast reactors in dismantled Alpha-class nuclear submarines.

The All-Russian Scientific and Research Institute for Nuclear Power Plant Operation ( VNIIAES ) in Moscow was founded in 1979 to provide scientific and technical support for operation of nuclear power plants aimed at improving their safety, reliability and efficiency as well as scientific coordination of the setup of mass-constructed nuclear power facilities.

In 2009 the Moscow Engineering and Physics Institute (MEPhI) was renamed the National Research Nuclear University and reformed to incorporate a number of other educational establishments. While partly funded by Rosatom, it is the responsibility of the Federal Education Agency (Rosobrazovaniye).

Public opinion

An April 2008 survey carried out by the Levada Centre found that 72% of Russians were in favour of at least preserving the country's nuclear power capacity and 41% thought that nuclear was the only alternative to oil and gas as they deplete. Over half said that they were indignant about Soviet attempts to cover up news of the Chernobyl accident in 1986.

In April 2010 the Levada Centre polled 1600 adults and found that 37% supported current levels of nuclear power, 37% favoured its active development (making 74% positive), while 10% would like a phase-out and 4.3% would prefer to abandon it completely. 42.6% saw no alternative to nuclear power for replacing depleting oil and gas.

Immediately after the Fukushima accident in 2011 Levada had only 22% for active development, 30% maintaining current level (ie 52% positive), 27% wanting a phase-out and 12% wanting to abandon it.

In February 2012 a Levada Centre poll showed that 29% of respondents favoured active development of nuclear power, while 37% support retaining it at the current level, so 66% positive. Only 15% of suggested phasing it out, and 7% preferred abandoning nuclear.

The Russian Public Opinion Research Center (VCIOM) took a poll in April 2012 on the anniversary of the Chernobyl accident. It found that 27% of Russians support nuclear power development – up from 16% in 2011, 38 % agree with the present level, and 26% want to reduce it. Nuclear development is supported by young (32%), highly-educated Russians (31%), residents of cities with a population of one million and more, large cities and towns (30-33%). Regarding safety, 35% consider plants of be sufficiently safe, and 57% don’t.

In 2015 a poll commissioned by Rosenergoatom found that a clear majority of citizens living near nuclear power plants were in favour of them, and that support had grown since 2013. Most figures for the local plants were more than 70% favourable, and for nuclear power development they were above 80%.


Russia is a nuclear weapons state, and a depository state of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) under which a safeguards agreement has been in force since 1985. The Additional Protocol was ratified in 2007. However, Russia takes the view that voluntary application of IAEA safeguards are not meaningful for a nuclear weapons state and so they are not generally applied. One exception is the BN-600 Beloyarsk-3 reactor which is safeguarded so as to give experience of such units to IAEA inspectors.

However, this policy is modified in respect to some uranium imports. All facilities where imported uranium under certain bilateral treaties goes must be on the list of those eligible and open to international inspection, and this overrides the voluntary aspect of voluntary offer agreements. It includes conversion plants, enrichment, fuel fabrication and nuclear power plants. Also the IUEC at Angarsk will be open to inspection.

Russia undertook nuclear weapons tests from 1949 to 1990.

Russia's last plutonium production reactor which started up in 1964 was finally closed down in April 2010 - delayed because it also provided district heating, and replacement plant for this was ready until then. The reactor may be held in reserve for heating, not dismantled. The other two such production reactors were closed in 2008. All three closures are in accordance with a 2003 US-Russia agreement.

Peaceful Nuclear Explosions

The Soviet Union also used 116 nuclear explosions (81 in Russia) for geological research, creating underground gas storage, boosting oil and gas production and excavating reservoirs and canals. Most were in the 3-10 kiloton range and all occurred 1965-88.

Background: Soviet nuclear culture

In the 1950s and 1960s Russia seemed to be taking impressive steps to contest world leadership in civil development of nuclear energy. It had developed two major reactor designs, one from military plutonium production technology (the light water cooled graphite moderated reactor – RBMK), and one from naval propulsion units, very much as in USA (the VVER series - pressurised, water cooled and moderated). An ambitious plant, Atommash, to mass produce the latter design was taking shape near Volgodonsk, construction of numerous nuclear plants was in hand and the country had many skilled nuclear engineers.

But a technological arrogance developed, in the context of an impatient Soviet establishment. Then Atommash sunk into the Volga sediments, Chernobyl tragically vindicated western reactor design criteria, and the political structure which was not up to the task of safely utilising such technology fell apart. Atommash had been set up to produce eight sets of nuclear plant equipment each year (reactor pressure vessels, steam generators, refueling machines, pressurizers, service machinery – a total of 250 items). In 1981 it manufactured the first VVER-1000 pressure vessel, which was shipped to South Ukraine NPP. Later, its products were supplied to Balakovo, Smolensk (RBMK), and Kalinin in Russia, and Zaporozhe, Rovno and Khmelnitsky plants in Ukraine. By 1986 Atommash had produced 14 pressure vessels (of which five have remained at the factory), instead of the eight per year intended. Then Chernobyl put the whole nuclear industry into a long standby. Russia was disgraced technologically, and this was exacerbated by a series of incidents in its nuclear-propelled navy contrasting with a near-impeccable safety record in the US Navy.

An early indication of the technological carelessness was substantial pollution followed by a major accident at Mayak Chemical Combine (then known as Chelyabinsk-40) near Kyshtym in 1957. The failure of the cooling system for a tank storing many tonnes of dissolved nuclear waste resulted in a non-nuclear explosion having a force estimated at about 75 tonnes of TNT (310 GJ). This killed 200 people and released some 740 PBq of radioactivity, affecting thousands more. Up to 1951 the Mayak plant had dumped its waste into the Techa River, whose waters ultimately flow into the Ob River and Arctic Ocean. Then they were disposed of into Lake Karachay until at least 1953, when a storage facility for high-level waste was built – the source of the 1957 accident. Finally, a 1967 duststorm picked up a lot of radioactive material from the dry bed of Lake Karachay and deposited it on to the surrounding province. The outcome of these three events made some 26,000 square kilometres the most radioactively-polluted area on Earth by some estimates, comparable with Chernobyl.

After Chernobyl there was a significant change of culture in the Russian civil nuclear establishment, at least at the plant level, and this change was even more evident in the countries of eastern Europe who saw the opportunity for technological emancipation from Russia. By the early 1990s a number of western assistance programs were in place which addressed safety issues and helped to alter fundamentally the way things were done in the eastern bloc, including Russia itself. Design and operating deficiencies were tackled, and a safety culture started to emerge. At the same time some R&D programs were suspended.

Both the International Atomic Energy Agency and the World Association of Nuclear Operators contributed strongly to huge gains in safety and reliability of Soviet-era nuclear plants – WANO having come into existence as a result of Chernobyl. In the first two years of WANO's existence, 1989-91, operating staff from every nuclear plant in the former Soviet Union visited plants in the west on technical exchange, and western personnel visited every FSU plant. A great deal of ongoing plant-to-plant cooperation, and subsequently a voluntary peer review program, grew out of these exchanges.

Notes & references

General references.

Prof V.Ivanov, WNA Symposium 2001, Prof A.Gagarinski and Mr A.Malyshev, WNA Symposium 2002 Josephson, Paul R, 1999, Red Atom - Russia's nuclear power program from Stalin to today Minatom 2000, Strategy of Nuclear Power Development in Russia O. Saraev, paper at WNA mid-term meeting in Moscow, May 2003 Rosenergoatom Bulletin 2002, esp. M.Rogov paper Perera, Judith 2003, Nuclear Power in the Former USSR , McCloskey, UK Kamenskikh, I, 2005, paper at WNA Symposium Kirienko, S. 2006, paper at World Nuclear Fuel Cycle conference, April and WNA Symposium, Sept Shchedrovitsky, P. 2007, paper at WNA Symposium, Sept Panov et al 2006, Floating Power Sources Based on Nuclear reactor Plants Rosenergoatom website Rosatom website OECD NEA & IAEA, 2012, Uranium 2011: Resources, Production and Demand – 'Red Book' Rybachenov, V. 2012, Disposition of Excess Weapons-grade Plutonium – problems and prospects, Centre for Arms Control, Energy & Environmental Studies Status of Small and Medium Sized Reactor Designs – A Supplement to the IAEA Advanced Reactors Information System (ARIS) , International Atomic Energy Agency, September 2012 Diakov, A. & Podvig, P, March 2013, Spent nuclear fuel management in the Russian Federation Gavrilov, P.M. Sept 2015, Establishing the centralised ‘dry’ SNF storage and the MOX-fuel production for fast neutron reactors at MCC site, World Nuclear Association 2015 Symposium presentation. M. Baryshnikov, REMIX Nuclear Fuel Cycle, World Nuclear Fuel Cycle conference, Abu Dhabi, April 2016 M. Aboimov, Enriching the Past (legacy nuclear materials), World Nuclear Fuel Cycle conference, Abu Dhabi, April 2016 A.V. Boitsov et al , Uranium production and environmental restoration at the Priargunsky Centre, Russian Federation , International Atomic Energy Agency (2002) European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) & Northern Development Environmental Partnership, Overcoming the Legacy of the Soviet Nuclear Fleet , Andreeva Bay 27 June 2017 Anatoli Diakov. The History of Plutonium Production in Russia , Science & Global Security, 19, pp. 28-45 (2011)

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    4. Use Market Segmentation As Part of Your Business Plan. Now that you've identified your target segment, it's time to use this knowledge as part of your overall business plan. Yes, you want to use the data to create better marketing plans, but this data can also help you tap into other insights.

  13. Business Plan: What It Is + How to Write One

    1. Executive summary. This short section introduces the business plan as a whole to the people who will be reading it, including investors, lenders, or other members of your team. Start with a sentence or two about your business, development goals, and why it will succeed. If you are seeking funding, summarise the basics of the financial plan. 2.

  14. How to do a market analysis for your business plan

    Plan several rounds of edits or have someone else review it. Keep everything in the context of your business. Make sure all the statistics and data you use in your market analysis relate back to your business. Your focus should be on how you are uniquely positioned to meet the needs of the target market.

  15. Target Market: Definition, Purpose, Examples, Market Segments

    Target Market: A target market is the market a company wants to sell its products and services to, and it includes a targeted set of customers for whom it directs its marketing efforts ...

  16. Target Market in a Business Plan

    This section of the business plan deals with the analysis of the target market into different groups of customers (customer or target market segments) each having distinct characteristics and needs from the product. The reason for customer segmentation is to allow a different marketing plan be identified for each customer segment, dealing with ...

  17. Business Plan Market Analysis Template

    Improve your market understanding with our Business Plan Market Analysis Template: defining target markets, forecasting trends, and strategizing for success. 1. Define your target market. Identify your industry size and growth rate. Identify key industry structure trends. Identify customer buying habits.

  18. Target Market: Examples and How To Define It

    A target market is the segment of consumers most likely to want or need a business's products or services. This group of people is a subset of the business's total market. It involves a specified series of customer qualities that the business believes its products or services will appeal to. The target market can be a type of person for a ...

  19. Identify your target market

    Find out how to research your market. 2. Segment your market. Work out if your market is large enough and accessible. Then segment the market into groups of buyers with similar preferences and buying habits. For example, the athletic shoe industry is broken up into several segmented groups - first by gender, then by the activity or sport.

  20. Business Plan Writer Moscow

    Business Plan Writer Moscow. A well written business plan is an essential component for any company seeking to raise capital. Our team at has over 20 years of experience writing business plans and structuring business models for start-ups, later stage and expansion companies, those seeking venture or angel financing all the way to mezzanine and 144A funding, spanning a wide ...

  21. PDF Business Planning and Modeling

    Types of business plan s Strategic Business Plan for evaluating a strategy: • aid for making internal decisions for the whole company (strategic guidelines at the national level, all markets) Tactical Business Plans for specific projects : • aid for making internal decisions for a particular area, or a market segment: IN, mobiles, IP

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  23. PDF Marketing research of tourism services proposals in Moscow ...

    2 THEORECTICAL BACGROUND. MARKETING RESEARCH. 13 2.1 Definition of the research problem and objectives 13 2.2 Developing the research plan 14 2.2.1 Sources of data 14 2.2.2 Approaches of research and research instruments 14 2.2.3 Sampling plan 15 3 RUSSIAN CONSUMERS 16 3.1 Russian consumer buying behaviour 16 3.2 Russians as tourists 20

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    The 2008 ARMZ plan envisaged production from JSC Khiagda's project increasing to 1800 tU/yr by 2019, but in 2013 the higher target was postponed. The 2018 plan is now 1000 tonnes. In 2014 JSC Khiagda continued construction of the main production facility and on the sulfuric acid plant, the first stage of which was commissioned in September 2015.