The paper presents the data on the history and development of nuclear energy in Russia, paying tribute to the the outstanding Russian physicists whose work allowed to put into effect the theoretical principles related to the use of nuclear energy. In the entire history of the Russian nuclear industry, our specialists created 92 power reactors of nuclear power plants, constituting 16 % of all power reactors ever built in the world. Of these, 70 are now working, which is also 16 % of all currently existing power reactors in the world. The only serious accident involving Russian-designed reactors was Reactor No 4 of the Cher- nobyl Nuclear Power Plant. The dynamic development of the nuclear industry is one of the basic condi- tions for ensuring Russia’s energy independence and sustainable economic growth.