The management of reactive power flows in electric power systems plays an important role in maintaining their cost-effective operation, the stability of voltage levels and the required level of operational reliability. The current practice of controlling reactive power is based on heuristic approaches. In this area, there is a lack of a transparent market mechanism that ensures an optimal level of costs for all market participants. The existing structural problems in the Russian power industry make it very difficult to form an effective reactive power market. This article describes the classification of reactive power control facilities based on their technological characteristics and competitive advantages. The distinctive characteristics of reactive power as a commodity are revealed. Reactive power is very difficult to understand as a product supplied by the manufacturer due to the fact that it is a technological feature of the process of transmission and consumption of electricity. The main factors influencing the formation and development of the nuclear energy market in the Russian Federation are determined. The structure of costs associated with the installation and operation of various reactive power control devices has been analyzed. Reactive power can be generated and consumed by generators of power plants, as well as by the equipment that does not consume fuel resources, usually with low costs. The principles of forming a competitive market for reactive power are formulated. The application of traditional methods of market pricing to reactive power is a challenge because of the many uncertain external factors. The organization of the reactive power market by the principle of active capacity will have a more complex structure and functioning will be quite costly.