Russia and Japan sign cooperation accord

12 May 2009

Russia and Japan have signed an agreement on cooperation in the field of the peaceful use of nuclear energy as a necessary step in their deepening collaboration.
The agreement was signed between Russia's State Atomic Energy Corporation (Rosatom) and Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (Meti) during a visit to Tokyo by Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.
In a joint statement, the two organizations said that they share "the same vision of the essential and important role of nuclear energy for prosperity and sustainable growth in the 21st century as one of the key components in their energy mix, providing a source of safe, stable and non-CO2 emitting energy."
Under the agreement, they will facilitate bilateral cooperation between the nuclear related industries of the two countries in such areas as uranium mining, nuclear fuel cycle and nuclear power plant construction. In addition, Japan and Russia will hold regular meetings to discuss the further promotion of the cooperative partnership between Meti and Rosatom.
Prior to his visit, Putin said that Russia was planning to increase its share of Japan's nuclear fuel market from 15% to 25%. RIA Novosti cited Putin as saying, "I think that this is a very good level and we can and must attain it. We are aware of Japan's studies in this field and its plans to carry out large-scale international projects. We will take part in these projects. We are negotiating the possibility of joint research in the field of nuclear power engineering but, of course, all this work has been, is and will be done in close compliance with the rules of the International Atomic Energy Agency."
Toshiba, Tenex talk collaboration
In March 2008, AtomEnergoProm signed a general framework agreement with Japan's Toshiba under which they would explore collaboration in the civil nuclear power business. The companies have since started feasibility studies to consider cooperation in areas including design and engineering for the construction of new nuclear power plants, manufacturing and maintenance of large equipment, and "front-end civilian nuclear fuel cycle business". The companies said that the "complementary relations" could lead to the establishment of a strategic partnership.

One year later in March 2009, the two companies signed an agreement that build on the framework deal signed a year earlier. Toshiba and AEP said they would "consider establishing a joint venture which will be engaged in deliveries of nuclear fuel and its components."
Now, with today's signing of the Japan-Russia cooperation agreement, Toshiba has now signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on discussions towards possible cooperation in the nuclear fuel business with Russia's Techsnabexport (Tenex), a group company of AtomEnergoProm.
Toshiba said that the MoU "particularly focuses on initiating studies of business concepts or commercial plans in connection with enriched uranium products." It added, "Both parties believe such a collaboration could contribute to stable and secure supply of services for the front-end civilian nuclear fuel cycle in Japan, the United States and elsewhere."