Russia boosts nuclear fuel exports

06 October 2010

Russia is set to have foreign contracts for the supply of nuclear fuel and uranium enrichment services worth $20 billion by the end of 2010, Sergey Kiriyenko, director general of Russian state nuclear energy company Rosatom, has promised prime minister Vladimir Putin. 


Kiriyenko 051010 (Government of Russia)
Kiriyenko briefs Putin on Russia's nuclear fuel exports (Image: Government of Russia)
Speaking at a meeting of the Presidium of the Russian government, Kiriyenko told Putin that Russia has entered into markets where it previously had little or no representation. He noted that a 15-year supply contract has been signed by Rosatom with a Swiss company for the supply of enriched uranium, while a ten-year contract was signed with Eskom of South African for a significant part of its needs. In addition, he said that a contract for the supply of enriched uranium to meet the full needs of Mexico's sole nuclear power plant (Laguna Verde) has just come into force.


Kiriyenko said that Russia had broken into the American market for the first time by signing long-term contracts worth $3 billion for the supply of enriched uranium. He suggested that by the end of 2010, the value of contracts with US companies could rise to $4 billion.


In accordance with the government-approved program, Kiriyenko said that Rosatom, together with the ministry of natural resources, had increased the uranium reserves in Russia. He said that the acquisition of Canada-based Uranium One by Russia's AtomRedMetZoloto (ARMZ) had 'allowed us to significantly increment reserves.' He added that, 'from the standpoint of the most profitable reserves today we have virtually doubled such reserves and production.' Russia's output of natural uranium, he told Putin, had increased 13% during the first nine months of 2010 compared with the previous year.


Kiriyenko also noted achievements in Ukraine, where Russia's TVEL recently won a tender to construct a fuel manufacturing plant. He said that Rosatom has faced 'a long struggle' in Ukraine with US company Westinghouse, which has vied as an alternative supplier for Ukraine's VVER reactors. Kiriyenko said Russia's long-term contract to supply fuel to the Ukrainian market has entered into force and highlighted the fact that this contract will run until the end of the useful life of existing Ukrainian reactors, perhaps up to 35 years.


He told Putin, 'Thus, the first phase of the task of strengthening market position, and on mutually advantageous conditions - this is the first stage of integration in the nuclear industry with Ukraine, which you approved.'


Putin replied, 'This is important because it strengthens our position in the markets of Eastern European countries as a whole.'


Researched and written

by World Nuclear News