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NEWS & COMMENTARY 2008 SPEAKERS 2007 2006 2005

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Russia plans massive boost in uranium production


MOSCOW: Russia intends to increase tenfold its investments in prospecting for and mining uranium over the coming two years, the head of Russia's Atomic Energy Agency said on Tuesday.

"In 2007 spending on uranium prospection and extraction will be increased five times, then, in 2008, ten times, passing from 100 million rubles (3,7 million dollars, 2.9 million euros) to 1 billion rubles (37 million dollars, 29 million euros)," agency boss Sergy Kirienko told the Ria-Novosti news agency.

On Monday, the Atomic Energy Agency and Russia's Ministry of Natural Resources signed an agreement confirming the planned spending increase.

"It is not possible to limit developing countries' access to peaceful atomic energy, either from a political or an economic viewpoint," Kirienko said.

Russia announced in July that it was to spend 570 million rubles (21 million dollars, 17 million euros) prospecting for new uranium deposits, in order to fuel nuclear power stations being built both on Russian soil and abroad.

Russia is currently finishing the construction of a nuclear power station at Bouchehr in Iran.

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