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  Monday, July 22, 2019
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Russia is planning to produce uranium abroad while actively prospecting new deposits at home
Russia is planning to produce uranium abroad while actively prospecting new deposits at home, a senior official at the country's nuclear-technology exporter said Monday. "We intend to produce uranium around the world," said Vladimir Smirnov, general director of Techsnabexport, the state-controlled uranium supplier and provider of uranium enrichment services. "We are interested in reviving uranium markets in Africa and other countries." South Africa, Namibia and Niger rank among the world's top 10 uranium producers. Smirnov also said that shortly before the collapse of the Soviet Union production of uranium had been concentrated in Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, while only one deposit was explored in Russia. He said Russia should also expand uranium prospecting on its own territory to avoid a future nuclear fuel deficit as demand from its nuclear power industry grows. Smirnov's deputy, Vladimir Servetnik, said in February that demand for uranium in Russia could grow from 8,300 tons in 2006 to 18,000 tons in 2020, and the country could face a shortage of uranium after 2035 if prospecting did not increase sharply in the near future. Vladimir Bavlov, deputy head of the Federal Agency for the Management of Mineral Resources, earlier said that Russia's current uranium reserves stood at 830,000 tons, but that they would be depleted by 2015 if the country did not invest at least $10 billion in prospecting and increased uranium production to consumption levels by that time.
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