Russia wants to double uranium production by 2010 to meet increasing domestic demand and to export, according to Valentin Shatalov, director of the Russian Chemical Technology Institute. He said production at Russia’s only uranium producer, the PriargunskoyeMiningChemicals Association, should be increased to 4000-5000t by 2010. The Association is currently mining 2200-2500t of uranium a year at the Streltsovskoye field in the Trans-Baikal region.
Grigoriy Mashkovtsev, director of the Institute of Mineral Resources, said that, after the collapse of the Soviet Union, only one major uranium mine, Streltsovskiy, and one ore-enriching chemical plant, Priargunskiy, remained in Russian territory. There are plans to exploit new deposits in the Urals, in Kemerovo region, and in the Buryat Republic.
Russia uses over 8000t of uranium a year, half in domestic reactors and half for export. The shortfall is currently being met from inventory. Demand is expected to rise, and Russia's uranium stockpiles could run dry in 20 years. Stockpiles include 1400t of high-enriched uranium from nuclear warheads and 80,000t of uranium stockpiled from previous years.