Russia’s Atomenergoprom and Toshiba Corporation could build an enrichment plant together.
The two companies are considering a joint venture to market fuel cycle products and services in Japan and other countries in Asia, Atomenergoprom said 19 March. This could include joint construction of an enrichment plant using Russian technology in Japan or elsewhere.
The companies said that the cooperation could include establishing guarantee stockpiles of low-enriched uranium to be stored at Toshiba’s nuclear fuel fabrication facilities.
Both parties have also agreed to begin a joint study aimed at shortening the construction period for Russian nuclear power plants by improving the design process and construction technology, which could eventually lead to the formation of a partnership to manufacture power generation systems.
The recent announcement follows a cooperation agreement between Atomenergoprom and Toshiba signed in March 2008. However any joint venture will be dependent on Japan and Russia signing an agreement on peaceful use of nuclear energy, which could be some way off considering the status of the bilateral agreement between Russia and the USA.
The USA and Russia signed a civilian nuclear cooperation agreement on 6 May 2008 but have failed to put it into force. The agreement was withdrawn from congressional consideration by then-president George Bush on 8 September 2008, in response to Russia’s military actions in Georgia.