Moscow, Oct 26 (UNI) A large uranium field will be developed in Yakutia in East Siberia, Russian First Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov said today.
''A large uranium ore deposit will be developed here,'' RIA Novosti news agency quoted Mr Ivanov, who is in charge of defence and strategic industries, as saying.
According to Russia's Federal Agency for Nuclear Power (Rosatom), the country has 870,000 metric tons of natural uranium, the world's third-largest reserves after Australia and Kazakhstan.
Russia has allocated 722 million dollars in federal budget funds this year for the development of the nuclear energy sector and 2 billion and 3.6 billion dollars would be spent in 2008 and 2009.
Any country interested in securing uranium deliveries for energy generation was welcome to join the project to build an international uranium enrichment centre in East Siberia, he said.
The centre, part of Moscow's non-proliferation initiative to create a network of enrichment centres under the IAEA supervision, would be based at a chemical plant in Angarsk. It would also be responsible for the disposal of nuclear waste.
''So far we have only cooperated with our Kazakh partners in this field,'' Mr Ivanov said.
Russia was expected to double electricity generation at nuclear power plants by 2020 through the construction of 26 new reactors with total output of 1.2-1.5 gigawatts.
''We will be able to supply all future nuclear reactors in Russia with uranium for the full working cycle,'' Rosatom head Sergei Kiriyenko said.
Natural Resources minister Yuri Trutnev said yesterday the country would have sufficient uranium reserves for the construction of new nuclear power plants.
''We will cope with the task of providing the required quantities of uranium,'' Trutnev said, adding, ''unfortunately Russia lost a significant part of its uranium reserves following the collapse of the Soviet Union.'' Russia had every possibility of replenishing its uranium stock from existing deposits and from those, which were currently being developed.
''In addition, we can work not just in Russia. We must work in other countries as well,'' he said.