Russian company sees no slowdown in global nuclear demand

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The global nuclear industry remains buoyant despite the Fukushima disaster, and Russia is looking to Western partners as it expands its investments both at home and abroad, Sergei Kirienko, the former Prime Minister of Russia and director general of Russian state nuclear corporation Rosatom, told investors today in London.

Global demand for nuclear power and for Russian nuclear power plants (NPPs) has remained strong despite the Fukushima disaster in March. All six NPP construction contracts signed by Rosatom in 2010 and 2011 remain in place. Rosatom has also signed agreements with China and Slovakia to develop existing infrastructure, and a "road map" with India for its civilian clear programme. "The Fukushima factor has had almost no effect on global demand for power," Mr Kirienko said. "Most countries do not plan to replace their current nuclear capacity with other types of generation in the foreseeable future," noting that nuclear is among the


safest, greenest and most economical sources of power.

The uranium market has also remained relatively stable, Mr Kirienko said. But he said that prices, which have stabilised at around US$50 per pound after falling to $40 in the immediate aftermath of the disaster, need to rise to ensure that supply remains healthy: "In our opinion, to ensure enough supply to satisfy growing demand over the next decade, the price needs to be stable at around US$70 or US$80."

Rosatom and ARMZ are now looking to strengthen their international presence further, using Uranium One as a spearhead. "The acquisition of Mantra Resources in Tanzania was the first significant step in diversifying Uranium One's production outside Kazakhstan," Mr Kirienko said. "In our opinion, southern Africa is a future growth 'hot spot' for the uranium sector, which is why the acquisition was extremely important for us."