Mongolia Nuclear Push to Take Cue From World Sentiment

Mongolia will take its cue from the global reaction to Japan’s nuclear disaster before continuing with plans to build atomic power plants, according to the deputy chairman of state-owned nuclear company Monatom.

“It will depend on how the world community reacts” to the accident at the Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear station that occurred last month, Tsogtsaikhan Gombo said in an interview in Singapore. “We don’t think it’s a big problem for the industry as a whole. It may be a little set back in the timeframe.”

Mongolia, which has at least 1 percent of the world’s uranium resources, was planning to start operating its first nuclear power plant by 2020 and build a nuclear fuel center, Gombo said. Russia’s Rosatom Corp. last year set up a venture with Monatom to mine uranium, used to make nuclear fuel, at the Asian nation’s Dornod deposit. Rosatom agreed also to help Mongolia develop its nuclear industry strategy.

Almost a month after the March 11 earthquake and tsunami knocked out backup generators at Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima plant, workers are still using emergency equipment to try to cool the reactors and plug radiation leaks. China, India, the U.K. and Germany have said they plan to review further development of domestic nuclear industries.

Japan’s situation is unlikely to damp interest in Mongolian uranium deposits or stop the nation from working with Japanese nuclear companies, Gombo said.

“Currently there is not much foreign investment in the uranium sector, but we expect there would be huge investments because the superpowers -- U.S, Russia and China -- are all interested and competing with each other,” Gombo said.

Mongolia would favor developing its nuclear industry together with the U.S., France and Japan, as opposed to its two neighbors Russia and China to “balance” its interests, Gombo said. China accounts for about 80 percent of Mongolia’s imports and exports.

--Xiao Yu in Singapore and Yuriy Humber in Tokyo. Editors: Alan Soughley, Keith Gosman

To contact Bloomberg News staff for this story: Yuriy Humber in Tokyo at +81-3-3201-3521 or; Xiao Yu in Singapore at +86 1390 117 2363 or

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andrew Hobbs in Sydney at

Source:Bloomberg News Wire Service



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