Bulletin of Chinese Academy of Sciences (Chinese Version)


China; Central Asia; uranium mining; cooperative development; prospects; countermeasures

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Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan in Central Asia are among the most abundant areas of uranium resources in the world, and have the characteristics of large uranium reserves, concentrated distribution, and favorable mining conditions. Since 2009, the uranium production has been ranked first in the world for a long time, accounting for 43.5% of the world's total extraction in 2016 (91% of which are distributed in Kazakhstan). The cooperation between China and the Central Asia in uranium mining started in 2005 and has developed rapidly since 2010. This study analyzed the necessity and feasibility of cooperation development of uranium mining between China and Central Asia, and elucidated the cooperative development model from uranium trade, uranium exploration and extraction, as well as processing of nuclear fuel components. Also, the prospect of cooperative development was predicted in this study. The main conclusions are as follows. Before 2030, the uranium mining in Central Asia could meet the requirement of 70% to 75% of China's nuclear power demand for imported natural uranium. Later, with the rapid consumption of uranium resources in Central Asia, the degree of guarantee in 2035 would fall to 40% to 50%. Finally, this study put forward several suggestions for strengthening and deepening cooperation development of uranium mining between China and Central Asia as following. Firstly, we ought to lead the cooperative development with the concept of "five links". Secondly, we need to compile the "outline for cooperation and development plan of China and Central Asia" as soon as possible. Thirdly, we should identify the focus of future cooperation and development. Fourthly, the status and role of Chinese-funded enterprises in cooperative development need to be continuously improved. Furthermore, we must pay attention to prevent and resolve the risks in cooperative development.

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Bulletin of Chinese Academy of Sciences


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