Long-term demand for nuclear fuel is high as demonstrated by
the continued rise in activities such as uranium mining and milling,
enrichment, and fuel fabrication. At a recent international conference in Beijing on nuclear
energy, IAEA officials stated that the global financial crisis is unlikely to
deter the increasing long-term demand for new nuclear power plants. In order to
limit the proliferation risk, the IAEA suggested the concept of multinational nuclear
arrangements and member countries followed up with various related proposals. A few projects at the front-end of the nuclear fuel cycle are reviewed
in the context of such multinational arrangements. Policies of two uranium-producing countries, Mongolia
(a new supplier) and Kazakhstan
(a relatively new supplier) are compared. The development at the front end of the
nuclear fuel cycle is reviewed in the context of collaboration of supplier
countries and countries with strong technological capability and demand such as
Russia, France, China,
Japan, and India.
Undraa Agvaanluvsan is a visiting professor at CISAC. Her research covers the technical and policy aspects of the uranium and nuclear energy industry. Mongolia, her homeland, has a large reserve of natural uranium that it wants to develop for economic and strategic purposes. Similar to other developing nations, Mongolia also is considering nuclear power to help reduce domestic pollution and meet growing demand for electricity. In this context, Agvaanluvsan is analyzing Mongolia's uranium mining and processing policies to compare this emerging industry with parallel developments in Kazakhstan and countries in southern Africa. She also is comparing Mongolia's potential role as a uranium supplier to that of Canada's and Australia's.
Agvaanluvsan received her bachelor's (1994) and master's (1995) degrees in physics from the National University of Mongolia. From 1996-97, she studied high energy physics at the International Centre for Theoretical Physics in Trieste, Italy. Agvaanluvsan earned her doctorate in 2002 from North Carolina State University in Raleigh, North Carolina, studying nuclear reactions and quantum chaos in nuclei. Following completion of her doctorate, she conducted postdoctoral research work in the Nuclear Experimental Physics group at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.
In addition to Agvannluvsan's scientific and policy analysis work, in 2008 she served as an adviser to Mongolia's Minister of Foreign Affairs. Agvaanluvsan also is director of the recently established Mongolian-American (MonAme) Scientific Research Center in Ulaanbaatar, which focuses on energy, the environment and mineral processing technologies. In September 2008, she helped organize MonAme's first international meeting, the "Ulaanbaatar Conference on Nuclear Physics and Applications," in Mongolia's capital.