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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Ukraine to Triple Uranium Output

Ukraine aims to more than triple uranium production to 3,000 tons per year in the long term to become self-sufficient in the radioactive metal used to produce fuel for nuclear power plants, an official said.

The country can increase output to 1,000 tons from 900 tons mined last year "in the nearest future," President Viktor Yushchenko said, the presidential web site reported. The price of uranium has climbed more than fivefold in the past three years to 91 per pound.

Ukraine needs 3,000 tons a year for its 14 nuclear reactors. Increasing domestic production to that level could save $150 million per year, Yushchenko said. Ukraine buys 70 percent of its needs on the market.

The country plans to invest as much as $158.4 million in nuclear energy and $260 million in uranium mining this year, Ukrainian Energy Minister Yuriy Boyko said March 21.