Two state-run Russian companies merged on Thursday to create a uranium mining concern that will help fulfill ambitious plans to develop the nuclear power industry.
Russian state nuclear fuel producer OAO TVEL joined up with state-owned nuclear materials and services exporter OAO Tekhsnabexport, or Tenex, to form a new company called Uranium Mining Company, Russia's nuclear agency said.
It said that the new enterprise would actively work to develop uranium prospecting and mining in Russia and abroad.
In September, the top Russian nuclear official, Sergei Kiriyenko, announced that Russia will increase spending on uranium extraction tenfold over the next two years.
With the public backlash against nuclear power fading as the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster recedes into the past, Russia has moved to expand nuclear power. Kiriyenko said earlier this year that Russia would commission at least two nuclear reactors a year beginning in 2010.