Mongolia ends discussions of spent fuel storage

The Mongolian government informed Japan and the United States that it decided to abandon the plan to bring spent nuclear fuel to the country. According a report in The Mainichi Daily News, the decision was made in late September 2011, following a discussion in the government. President of Mongolia reportedly fired the officials who participated in trilateral talks with the United States and Japan in February 2011.

The plan to establish a legal framework for bringing spent nuclear fuel to Mongolia was made public in March 2011. Apparently the discussion was part of the talks to conclude a civilian nuclear cooperation agrement between Mongolia and the United States (known as a 123 agreement). At the time, Mongolian officials denied any plans to bring "nuclear waste" to the country. However, the draft agreement that was published in July 2011 discussed plans to establish "comprehensive fuel services," which apparently included an option of brining to Mongolia the spent fuel that used natural uranium produced there and probably other U.S.-obligated fuel as well.