CPA) is Russia’s only enterprise for the extraction and processing of uranium ores. By virtue of its geographic location, natural and geologic characteristics, and economic and technical capabilities, PMCPA should be considered a promising site for the creation of a spent fuel storage facility that might be given international status. The type of facility and its capacity would be determined when and if the site is selected.
PMCPA processes molybdenum-uranium ores from deposits in the Streltsovskoe ore field. These deposits are concentrated in the Tulukuev volcanotectonic caldera, which dates from the Mesozoic era (approximately 140 million years ago) and has an area of about 150 km2. A total of 19 molybdenum-uranium deposits have been found in close proximity in the caldera, and these deposits contain unique sources of uranium totaling more than 250,000 metric tons.1 About 50 percent of the uranium resources of the Streltsovskoe ore field have been extracted to date.
The region where the enterprise is located is in a lightly populated area at a significant distance from major cities, villages, and industrial centers but at the same time is linked to other economically developed regions of Russia by the rail and highway networks.
The climate of the region is arid, with precipitation levels totaling slightly more than 400 mm/yr. Lying in the steppe zone, the landscape surface is very open, with low hills and absolute elevations from 600 to between 900 and 1100 m (see Figure 1). The underground water table lies at 500 to 700 m, and the territory is categorized as slightly seismic.
Another characteristic of the PMCPA region is the fact that it has been the subject of detailed geological studies carried out in the course of many years of large-scale, comprehensive prospecting efforts, which have included geological and geophysical studies, enormous volumes of test drilling and underground mining operations, and other extensive scientific research work. The many years of mining operations that continue to this day represent a significant source of geological information.
Two separate rock formations differing in age and structural and compositional characteristics are found on the territory of the PMCPA complex.2 The upper formation is composed of volcanogenic and terrigenous-carbonate sedimentary rock dating from the Mesozoic. The volcanogenic rocks (rhyolites, dacites, basalts, tuffs, and tuffaceous sandstones) make up the Tulukuev volcanic caldera and surround all of the extractable molybdenum-uranium and uranium deposits. These rocks are intensively tectonically violated, have been affected at various times by hydrothermal processes, and as a result are mechani-