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Russia ready to reprocess nuclear fuel for China, India, Iran.

MOSCOW, June 14 Kyodo

Russia anticipates India, China and Iran would sign up with the Russian plan to recycle spent nuclear fuel for foreign countries, Interfax News Agency said Thursday quoting an official from the Russian Atomic Energy Ministry.

Atomic Energy Ministry spokesman Yury Bespalko also named Finland and countries in eastern Europe as potential ''clients'' in the Russian nuclear fuel recycling program, Interfax said.

Russia's lower house of parliament on Wednesday approved government plans to import spent nuclear fuel for reprocessing or storage in Russia.

The United States has expressed concern about the Russian plan to reprocess spent nuclear fuel from any country with nuclear power stations, saying it could lead to proliferation of nuclear weapons. Plutonium, a key nuclear arms ingredient, is a side-product when spent nuclear is reprocessed.

According to Interfax, Bespalko said Moscow hopes to hold discussions with Washington to address U.S. concerns.

In addition to the countries cited by Bespalko, Russian officials have said Moscow is also looking to Japan, Taiwan and other countries in Asia as potential nuclear fuel partners.

Moscow expects to import about 20,000 tons of spent nuclear fuel over 10 years and make roughly $20 billion in storage and reprocessing fees. The reprocessing and storage would take place in facilities in Chelyabinsk in the Ural region.
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Publication:Asian Political News
Date:Jun 18, 2001
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