Russia urges Slovakia to join its uranium enrichment centre

April 4th, 2008 - 2:44 pm ICT by admin  

RIA Novosti
Bratislava, April 4 (RIA Novosti) Russia has urged Slovakia to join its uranium enrichment centre in Angarsk in East Siberia as part of Moscow’s non-proliferation initiative. This was announced here Thursday by visiting Russian Prime Minister Viktor Zubkov after talks with his Slovak counterpart Robert Fico.

The centre is part of Moscow’s non-proliferation initiative to create a network of enrichment centres under the supervision of UN nuclear watchdog International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

The centre is based at a chemical plant in Angarsk in Siberia and will also be responsible for disposal of nuclear waste.

“We propose our Slovakian partners join the international uranium enrichment centre that is being built by Russia,” Zubkov said.

Russian President Vladimir Putin first raised the idea of joint nuclear enrichment centres early last year, in a bid to defuse tension over Iran’s controversial nuclear programme.

The president said the centres would give countries access to civilian nuclear technology without provoking international fears that enriched uranium could be used for covert weapons programmes.

Fico has said the two countries discussed re-exporting of spent nuclear fuel to Russia.

He said Russia would be involved in the construction of two nuclear reactors at Mochovce Nuclear Power Plant in southern Slovakia. The plant currently has two operating reactors and the work to build two more reactors was stalled in 1992.

In 1980, Russia and Slovakia signed an intergovernmental agreement on building the NPP powered by four VVER-440 pressurised water reactors. Its first nuclear unit went into operation in October 1998, the second in March 2008. Italy’s Enel power company currently holds a 66 percent stake in the plant.

“We reiterate our readiness to cooperate in the construction of the third and fourth nuclear units at Mochovce,” said Fico.

An agreement was also reached Thursday to draft new treaties on oil and gas supplies before the current ones expire in 2015 and 2008, during talks between the two prime ministers in the Slovakian capital.
RIA Novosti

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