UNITED24 - Make a charitable donation in support of Ukraine!

Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

IAEA delegation to visit uranium enrichment center Mar. 20 - Ivanov

RIA Novosti

19/03/2007 15:33 MOSCOW, March 19 (RIA Novosti) - A delegation of the International Atomic Energy Agency will visit the Angarsk chemical plant, the site of the uranium enrichment center, March 20, a first Russian deputy prime minister said.

"We hope to begin work there in the near future," Sergei Ivanov said adding that Kazakhstan is the first country that has shown an interest in working at the center.

Last October, Russia and Kazakhstan, which holds 15% of the world's uranium reserves, opened their first joint venture to enrich uranium in Angarsk, East Siberia. The venture which was part of Moscow's non-proliferation initiative to create a network of enrichment centers, under the UN nuclear watchdog's supervision, will also be responsible for the disposal of nuclear waste.

Ivanov said the visit by the IAEA delegation is "a significant event" and the first step towards the implementation of President Vladimir Putin's initiative as a means of calming international tensions over Iran's nuclear problem.

He said the center will offer the service of uranium enrichment to countries interested in developing nuclear energy for civilian purposes with the main condition of total observation of IAEA demands.

Ivanov said the delegation will visit the plant owned by the Federal Agency for Nuclear Power to check its readiness.

He also said the plant has been removed from the list of strategic facilities and there are no legal obstacles to its operation.

Ivanov said "Kazakhstan is ready to tackle industrial enrichment of the fuel cycle", calling it the first practical move towards the center's launch.

Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list