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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Nuclear power plant construction a priority for Russia - Ivanov

RIA Novosti

15/10/2007 16:33 PODOLSK (Moscow Region), October 15 (RIA Novosti) - The construction of nuclear power plants is of one of the top and most important priorities for the Russian nuclear energy system, a Russian first deputy prime minister said on Monday.

"Nuclear energy today must become a universal tool which can meet not only growing industrial demands, but also the demands of the country's social and economic development," Sergei Ivanov said.

He said that Russian specialists are currently constructing five nuclear power units in Russia and seven abroad, adding that "on the whole, the scale [of the construction] is very impressive."

The high-ranking official also said that this year the federal budget had allocated 18 billion rubles (app. $722.3 million) for the development of the nuclear energy sector, and intends to spend 51 billion rubles ($2.05 billion) and 90 billion rubles ($3.6 billion) in 2008 and 2009, respectively.

A 2006 report, Uranium 2005, jointly compiled by the OECD Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), placed Russia ninth on the list of countries possessing the largest reserves of uranium ore, with 172,000 tons (over 3% of the global supply).

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