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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Russia has enough uranium for nuclear power plants - minister

RIA Novosti

25/10/2007 18:52 MOSCOW, October 25 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's natural resources minister said Thursday Russia will have sufficient uranium reserves for the construction of new nuclear power plants in the country.

Last week Russian First Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov said the construction of nuclear power plants was one of the top priorities for the Russian nuclear energy system, adding that Russian specialists were currently constructing five nuclear power units in Russia and seven abroad.

Minister Yuri Trutnev said that "We will cope with the task of providing the required quantities of uranium," adding "unfortunately Russia lost a significant part of its uranium reserves following the collapse of the Soviet Union."

But the minister said Russia has every possibility of replenishing its uranium stock from existing deposits and from those, which are currently being developed.

"In addition, we can work not just in Russia," the minister said. "We must work in other countries as well."

Sergei Ivanov also said last week that this year the federal budget had allocated 18 billion rubles ( $722 million) for the development of the nuclear energy sector, and intends to spend 51 billion rubles ($2 billion) and 90 billion rubles ($3.6 billion) in 2008 and 2009, respectively.

A 2006 report, Uranium 2005, jointly compiled by the OECD, the 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 global supplies).

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