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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

IAEA to resume work on uranium enrichment center in Angarsk

RIA Novosti

28/09/2006 15:21 MOSCOW, September 28 (RIA Novosti) - An International Atomic Energy Agency delegation will soon arrive in Moscow to continue work on establishing an international uranium enrichment center in Angarsk, Russia's nuclear chief said Thursday.

"IAEA experts will soon arrive in Moscow to conduct work to establish an international uranium enrichment center in Angarsk, and then we plan to hold a working seminar with the IAEA," Sergei Kiriyenko told journalists.

Kiriyenko said the town in East Siberia, about 5,000 km (3,100 miles) east of Moscow, was not chosen accidentally.

"Angarsk has always been connected with the nuclear sector's civilian side. The enterprise in Angarsk can be put under IAEA control, and it has additional reserve capacities," he said.

Kiriyenko said the center will make it possible to control the amount of uranium delivered for enrichment, and the amount of outgoing enriched uranium.

The Russian nuclear chief said earlier the nuclear enrichment center could be opened as early as 2007.

He proposed granting the center special zone status to ensure that its operation enjoys legal guarantees. "We should use all the ideas and proposals made by different countries today," he said then.

Kiriyenko also said the center could have an annual reserve of low enriched uranium.

President Vladimir Putin suggested at the beginning of the year that, in light of tensions over Iran's nuclear ambitions, international uranium enrichment centers be set up in Russia.

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