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Russia could invite Chinese, Japanese and South Korean companies to cooperate on the construction of a nuclear power plant in its Far East
Russia could invite Chinese, Japanese and South Korean companies to cooperate on the construction of a nuclear power plant (NPP) in its Far East, the top Russian nuclear official said Tuesday. Federal Nuclear Power Agency chief Sergei Kiriyenko and a delegation he is leading on a visit to Japan are to hold negotiations with a number of ministers and officials on bilateral cooperation in the nuclear industry, and to discuss intergovernmental arrangements concerning the use of nuclear energy for civilian purposes. Kiriyenko said his agency had signed a memorandum with the metals company Rossiisky Aluminii Sunday on the construction of an industrial compound in Russia's Far East that would include an NPP and an aluminum smelter. "Given the fact that the compound will be built in the immediate vicinity of Japan, I deem it right and realistic to consider cooperation prospects and to engage Japanese companies - and possibly Chinese and South Korean ones, as well - in supplying equipment for the plant and in designing it jointly," he said. "Cooperation on the first such NPP could pave the way to international integration in building nuclear power plants in third countries." The state-controlled Rosenergoatom consortium, in charge of Russian nuclear power plants, said in mid-March it was considering building two nuclear facilities in Russia's Far East at Unified Energy System's suggestion. The electricity giant came out with the idea after China said it would like to buy from Russia up to 30 billion kilowatt hours of electric power annually. Rosenergoatom oversees Russia's 10 nuclear power plants, whose 31 reactors generate about 17% of the nation's total electricity output. President Vladimir Putin has recently called for that amount to be raised to 25% by 2030. Speaking in Japan Tuesday, Kiriyenko said that Russia could sign intergovernmental agreements on civilian nuclear power with Japan and the United States before the end of 2007. "We hope that by year's end Russia will sign intergovernmental agreements on the civilian use of nuclear power with Japan and the U.S., and will see them come into force," Kiriyenko was quoted by his press office as saying. He said such accords would enable the sides to develop wide-ranging cooperation in the nuclear industry. He also said work had been completed on an updated version of Russia's nuclear power agreement with Canada, and that a new accord would likely be signed with Australia during President Putin's visit there in September.
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