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The first round of talks between Russia and Japan on cooperation in the nuclear power industry will be held April 26 in Tokyo
The first round of talks between Russia and Japan on cooperation in the nuclear power industry will be held April 26 in Tokyo, a Japanese diplomatic source said Tuesday. Russia's Federal Nuclear Power Agency chief Sergei Kiriyenko and a delegation of nuclear industry experts visited Japan April 10-12 and agreed to start negotiations on intergovernmental arrangements concerning the mutually beneficial use of nuclear energy for civilian purposes. On Thursday, the sides are expected to discuss further steps in the development of a draft agreement on peaceful nuclear energy use, the source told RIA Novosti. Kiriyenko earlier expressed the hope that the agreement could be signed as early as by the end of 2007, and said that Japanese companies could be invited to join a project to build a nuclear power plant in the Russian Far East. Russia's 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 up 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. Meanwhile, Kiriyenko said Tuesday that Russia would prioritize the construction of NPPs on its own territory in the future. "If in the past we were eager to jump on any proposal [for construction of NPPs abroad], today we are being very selective, and we are trying to reduce the number of new foreign contracts," Kiriyenko said. At the same time, Russia's nuclear chief reaffirmed the country's commitments to fulfill prior contracts and to respect preliminary agreements reached with other countries. Russia's nuclear power equipment and service export monopoly, Atomstroyexport, implements intergovernmental agreements to build nuclear facilities abroad. It is the world's only company simultaneously building five nuclear power units - in China, India and Iran. In October 2006, the company won a tender to build a plant in Belene, Bulgaria.
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