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  Monday, September 16, 2019
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The UN nuclear watchdog and Russia's state nuclear corporation will discuss
The UN nuclear watchdog and Russia's state nuclear corporation will discuss an international uranium enrichment center being built in East Siberia at their meeting on Monday, a Russian nuclear official said.

Plans for a nuclear center in Angarsk, 5,100 km (3,170 miles) from Moscow, were proposed by Russia in early 2007 as a means of allowing countries, including Iran, to develop civilian nuclear power without having to enrich their own uranium, to allay fears over nuclear weapons proliferation.

The planned network of uranium enrichment centers, which will also be responsible for the disposal of nuclear waste, is to work under the supervision of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

"This issue will be discussed at a meeting between the IAEA director general [Mohamed ElBaradei] and the head of Rosatom [Sergei Kiriyenko]," the Russian official said.

Russia has almost finished building a nuclear power plant in Iran, which is accused by Western powers of developing nuclear weapons technology under the guise of a civilian program. Tehran, which denies the allegations, has so far shown little interest in Angarsk. The country is under three rounds of UN sanctions for its refusal to halt uranium enrichment activities.

IAEA Deputy Director General Yury Sokolov highlighted the global resurgence of interest in civilian nuclear power as an emissions-free alternative to fossil-fuel power plants.

"The growing interest in nuclear power is a factor that will be reflected in speeches during the IAEA General Conference," he said.

Sokolov said Russia and IAEA, which begun discussions on the Angarsk project 18 months ago, have to address continually emerging issues, such as ownership rights for nuclear material for the IAEA.

The agenda of the IAEA's General Conference, which will run until October 4, also includes a report on the organization's activities last year and plans for 2009, measures to step up security in nuclear waste disposal, and safeguards to prevent terrorists obtaining nuclear weapons.


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