Friday, February 03, 2006

Russia/Former USSR:

Russia Proposes International Nuclear Center In Siberia
03 February 2006

XINHUANET (MOSCOW) -- An international center for uranium enrichment and the handling of fissile materials may be created in Siberia, the deputy chief of the Russian atomic energy agency Rosatom said on Thursday. Russian President Vladimir Putin has proposed setting up a global network of nuclear fuel cycle services including enrichment but said the network must be supervised by the International Atomic Energy Agency and be accessible on a non-discriminatory basis. "We have facilities in Siberia that may fit in well with all requirements for creating an international center responsible for keeping and recycling of spent fuel, uranium enrichment and production of fuel for the nuclear energy industry," Rosatom deputy chief Sergei Antipov was quoted by the Itar-Tass news agency.

Source Reliability: 8.0

Analysis: The proposed Russian international nuclear center is likely to be acceptable to the world at large and is likely to be built in the near future. President Putin's comments that the IAEA would have supervision and also that the center would provide civilian energy-level enrichment of uranium and not weapons-grade will assuage the fears of many and will be the key factor behind other nations accepting and helping the center's construction.

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