ITAR-TASS

Minister satisfied with Russia-US cooperation in N-sphere

By Yuri Kozlov

VIENNA, September 19, 2002

Cooperation between Russia and the United States is successfully developing. The sides have fulfilled everything over the current year they planned and agreed plans for further cooperation, said here on Thursday Russian Nuclear Energy Minister Alexander Rumyantsev in an exclusive interview with Tass.

He participated in the session of the IAEA General Conference, now underway, and held several bilateral meetings with delegations of other countries, including the U. S.

The minister singled out several the most important results of Russian-American cooperation. "We agreed a mechanism of pricing for a long period under an agreement on processing of high-grade into low-grade uranium, which is an earnest for economic and political stability for implementing provisions of this document for a long-term perspective," he emphasized. "We also started extensive work on a search for the so-called dumped sources which had not been registered in old times. They had belonged to various departments and had been used in medicine, industry, for scientific and other purposes.

"We are now looking for these sources due to rising terrorist threats in the framework of a special programme. "

Noting that the Russian and U. S. presidents gave an instruction at their latest meeting to set up joint expert groups to map out possible areas for cooperation in promising nuclear reactors and nuclear fuel cycles, as well as in involving redundant arms-grade materials into the nuclear power industry, Rumyantsev emphasized that this instruction has been fulfilled.

Experts prepared appropriate reports, the last of which was submitted to the heads of the two countries' delegations at the current session of the IAEA General Conference.

According to the minister, good results have been also achieved in developing scientific and technical cooperation between Russia and the U. S. These results materialized in specific commercial contracts on supplies of non-arms plutonium (plutonium isotope 238) to manufacture storage batteries used in outer space.

Among other bilateral meetings, the minister singled out talks with delegations of India, Iran, Japan and EU countries, noting the constructive nature of talks.

Copyright 2002 ITAR-TASS News Agency