( RIA Novosti ) - The UN nuclear watchdog could consider Russia's plans to establish guaranteed nuclear fuel reserves in the first half of 2008, Russia's nuclear chief said after meeting with the IAEA head Tuesday.
"We should carry out the preparatory work required for IAEA director general [Mohamed ElBaradei] to propose to the IAEA Board of Governors that they consider Russia's plans for establishing guaranteed nuclear fuel reserves in the first half of 2008," Sergei Kiriyenko said.
Addressing the 51st International Atomic Energy Agency General Conference, earlier in the day, Kiriyenko said Russia planned to create guaranteed reserves of low-enriched uranium worth up to $300 million at an international nuclear center in Angarsk, East Siberia.
" Russia intends to establish guaranteed reserves of up to two loads of nuclear fuel (low-enriched uranium) for a 1,000MW reactor," Kiriyenko said, adding that a fuel load of slightly more than 80 metric tons for a pressurized water reactor costs some $150 million.
The Angarsk Electrolysis Chemical Complex is the regional economic mainstay and the main asset of the newly established international uranium enrichment center, which is completing its registration with the nuclear watchdog. Kiriyenko said the center had been established to supply enriched uranium to third countries planning to develop global nuclear energy and get access to uranium enrichment "with no political restrictions."
The Russian nuclear official said the international center would handle the storage of low-enriched uranium reserves. He said the reserves would be under the IAEA' s control and could be supplied where necessary upon the international nuclear body's request.
"We expect a new group of IAEA officials to arrive in mid-October to discuss practical steps towards establishing cooperation in the sphere," Kiriyenko said. He pledged that Russia would do its best to prevent the amount of low-enriched uranium from "exploding the market from the economic point of view." He said the IAEA Board of Governors should offer criteria for supplying fuel from the reserves.