7 Jun 2010 15:53

Rosatom hopes for support from Dominion as it enters U.S. nuclear fuel market

MOSCOW. June 7 (Interfax) - The Rosatom state corporation is hoping for support from Dominion Nuclear of the U.S. as the Russian concern enters the U.S. nuclear fuel market, Rosatom chief Sergei Kirienko told journalists following talks with Dominion officials.

Dominion is the second largest nuclear power plant operator in the U.S. It has already concluded a contract with Techsnabexport on delivery of low-enriched uranium (LEU) in 2014-2015. The meeting on Monday saw the signing of a memorandum on further cooperation. TVEL is currently promoting its own TVS-Kvadrat nuclear fuel, which is designed for U.S. in foreign-built plants.

The Dominion officials said they would begin buying TVEL's fuel once it completes certification. Another U.S. power company, Exelon, has already filed with the U.S. Department of Energy to launch licensing procedures, Kirienko said.

"Dominion is not only interested in receiving our LEU, but they also supported the project to certify Russian fuel for Western-designed nuclear plants. They will be ready to buy our fuel as soon as we have undergone the licensing procedures with U.S. regulatory bodies," Kirienko said. He did not say how long the licensing would take. "Let's not speculate. We are on the this path. This is a long procedure and the safety issue is an absolute priority in the nuclear industry," he said.

After Russia and the U.S. agreed the gradual elimination of anti-dumping limits on Russian LEU, Techsnabexport began the process of signing long-term contracts with U.S. companies. It now has contracts exceeding $3.5 billion covering the 2014-2020 period. It is currently beginning talks on the period after 2020.