5 Aug 2009 18:38

Russia, Venezuela may join forces in making nuclear reactors

MOSCOW. Aug 5 (Interfax) - Atomenergoprom, the state-owned holding company running Russia's civilian nuclear industry, said it had held talks with a delegation from Venezuela whose agenda included chances for cooperation in building research and desalinization reactors.

Other issues raised during the talks were development prospects for the Venezuelan nuclear industry and a proposal for Russia to train Venezuelan personnel for nuclear medicine, geological and geophysical research and the operation of power-producing and research reactors, Atomenergoprom's press service said.

Atomenergoprom Executive Director Kirill Komarov represented Russia at the talks. Deputy Energy and Petroleum Minister Maria Gabriela Gonzalez led the Venezuelan delegation.

According to earlier reports, Russia could help Venezuela to explore and develop its uranium and thorium deposits under a bilateral intergovernmental agreement on cooperation in the field of using nuclear power for peaceful purposes signed last November.

This framework agreement also creates a basis for joint applied research of controlled thermonuclear fusion; developing, designing, building, operating, and decommissioning research reactors and nuclear power plants; and radioisotope production and its industrial, medical and agricultural use.

In addition, the document involves cooperation on nuclear safety and radiation protection on assessing environmental effects of nuclear power.

Venezuela signed the Treaty on the Nonproliferation of Nuclear Weapons on March 5, 1970, and a guarantee agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency on March 11, 1982. On January 29, 1990, the Latin American country signed the Revised Supplementary Agreement Concerning the Provision of Technical Assistance by the IAEA.