Russia's Nuclear Power Minister Alexander Rumyantsev has said that over the past year Russia has not received a single kilogramme of spent nuclear fuel from abroad, refuting some media reports from the Greens.
The minister recalled that a year ago today a federal law on fuel imports into Russia was adopted.
According to him, in 2002 Russia got some shipments from Ukraine and Bulgaria but these were the nuclear fuel "Moscow previously exported to them." The minister also said that this month his ministry would submit a further series of documents for approval to the Russian government that will regulate imports, storage and processing of spent nuclear fuel. "It is not until these bylaws are introduced that Russia is going to import overseas fuel," Rumyantsev emphasised.
According to him, "handling spent nuclear fuel is a highly lucrative business". "Western countries are jockeying for fuel services," he said. "Russia may well make up to 2 billion dollars a year on this market, because we have safe and most up-to-date technologies for working with such materials."
The choice of the city of Helsinki is not incidental as the capital of Finland had hosted US-Soviet negotiations on the limitation of nuclear stockpiles in 1969