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PROSPECTS FOR EXPANDING THE MARKET FOR SPENT FUEL-RELATED SERVICES

As previously noted the Mining-Chemical Complex is currently accepting spent fuel from nuclear power plants in Russia, Ukraine, and Bulgaria for temporary technical storage and subsequent reprocessing. The package of “nuclear” laws passed by the State Duma of the Russian Federation in July 2001 (Federal Laws No. 92-FL, 93-FL, and 94-FL) allow the complex to accept spent fuel from other countries. Besides the countries listed above, there are others that could be potential shippers of spent fuel. However, for the above-mentioned laws to really work requires that the Government of the Russian Federation pass a number of regulatory acts or governmental resolutions, something that has not yet been fully achieved.

The dry facility is also a prerequisite for the receipt of foreign spent fuel, but in the initial phase the spent fuel could be accepted at the existing wet facility or temporarily stored in containers until the dry facility is completed. The Mining-Chemical Complex and Minatom are losing substantial amounts of hard currency due to the inability to carry out such operations. The funds required for the construction of the facility for foreign spent fuel or the cask site should be obtained as an advance payment from the prospective suppliers of spent fuel, without the need to use any Russian funds for this purpose.

It should be noted that the number of potential clients wishing to send spent fuel for temporary storage and subsequent reprocessing is substantially greater than the number of clients requiring only temporary storage, so one would hope for the spent fuel reprocessing complex to be completed more quickly.



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