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reactor fuel. Only in the framework of new Russian federal legislation in the field of management of spent nuclear fuel from foreign reactors, adopted in 2001, has an opportunity emerged for the implementation of the research reactor spent fuel export program. Currently work is underway to elaborate and harmonize legislative acts of the Russian government that would regulate in detail the importation of spent nuclear fuel from foreign reactors into Russia, in close connection with various special environmental programs for the cleanup of radioactively contaminated areas. So far only two out of five government acts have been approved.

Taking into account the request of the government of Uzbekistan to provide assistance for the return of spent nuclear fuel assemblies from the Institute of Nuclear Physics, and in view of the present absence of the full package of legislative acts, the Russian government has issued a special directive dated April 25, 2003, No. 521-R. This dictates preparations, according to the requirements of the Russian legislation project, for the export of spent nuclear fuel assemblies from the Institute of Nuclear Physics.

After preparations for the project are completed and approval from the state ecological experts is received, Minatom will introduce corresponding proposals about the order and terms of import for given spent nuclear fuel assemblies to Russia.

Practical implementation of the given project will facilitate

  • strict commitment of Russia, as a nuclear weapons state, to safeguard mechanisms for nonproliferation of nuclear weapons

  • support of political stability in Central Asia

  • implementation of ecological cleanup measures for rehabilitation of regions that have been radiologically contaminated as the result of the nuclear arms race in the 1950s and 1960s

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