MOSCOW, June 27 (Bernama) -- Russia is planning to retrieve some 2,400 kg of high-enriched uranium from nuclear plants in several countries by 2016, state atomic agency Rosatom said Tuesday.
Rosatom's head Sergei Kirienko said Russia will retrieve used nuclear materials from Uzbekistan by the end of 2012 and Vietnam in 2013, and will spend about US$12.5 million to convert its four nuclear reactors to low-enriched uranium fuel under a Russia-U.S. nuclear cooperation programme on peaceful use of atomic energy.
One or two reactors would be converted in 2014, Xinhua news agency quoted Kirienko as saying.
Russia has retrieved over 100 kg of used nuclear fuels from Ukraine, the United States and Mexico this year and has so far halted nine reactors using used high-enriched fuel.
The country started taking back fissionable materials from nuclear power plants abroad in correspondence with the Return of Research Reactor Spent Fuel to the Country of Origin initiated by the U.S. and Russia in 1999.
The programme was designed to prevent the proliferation of spent nuclear materials from Russian and U.S. nuclear power plants that use highly enriched uranium as fuel and could be used to produce nuclear weapons in third countries.