|Russia and the CIS News Digest
Medvedev: Yes, to an International Missile Shield
April 26 (EIRNS)On the eve of Russian President Dmitri Medvedev's state visit to Denmark, he gave an interview to DR National Radio TV news. Asked if he would support the statement by NATO Secretary General, former Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen, in favor of NATO and Russia joining forces to create a missile shield covering both Russia and Europe, Medvedev replied: "If it is a serious proposal from NATO's Secretary General, then we can say yes to the proposal. For a long time, we have supported the idea that a global defense system, a missile defense system, should not only protect one country, or group of countries, but should be beneficial for all responsible participants in the world community."
Medvedev continued, "If this system has global dimensions, if it will serve to counter threats from states that ... violate the standards of law in one or another level, and are working on independent development of nuclear weapons programs, ... such a defense would, of course, be able to be realized." If, on the other hand, the West were to propose such a joint system, and then go ahead and build one on their own, then Russia would be forced to respond, Medvedev stressed.
Italian-Russian Nuclear Cooperation
April 27 (EIRNS)Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi and Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin yesterday signed important agreements for cooperation on nuclear energy, including both fission and fusion. On fusion, Italy will participate in the Ignitor fusion reactor in Russia, and Russia will participate in an accelerator project in Italy. On conventional nuclear energy, the Italian electricity company ENEL will probably be the first non-Russian firm to build a third-generation nuclear plant on Russian territory. Last March, Putin had confirmed that the planned nuclear plant in Kaliningrad would be open to private participation, up to 49%. ENEL has signed a cooperation agreement on a joint project for the Kaliningrad plant with the Russian electricity firm Inter Rao Ues. The plant will comprise two reactors, each of 1,170 MW, using VVER 1200 technology. Putin also said that Russia wants to collaborate in the Italian nuclear program, which aims at going from 0% to 25% of nuclear-produced electricity by 2020.
Berlusconi received Putin in the new villa he bought for his party cadre school, called Università Liberale, in the vicinity of Milan, and announced that the school will be inaugurated with a lecture by Putin.
Russia To Build Nuclear Fuel Fabrication Plant in Mumbai
April 26 (EIRNS)Russia's government-owned nuclear fuel major, TVEL, has announced that it is in discussion with the Indian authorities to set up a nuclear fuel fabrication plant in Greater Mumbai, to supply fuel for the 8-10 Russian VVER-1000 and 4-Russian VVER 1250 type reactors coming up in India. Ivan Dybov, executive director for communications and public affairs, also told the Indian media that the plant could serve the fuel requirements of the new-generation European Pressurized Reactors (EPR) of 1,650 megawatts each, to be built by the French government-owned nuclear company, Areva SA, in Jaitapur, in the western state of Maharashtra. TVEL is part of the Russian state-run nuclear power company Rosatom.
Areva SA has signed an initial pact with Nuclear Power Corp. of India Ltd. of building up to six nuclear reactors in India, getting a foothold in this potential growth market for nuclear energy. Dybov said TVEL has an understanding with the French nuclear major Areva for fuel fabrication, and has already fabricated 2,000 fuel bundles for them.
TVEL, which holds 17% of the world's nuclear fuel market, already has a contract with the India's Department of Atomic Energy to supply 2,000 metric tons of fuel to the country's pressurized heavy water reactors over the next five years. The company already supplies the two units of the U.S.-built Tarapur Atomic plant, as the U.S. stopped supplying fuel after the Pokhran-I nuclear tests in 1974.