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MOSCOW, December 27 /ITAR-TASS/. The amount of contracts concludef by the Rosatom state corporation with American companies totaled $11.5 billion following the completion of the highly and low enriched uranium (HEU-LEU) program, Sergei Kiriyenko, director-general of the state corporation, told Itar-Tass in an interview.
Russia and the United States launched a "Megatons to Megawatts" program, also known as HEU-LEU, in February 1993 when the governments of the two countries signed an agreement "On the Use of HEU Extracted from Nuclear Weapons".
Under the project, which both sides recognize as successful, the RF undertook to recycle 500 tons of HEW, extracted from nuclear warheads, into fuel for nuclear power plants. The resultant LEU has been turned over to the American corporation USEC which paid for the recycling services, returning natural uranium equivalent to the amount which would have been spent if an enriched uranium product were obtained from natural uranium.
"The HEU-LEU project was competed earlier this month. As of now, the amount of concluded contracts with American energy companies totals $11.5 billion, with $5.5 billion out of the sum straight with energy companies that are the owners of nuclear power plants, and another $6 billion with USEC," Kiriyeanko pointed out.
"Rosatom has retained its presence on the American market," the Rosatom chief said. "The main thing is that we have won the confidence of energy compsnies and give greater scope to deliveris. We are now also exploring the possibility of moving farther along the tehnological chain -- to supply not only LEU but also move on to delivering fuel assemblies".
He recalled that technologically the production of fuel for th reactors of Western design has been resolved and now Russia "can produce fuel not only for its own statond but for American ones as well".
"We now actively work with American energy companies so that, in addition to the deliveries of LEU, supply fuel assemblies as a single set. This is next step in our cooperation," Kiriyenko said.
The full version of the interview is place on the website of Itar-Tass.