Spent fuel shipments to resume

3 October 2002

A shipment of spent fuel from Kozloduy is now expected to arrive at Russia's Mayak reprocessing plant in the Urals by the end of this year, thanks to a trilateral agreement allowing the transport of nuclear material between Russia and Bulgaria, via Ukraine.

Russia, Bulgaria and Ukraine signed the agreement, valid for 10 years, on 9 August. A financial scandal and payment disputes stopped shipments in 2001; the agreement with Ukraine makes possible a resumption of spent fuel shipments to Russia from Kozloduy.

The Bulgarian government will pay Russia $620/kg for the fuel shipments.

According to one government official in Sofia, who asked not to be identified, the renewed shipments are, "in part," an effort to clear Kozloduy of as much spent fuel as possible in the run-up to EU membership.

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