Russia’s Tvel nuclear fuel group is to negotiate a contract with China to design the core of an experimental fast reactor. The Russian government has approved a proposal to this effect by the Atomic Energy Ministry. The negotiations will also cover the possibility of delivering to China enriched nuclear fuel (up to 64.4% enrichment) and reactor control rods.

The contract requires China to observe all Russian regulations on the export and import of nuclear materials and equipment. MINATOM will then have to agree on the surrender of federally owned nuclear materials to Tvel. The ministry will monitor the implementation of the contract.

Meanwhile, construction of the Lianyungang nuclear power station is on schedule, according to Russia’s Deputy Minister for Nuclear Power, Yevgeny Reshetnikov, who recently attended a construction coordinating conference in China. Concrete foundations for unit 1 will be laid in July, and for unit 2 a month later – both based on VVER-1000 reactors. Unit 1 is to be commissioned in 2004, and unit 2 in 2005.

Russia will soon begin supplying 1800 tons of metal fixtures, 150 tons of metal sheet, foundation parts, tanks and other equipment – all at world prices.

MINATOM will send 27 experts to Jiangsu to supervise construction and settle technological issues on site.