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Saturday, May 18, 2024

Russia and China sign long-term nuclear deal

The agreement covers a range of strategic areas including the development of new atomic reactors

Russia and China are deepening their partnership in nuclear energy and will draw up a roadmap for cooperation in developing so-called fast-neutron reactors for decades to come, Russia’s state-run nuclear energy giant Rosatom announced on Wednesday.

According to the company, the comprehensive program lays the ground not only for bilateral cooperation, but will essentially influence the shape of the global nuclear energy sector.

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The document signed between Rosatom and the China National Nuclear Corporation covers “key areas” and is focused on expanding current cooperation as well as launching new projects “related to fast-neutron reactors, the production of uranium-plutonium fuel and the management of spent nuclear fuel.”

The announcement of a long-term nuclear deal came among a raft of agreements presented during a three-day visit by Chinese President Xi Jinping to Moscow.

China already operates five Russian nuclear reactors and currently has four more under construction, which makes Russia the largest nuclear supplier to the country.

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Last year, Rosatom launched the construction of the Xudabu-4 reactor and the Tianwan-8 reactor in the Jiangsu province in eastern China. The reactors will be powered by third-generation pressurized water reactor technology supplied by Rosatom, with operations set to begin between 2026 and 2028, according to the agreement. The cost of construction at each site is estimated to be $1.7 billion.