EC to cut financing for Russian NPP equipment supplies

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MOSCOW, March 28 (RIA Novosti) - The European Commission in 2007 will significantly cut financing of projects supplying equipment for Russian nuclear power plants, and instead will provide funding for training NPP security personnel, national NPP operator Rosenergoatom said Wednesday.

The Russian operator explained that the reduction in financing is because cooperation with the EC is entering a new level, based not on an assistance program but on interaction.

Russian nuclear scientists have 15 years of working experience with the EC on nuclear security programs within the framework of TACIS (Technical assistance to the Commonwealth of Independent States), which was earlier conducted in two main directions - equipment supplies and trainings.

TACIS, which helped Russia integrate into the world nuclear community, ended in 2006. Since 1991, the EC allocated 7 billion euros ($9 billion) to TACIS programs in different countries, with Russia receiving some 40% of the funds.

The European Commission is offering new technology for nuclear cooperation in 2007, support for so-called soft projects, more oriented to the human factor, which means more attention will be paid to personnel, management style, and security.

The proposed format envisions submitting project proposals from each Russian NPP on nuclear security management program. After all proposals have been submitted and approved by EC countries, the NPP will be able to choose a partner company that will agree to start the project implementation.

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