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    FRANCE AND JAPAN: WHO WILL PLACE NUCLEAR REACTOR ON ITS TERRITORY?

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    VIENNA, February 21 (RIA Novosti corr. Borislav Pechnikov) - A regular round of talks with atomic energy ministry representatives of Russia, the U.S., Japan, South Korea and China will be held Saturday in the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) HQ in Vienna. The sides will try to reach a compromise on the project of building and placing a new generation international experimental nuclear reactor ITER, Igor Borovkov, the first deputy Russian atomic energy minister, who heads the Russian delegation, told RIA Novosti.

    In Borovkov's words, hard talks are ahead, as there's a "stalemate" in regard to the new reactor: Russia, the EU and China are for ITER construction on French territory, while the U.S., Japan and South Korea prefer Japan.

    To achieve progress in ITER talks, the Russian side suggested building the nuclear reactor on the territory of either France or Japan, and setting up a computer center on analysis of ITER operation by an international expert group on the territory of the other country. This proposal is being studied by Vienna negotiators.

    The first deputy minister said that, with so little progress at talks to build and place the experimental reactor, there have appeared other opinions of some participants in the negotiations on the change of the format and composition of this process. However, Borovkov stressed, Russia insists on keeping the composition the same, and says all participants must enjoy equal rights.

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