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    ATOMIC ENERGY MINISTER ACCUSES RIVALS OF ATTEMPTS TO COMPROMISE RUSSIA AT INTERNATIONAL NUCLEAR MARKET

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    MOSCOW, January 29, 2004. /RIA Novosti/. Russia's Atomic Energy Minister Alexander Rumyantsev said Russia's rivals are concerned over the growth in the export potential of nuclear power engineering in this country and are trying to compromise Russia.

    "We have emerged on the international market to stay there. This causes concern among our partners and they are trying to compromise us," the minister told reporters Thursday.

    According to Rumyantsev, Russia's export potential in nuclear power in 2003 increased by $400 million and amounts to $3 billion today.

    "The increase in the export potential of Russia is associated mainly with enriched uranium, the supplies of stable isotopes and construction of nuclear power plants abroad, that is, with the entire spectrum of technical services that we provide abroad," the minister said.

    According to him, "in 2004 the export potential will be less than in 2003." As regards the import of spent nuclear fuel to Russia, Rumyantsev noted that in 2003 "not a single gram or irradiated nuclear fuel was brought to the Russian market from abroad." "Import and storage of spent foreign nuclear fuel is a very profitable business, and now the leaders on this market are France and Britain," he said. "Today we are not let to enter this market, which is bad, because we have possibilities for this," Rumyantsev added.

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