[ RadSafe ] Russia to build nuclear reactor in Myanmar
royherren2005 at yahoo.com
Tue May 15 23:20:10 CDT 2007
Russia to build nuclear reactor in Myanmar
13:12 15 May 2007
NewScientist.com news service
New Scientist and Reuters
Russia's atomic energy agency, Rosatom, said on Tuesday it has signed a deal to build a nuclear research reactor in Myanmar.
The centre will include a 10-megawatt nuclear reactor with low enriched uranium consisting of less than 20% uranium-235, Rosatom said.
The research centre will be under the control of the Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Rosatom said.
Russia, along with China, has become a major supporter and supplier of arms to Myanmar's junta since the West imposed sanctions in late 1988. The country, formerly known as Burma, has been referred to the United Nations Security Council for its repressive and undemocratic military rule.
Power for the people? Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs U Khin Maung Win says the reactor would be used to train Myanmar scientists and to produce radio isotopes, which have a range of uses, including in medicine and agricultural science.
He says the reactor would be for peaceful purposes "in the interests of the people". "Myanmars interest in nuclear power is not for the wrong purpose."
Myanmars nuclear program would adhere to international treaties and would be carried out systematically, he says. "So, there is no need to worry about this issue."
Long-term plan He says Myanmar was a signatory to the 1992 Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty, as well as the Asean agreement on establishing nuclear-free zone, which prohibits the production, storage and transport of nuclear weapons within the 10-member grouping.
Win says that the government had been planning to acquire nuclear power for nearly 40 years and Myanmar's technicians had received training from the IAEA since the country joined the organisation in 1957.
Russia is also building a nuclear power station in Iran, a country suspected by the US of seeking to develop nuclear weapons. Russia says Iran has a right to civilian nuclear power.
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