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Slovakia wants to cooperate with Russia in nuclear energy

Mochovce nuclear power plant.
by Staff Writers
Bratislava (AFP) Sept 10, 2008
Slovakia is seeking "friendly and mutually favourable" economic cooperation with Russia, notably in nuclear energy, Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico said Wednesday after meeting with Russian Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin.

"It's mostly cooperation in the field of energy, especially regarding construction of the third and fourth stations of the Mochovce nuclear power plant," in the west of the country, Fico said.

Slovakia's biggest electricity company, Slovenska Elektrarne (SE), wants to complete construction of two nuclear stations at an estimated cost of 1.81-1.84 billion euros (2.37-2.41 billion dollars) by 2013.

SE is 66 percent owned by Italian energy giant Enel with the state holding a minority stake.

Slovakia had to close one nuclear station at Jaslovske Bohunice at the end of 2006 and is due to switch off the second station of the Soviet-designed reactor at the end of December under commitments given to Brussels that paved the way for its 2004 entry into the European Union.

As a result, Slovakia, a former power exporter, will have to import around 20 percent of its electricity needs from 2009, which is why the governement has been pushing the completion of the nuclear reactors at Mochovce.

"Not only do we hope that Italian Enel will start the construction but also that Russian technology suppliers will be asked by the investor, Slovenske Elektrarne, to cooperate with this important project," Fico said.

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ElBaradei to leave IAEA in 2009: memo
Vienna (AFP) Sept 10, 2008
IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBaradei will not stand for re-election as head of the UN nuclear watchdog when his contract expires next year, an agency document revealed Wednesday.

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