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Russia to sign new uranium contract with US

world Updated: May 26, 2009 12:56 IST

Russia will sign a groundbreaking commercial contract on Tuesday to supply US utility companies with enriched uranium fuel, a Russian atomic industry official said.

Under the contract, state-run Tekhsnabeksport would supply US markets with nuclear fuel enriched from raw uranium for the first time, Tekhsnabeksport marketing executive Vadim Mikerin told The Associated Press.

Fuel previously supplied by Russia had been extracted from old nuclear weapons and diluted for commercial use, under a deal aimed at keeping Russian nuclear materials off black markets.

Mikerin refused to say how much the contract was worth or who the buyers would be.

Russia is already the biggest single supplier of uranium fuel to US nuclear plants.

But it has been barred from expanding those supplies because of protectionist measures imposed by Washington after the Soviet collapse.