RIGA -- The Latvian government has endorsed anagreement to send usednuclear fuel from the decommissioned Salaspils nuclear research facility to Russia.
The Environment Ministry proposal was given the green light at a government meeting on Nov. 6, meaning that a full agreement with russia can go ahead next week.
At present used nuclear fuel is stored at the Salaspils reactor, whichwas closed in late nineties and is now maintained by the State Hazardous WasteManagement Agency.
Several shipments of spent nuclear fuel have already been sent to Russia after previous agreements were put in place.
The return of the used nuclear fuel to Russia is provided by severalinternational agreements.
Specialists began drawing up the new agreement almost two years ago. The document determines the institutions responsible forresending the nuclear fuel, the management of the nuclear waste after recycling,the provisions of third party liability, and the requirements for storage,protection and transport.
The Environment Ministry plans to claim 372,000 lats (529,311 euros) to cover the cost of the operation.
The scientific research reactor inherited from the Soviet Union was shut down in 1998.
The dismantling of the reactor is planned to be completed by 2010.