Russian-Venezuelan nuclear cooperation agreement comes into force

VHeadline News Editor Patrick J. O’Donoghue reports: Venezuela’s Gaceta Oficial No. 39,558 has published and brought into effect the law governing a nuclear cooperation agreement with Russia.

Presidents Chavez and Medvedev signed the agreement on October 15 during a state visit to Moscow by the Venezuelan President.

The agreement includes the construction and putting into operation a research reactor to produce radioisotopes for peaceful uses, especially in the fields of medicine and industry.

President Medvedev said the nuclear plant would give Venezuela more independence and lessen reliance on oil revenues to ensure electricity supplies, which has proved a major difficulty for Venezuela.

The agreement stipulates that Venezuela’s Electrical Energy Ministry and the Russian State Atomic Energy Corporation (Rosatom) will be responsible for putting the agreement into effect.

The nuclear material transferred to Venezuela from Russia cannot be enriched above the accepted 20% benchmark equal to a uranium isotope 235.

The agreement makes it clear that imports of nuclear material, technology and equipment will follow to the letter obligations accepted when a non-proliferation pact was signed on July 1, 1968.

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