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China, Russia to Expand Nuclear Cooperation

BEIJING — China and Russia have agreed to expand nuclear power cooperation in seven areas, including building floating power plants, exploring uranium mines, eliminating old plants and developing markets abroad, the China Atomic Energy Authority said.

They will also cooperate on molten-core catcher technologies, which improve nuclear safety, the authority said in a statement, after a meeting of Russian and Chinese government officials and industry executives.

It did not elaborate.

China is interested in Russia's expertise on floating nuclear power plants, and both sides will set up groups to assess prospects in the area, Rosatom chief Sergei Kiriyenko said, Interfax reported.

They also reached an agreement on Russia's involvement in the construction of two fast neutron reactors in China, while a contract to add two nuclear power-generating units at the Tianwan nuclear power plant could also be signed before the end of this year or in the first quarter of 2011, Kiriyenko was quoted as saying.

Tianwan, the first Chinese nuclear power plant using Russian technology, started commercial operation of its first generating unit in 2006 and the second in 2007.

China is making a big push for nuclear power and other alternative energy sources to reduce its overreliance on dirty coal. It is building more nuclear power plants than any country in the world and has become a test ground for different nuclear technologies from France, Canada, Russia and the United States.

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