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World News

Russia seeks nuclear deal in Africa

Russia's Atomic Energy Agency chief Sergei Kiriyenko speaks during a news conference in Moscow November 28, 2006. Russia has offered to build a nuclear power plant in Namibia as Moscow seeks to break into the African nuclear market, Kiriyenko said on Friday, Interfax news agency reported. REUTERS/Alexander Natruskin

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia has offered to build a nuclear power plant in Namibia as Moscow seeks to break into the African nuclear market, Russia’s nuclear chief Sergei Kiriyenko said on Friday, Interfax news agency reported.

Kiriyenko, head of Russia’s atomic energy agency, told reporters on a visit to Namibia that Russian firms would also form a joint venture to mine uranium in the African state.

“Today Russia is present on all continents in the sphere of atomic energy but we had left out Africa,” Kiriyenko said. “Here there is a big potential market and we must be successful in this market.”

He said Russia was looking at build a floating nuclear power plant for Namibia: “We are ready to build one,” Kiriyenko said, Interfax reported.

Russia is pioneering efforts to build offshore nuclear power plants, shrugging off criticism by environmentalists who say they are inherently unsafe.

Kiriyenko said Russian firms Renova, Vneshtorgbank (VTB) and Tekhsnabexport have agreed to form a joint venture to mine uranium in Namibia.

“They have agreed to create a joint venture with Tekhsnabexport which will do exploration and mine uranium here,” he said.

Russia’s is reorganising its civilian nuclear sector as it seeks to widen sales of nuclear technology abroad.

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