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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Sino-Russian Nuclear Deal Announced

HONG KONG -- Russian scientists are at work at Sino-Russian nuclear projects in south China, Hong Kong's Eastern Express newspaper reported Wednesday.

The newspaper said officials of both sides had confirmed the existence of the projects in Haikou and Shenzhen.

It said the deals were struck during a covert trip to China earlier this month by the minister and vice minister in charge of Russia's nuclear industry.

The China-Russia Nuclear Company, a $10 million joint venture by the two countries' nuclear-industry monopolies, has been established in Shenzhen, just across the border from Hong Kong, the newspaper reported.

Russia's first deputy minister of nuclear power engineering, Vitaly Konovalov, was in Shenzhen last weekend. He accompanied Minister Viktor Mikhailov on what the Russian embassy in Beijing called a private visit, the paper said.

It quoted Kong Fandai, president of the joint company, as saying three Russian scientists were already working for the firm in Shenzhen.

"Once we enter production, in late 1995, we will continually bring in more and more of their scientists, because that is Russia's strong point," Kong said.

International concern has been rising over the export of nuclear technology from Russia since the disintegration of the Soviet bloc.

The paper said details of the projects were hazy, but quoted Mikhailov as saying that "superclean" isotopes imported from Russia for civilian use were part of the deal.

Mikhailov said the Chinese were also seeking substantial quantities of cobalt-60, a highly radioactive substance, for a separate project in Haikou, Hainan. He said no agreement has been reached yet.