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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

$3Bln Siberian Nuclear Plant Planned

Russia and Kazakhstan will spend as much as $3 billion setting up an enrichment facility in Siberia to produce nuclear fuel, the head of Kazakhstan's nuclear fuel company said Wednesday.

The two countries will split the costs of the venture, which is scheduled to start production in 2011, Kazatomprom chief Mukhtar Dzhakishev said by telephone from Almaty.

The facility will be built alongside a planned UN-backed enrichment center designed to make nuclear energy affordable to all nations regardless of politics. Japan, Armenia and Ukraine have already expressed interest in joining the United Nations project, Dzhakishev said.

Russia has called on the United States and other atomic-energy producers to make the technology available to all countries regardless of politics. Kazakhstan plans to overtake Canada and Australia in 2010 to become the world's biggest uranium producer as demand for the radioactive metal surges.