Several U.S. media sources earlier said Russia and the U.S. had been considering an agreement on the civilian use of nuclear energy that would see a global center for reprocessing and storing high-level radioactive waste from foreign countries set up in Russia.
But Igor Konyshev, a representative of an advisory body working with the Federal Agency for Nuclear Power, said: "Russia has never imported, does not import and is not planning to import spent nuclear fuel. Officials who stated otherwise either do not understand the essence of the matter or are attempting to purposefully mislead the public."
The official said Russia and the U.S. planned to discuss the signing of an agreement on the civilian use of nuclear energy during the summit of the Group of Eight industrialized nations in St. Petersburg on July 15-17.
"This document must serve as the basis for comprehensive cooperation between the two nuclear powers in the development of the nuclear energy industry," Konyshev said, adding that the lack of a document was an obstacle in the further development of Russia-U.S. relations.
He said the preparation of the agreement, which includes joint efforts in the development of a new-generation reactor in the framework of the Generation IV International Forum (GIF), could take up to a year.
The GIF is an 11-member nuclear energy research and development consortium established in January 2000 to develop innovative nuclear energy system concepts to meet future energy challenges. GIF members include Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Euratom, France, Japan, South Africa, South Korea, Switzerland, United Kingdom, and the U.S., with the OECD-Nuclear Energy Agency and the IAEA as permanent observers.