Russia has approved an agreement with Uzbekistan to import some used research-reactor fuel for reprocessing, Interfax reported on Monday.
Under the draft agreement, signed by Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev on Jan. 29, the output from the reprocessing -- including any plutonium or uranium -- will not be sent back to Uzbekistan. Instead, Russia will use, store or dispose of materials that emerge from the procedures.
The draft text of the deal specifies that the spent fuel and any atomic material derived from such activities cannot be used "for any types of nuclear weapons and nuclear explosive devices" or other military research.
With Medvedev's approval, the Russian Foreign Ministry and the state-atomic energy firm, Rosatom, have been directed to hold final talks with Uzbekistan and sign off on the deal when it is completed.