Belarus looks to Russia for nuclear help

MOSCOW, Jan. 21 (UPI) -- Russia and Belarus could agree to the terms for construction of a nuclear plant in Belarus during the first quarter of 2011, the Belarusian prime minister said.

Belarusian Prime Minister Mikhail Myasnikovich met in Moscow with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin to discuss construction of a nuclear power plant in Belarus.

Myasnikovich said both sides needed to agree to terms but "the basic agreement will be signed in the first quarter of this year," Russia's state-run news agency RIA Novosti quoted him as saying.

Myasnikovich noted that power plant could meet more than 25 percent of the country's electricity demand at current consumption rates.

The plant could have a capacity of 2,000 megawatts with the help of Russian nuclear power monopoly Atomstroyexport.

Minsk said it would look to foreign shores if Moscow doesn't back the project.

The first reactor could go into service as early as 2016 with a second reactor in place by 2018.


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