Russia Says Cambodia Mulling Nuclear Power Plant

Russia will help Cambodia work toward building a nuclear power plant under an agreement the two countries signed this week, said Sergei Kirienko, the head of state-owned nuclear firm Rosatom.

Cambodia depends heavily on imported fuel and power. Electricity in the country is among the most expensive in Southeast Asia and a common source of complaints from foreign investors.

“The Cambodian government is mulling, in future, a nuclear power station construction,” Mr. Kirienko said on Wednesday when asked about the agreement.

Cambodian officials declined to comment on the deal on Thursday.

The agreement was signed during a visit by Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev to Phnom Penh this week.

His visit was the first to Cambodia by a senior Russian politician since 1986. Under the terms of the agreement, Russia will provide expertise, research and training to Cambodia.

“Perhaps, it is better to begin with a research reactor and a research center in Cambodia,” Mr. Kirienko said.

“All emerging economies are now facing a key issue: For normal development they need a reliable, cheap and guaranteed source of energy.”

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