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31 Jul, 2007 07:44

International team inspects Russian naval base

A group of international nuclear experts from Britain, Norway and Russia have started examining nuclear facilities that could pose a radiation threat in the Northern Russian Murmansk region. The group is offering help in tackling the nuclear waste.

They are visiting the world's largest nuclear decommissioning site at Andreyeva Bay near Murmansk and the Atomflot reprocessing plant.

It is a dumping ground for old nuclear reactors and obsolete submarines, and has become one of the parts of the world at greatest risk of nuclear accident.

The head of the British delegation – the UK's Energy Minister Malcolm Wicks – says relations between Russia and Britain may be strained over the recent diplomatic row concerning the Aleksandr Litvinenko case but it doesn't affect co-operation in other areas.

“There is no dispute that there is a serious difference of opinion between our two nations on an important matter – an incident in London. No dispute there. But that will not affect our co-operation on this very important programme in the future. The relationship between British and Russian people ever since the dark and cold days of WW2, when together we fought the perils of Nazism, are strong and everlasting. So, there is a serious difference, but it will not affect that friendship between our two peoples and that's the important message today,” Mr Wicks underlined.