Russia strikes crucial uranium deal with U.S.

Russia has signed a multi-billion dollar deal with the United States to increase uranium exports. Russia's enriched uranium can now be shipped directly to U.S. utilities.

Since the beginning of the 1990's, U.S. anti-dumping restrictions meant Russia had to use an intermediary when exporting uranium.

The U.S. feared that cheaper Russian material would financially hurt America's domestic uranium supplier USEC.

With that barrier removed, Russian exports will be increasing slowly over a ten-year-period beginning in 2011.

Head of Russia's Federal Nuclear Energy Agency, Sergey Kirienko, said Russia has to increase its presence on the world markets radically and from this point of view the deal with the U.S. is a crucial breakthrough.

“Presently we're supplying goods and services to the American market under the 'Megatons to Megawatts' agreement only. It expires in 2013. This was a trap for us. The new agreements would be made for a period of ten years. During these ten years Russia's additional income would be at least $US 5 or 6 billion according to the current prices,” Kirienko said.