Russia hopes for nuclear safety rules progress at G8

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Russia said Thursday it was likely to win agreement from its G8 partners for its proposals for new legally-binding nuclear safety rules after Japan's Fukushima disaster.

"The likelihood is very high because there is simply no alternative to that," said Nikolai Spassky, deputy head of state nuclear body Rosatom.

Spassky told reporters on the sidelines of the G8 summit that France supported Russia's proposals and Washington had a similar view. However, he acknowledged that other members like Germany and Italy did not share the Russian approach.

Spassky said the necessary work on the nuclear safety rules had started at the summit in Deauville, which would be reflected in a joint statement to be released on Friday.

Russia proposes to favour legally-binding state responsibility over that of a nuclear power operator in case of a nuclear accident, said Spassky.

Nuclear safety is high on the agenda following the March 11 earthquake and tsunami that crippled the Fukushima facility, with meltdowns reported in three reactors and high levels of radiation leaked into the environment.

© 2011 AFP

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