Russia hails US court ruling on uranium sales

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MOSCOW, Sep 28 (Reuters) Russia's nuclear energy chief hailed today a decision by a U.S. trade court that found sales of Russian uranium in the United States should not be subject to anti-dumping measures.

''The US Court of International Trade made a kind of present to our nuclear sector when its judge ruled that uranium enrichment is a service rather than goods, which means it cannot be the subject to anti-dumping investigation,'' Sergei Kiriyenko, head of Russia's atomic energy agency Rosatom, told a briefing.

Anti-dumping procedures against Russia were started in 1991-1992 after Russian companies flooded the US market with nuclear materials.

Russian nuclear officials say the US nuclear market could be worth billions of dollars for Russian companies.

Currently Russia only sells uranium recovered from dismantled Russian nuclear weapons to the US under a programme known as ''megatons to megawatts'', which is not subject to anti-dumping measures.

The uranium is sold through US uranium trader USEC Inc.

The US Department of Commerce carried out a five-year sunset review of the anti-dumping measures against Russia last year and decided to leave the measures in place.

But, Russian state nuclear firm Techsnabexport (Tenex) filed a petition in the court last year against this decision.

Kiriyenko said the US court announced its ruling on Wednesday.

Kiriyenko said Russia was ready to sign a long awaited civil atomic energy deal with the United State that would increase nuclear cooperation between the former Cold War foes.

''We are ready to sign an agreement on peaceful nuclear energy -- even tomorrow,'' Kiriyenko said.

REUTERS AE RAI2053

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