Russian state nuclear corporation Rosatom plans to complete a program being carried out with the United States to retrieve spent nuclear fuel in 2016.

Rosatom said in a statement that it and the U.S. Department of Energy had entered the concluding phase of extending the agreement on retrieving fuel produced by Russia and used by research reactors to Russia.

Russia and the U.S. have collaborated in retrieving Russian-made highly enriched fuel from other countries. The U.S., too, has retrieved spent fuel from countries where research reactors used American highly enriched uranium (HEU).

The Russian-American program is being carried out in order to bolster nuclear non-proliferation and involves retrieving spent fuel from 14 countries - Belarus, Bulgaria, Hungary, Vietnam, Germany, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Libya, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Uzbekistan, Ukraine and the Czech Republic.

The program was launched in 2004 and should have been rounded off by 2010, but fuel was retrieved after that from some countries where research reactors continue to run partly on HEU.

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