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(epa) 2 February 2006 -- A senior Russian nuclear official says Russia will scrap 17 decommissioned nuclear submarines this year.

Sergei Antipov, deputy head of the Federal Atomic Energy Agency, said today 17 submarines would be scrapped this year, while 19 were dismantled last year.

He also criticized foreign donors for failing to provide promised financing to decommission nuclear vessels.

In recent years, the United States, Norway, Canada, and other Western countries have helped fund efforts to dismantle the submarines and secure nuclear materials.

Antipov was quoted as saying a total of 65 nuclear submarines still remain to be scrapped in Russia.

(ITAR-TASS, Interfax, AP)
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