Venezuela's Chavez aims to tap nuclear energy

Venezuela's Chavez aims to tap nuclear energy

The Venezuelan leader is already dismissing critics' concerns over his nuclear ambitions, offering assurances his aims are peaceful and that Venezuela will simply be following in the footsteps of other South American nations using atomic energy.
Yet his project remains in its planning stages and still faces a host of practical hurdles, likely requiring billions of dollars, as well as technology and expertise that Venezuela lacks.

Russia has offered to help bridge that gap, and Chavez has announced that the two countries have created an atomic energy commission.
"I say it before the world, Venezuela is going to start the process of developing nuclear energy, but we're not going to make an atomic bomb, so don't be bothering us afterward ... (with) something like what they have against Iran," Chavez said on Sunday.

The socialist president is closely allied with Iran and defends its nuclear program while the US and other countries accuse Tehran of having a secret nuclear weapons program.

"We're going to develop nuclear energy with peaceful aims as Brazil, Argentina have," Chavez said.

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