The state-run electricity producer, Slovenské Elektrárne (SE), announced on March 20 it had signed a contract with Russian nuclear fuel maker OAO TVEL to supply Slovak nuclear power stations after 1999. The SE's spokeswoman said the agreement would ensure stability for the Slovak nuclear power industry, but she declined to provide any details of the contract's value or its duration. TVEL is a Russian concern which manufactures, produces and exports nuclear fuel rods. The Slovak nuclear power program began in the Soviet era when Slovakia was part of communist Czechoslovakia. SE currently runs a plant in Jaslovské Bohunice in western Slovakia, and plans to launch another plant in Mochovce by the fall of 1998.