Burma's military junta has signed an agreement with Russia to help it build a research nuclear reactor.
The two countries are also to co-operate on building a nuclear study centre, two laboratories, and nuclear waste site, according to a statement by the Russian Government.
The Burmese opposition is against the nuclear reactor, which Russia says will be used for research purposes, warning that it could lead to nuclear arms proliferation in the region.
Burma's low energy
Only 15% of the population has electricity
Rural areas are especially deprived
Power cuts a common problem
Per capita electricity consumption is 60 kw hours a year
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has also reportedly raised concerns about safety standards in Burma. Diplomats in Rangoon say authorities have trouble maintaining existing electricity generators, let alone a nuclear reactor.
Burma's Foreign Minister, Win Aung, told the BBC earlier this year that his country was committed to developing a nuclear research facility for medical purposes, and possibly to generate nuclear power.
Russia is to supervise the building of the low-powered reactor and will also provide the fuel.
The Burmese Government has said the nuclear facility will be used for peaceful purposes.
"What we are doing is totally above board and (there's)
nothing clandestine as written in several media reports," Deputy Foreign Minister Kin Maung Win told reporters in January.
He said it was imperative for developing countries like Burma - which suffers from a chronic energy shortage - to seek to narrow the development gap.
He pointed out that all Burma's neighbours, with the exception of Laos, were reaping the benefits of nuclear research reactors.