The United States has struck a deal to buy from the Soviets an advanced nuclear reactor similar to those that have powered Soviet spy satellites for decades, The New York Times reported Monday.

It would be the first major sale between the superpowers of a technology with military potential since the end of the Cold War.The intent is to study Soviet technology rather than use the reactor in space, an unidentified federal official told the Times. The United States has no working reactors in orbit, though it has programs to develop them.