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Russian official: No obstacle in sending fuel to Bushehr plant


Moscow, Oct 29, IRNA -- Russian Minister of Nuclear Energy Alexander 
Rumyantsev in a meeting here Wednesday with Iranian Ambassador to 
Moscow Gholam-Reza Shafei said there is no obstacle to sending fuel 
for Bushehr nuclear power plant. 
The two sides also discussed the general trend of the two nations 
nuclear cooperation, the progress in the Bushehr power plant 
operational phases and the return of spent fuel to Russia. 
The Russian energy minister said, "Moscow has always had good ties
with Iran and our position regarding ties with Tehran have not 
He also stressed on speedy completion of Bushehr nuclear power 
plant saying he is ready to make a trip to closely inspect the 
construction and remove possible technical operational snags. 
"We can also begin preliminary discussions on building the second 
phase of Bushehr power plant," he said. 
Following the signing of an addendum to the contract, return of 
spent fuel to Russia and its related documents, fuel for the power 
plant will be sent, he said. 
For his part, Shafei alluded to the `useful comments offered on 
the part of Russian officials` regarding the recent Tehran decisions 
on its nuclear program. 
Hopefully, following Iran`s announcement on signing the additional
protocol to the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), the two countries will
forge closer cooperation. 
He said the Russia should follow up its commitments in building 
the Bushehr power plant so it can be completed on schedule. 
Russian specialists have worked on the power plant`s initial phase
since 1995. The completion rate is nearing 80-85 percent. 
Under the newly-agreed schedule the reactor is to become 
operational in the first months of 2005. About 1,500 Russian 
specialists are building the power plant. 
Over one hundred Russian enterprises are involved in the project 
in the capacity of providers. The first reactor`s estimated cost is 
nearly one billion dollars. 
Also, the last group of Iranian shift engineers for the Bushehr 
nuclear power plant has completed a course of training at the 
Novovoronezh nuclear power plant in Russia. 
By that time of the completion of the first phase of the power 
plant a total of 700 Iranian specialists will have been trained at the
training site. 
Over 300 specialists have already completed training with the use 
of simulators approximating all conceivable processes at an operating 
nuclear power plant. 

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