Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Russia, Iran agree on nuclear fuel deliveries, discuss new plants

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Bushehr, Feb 27, Itar-Tass/ACSNA/IRNA -- Russia and Iran agreed on 
nuclear fuel deliveries and discuss a possibility of building new 
nuclear power plants in this country by Russian specialists. 
Heads of the Russian and Iranian nuclear energy agencies Alexander
Rumyantsev and Gholam Reza Aqazadeh signed on Sunday several documents
right on the grounds of the Bushehr nuclear power station under 
construction, providing for fuel deliveries from Russia. 
"We have signed a confidential protocol, recording a schedule of 
fuel deliveries for the nuclear power station in Bushehr," Rumyantsev 
told reporters. 
Besides, the two statesmen signed the Intergovernmental Protocol 
on a return of worked-out nuclear fuel and changes to the fuel 
contract. 
While delivering nuclear assemblies, Russia will take them back 
after their use. This procedure fully precludes already a low 
possibility of using the nuclear station for production of arms-grade 
plutonium. 
"Under the documents signed on Sunday, Iran pledges to hand over 
worked-out nuclear fuel from Bushehr to Russia, while Russia pledges 
to accept it for long-term storage and processing," Rumyantsev 
emphasized. 
According to the Russian nuclear agency head, the first unit of 
the Iranian power plant will be put into operation late next year. "We
plan physical commissioning late in 2006, and fuel delivery will take 
place some six months before this," Rumyantsev continued. 
He specified that around 100 tons of fuel would be delivered. 
Rumyantsev spurned down any criticism of Russian-Iranian 
cooperation in the nuclear sphere, stressing that `Russia builds the 
nuclear power plant in Bushehr for its use by Iran for peaceful 
purposes` in strict compliance with the IAEA Charter. 
"We violate no norms or rules, adopted by the international 
community," he emphasized. 
In turn, Iranian Vice President and head of the nuclear energy 
organization Gholam Reza Aqazadeh described Russia among priority 
partners. 
He noted that the Iranian side had earlier spoken of plans to 
build seven nuclear stations, including the Bushehr one under 
construction. "But the Iranian Majlis (parliament) examines the 
question on a greater number of necessary nuclear stations," Aqazadeh 
reported. 
He stated that Russian and Iranian specialists continue talks on 
possible projects of building new nuclear stations. "We shall examine 
these plans at our next meeting with Alexander Rumyantsev several 
months later," the Iranian representative noted. 
The contract on construction of the first power unit in Bushehr 
had been concluded in 1995. The cost of the contract tops one billion 
US dollars. 
More than 2,000 Russian specialists work now directly at the 
development site in Bushehr, and over 1,500 prepare to come for the 
assembly of equipment. A total of 3,000 workers are involved from the 
Iranian side. 
To work at power units of the VVER type, Russia has already 
trained more than 300 Iranian engineers. They were trained at the 
Balakovo nuclear power station and at the Novovoronezh training 
center. 
Construction of the Bushehr station had been started by the German
Siemens firm in 1975, but construction work had been discontinued 
after the 1979 Islamic Revolution. The construction site was bombed 
several times during the eight-year war with Iraq, which inflicted 
serious damage on the station`s buildings. 
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