Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

IAEA TO MONITOR SPENT NUCLEAR FUEL TRANSPORTATION BACK TO RUSSIA

RIA Novosti

MOSCOW, February 28 (RIA Novosti) - Russia will transport spent nuclear fuel from Iran in compliance with strict international rules and under the control of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Alexander Rumyantsev, the head of Russia's Federal Atomic Energy Agency, told a press conference at RIA Novosti.

"Russia has long-established patterns to follow. It has appropriate containers, special security guards, special trains for carrying nuclear fuel, and a surveillance system to monitor their movement. Spent nuclear fuel transportation will be monitored by the IAEA," said Mr. Rumyantsev.

The signing of the agreement on the return of spent fuel from the Bushehr power plant's first unit, which also stipulates the terms and conditions of nuclear fuel deliveries to the plant, was delayed over a series of issues, according to Mr. Rumyantsev.

"Iran is only beginning to use nuclear fuel for peaceful purposes. Iran had asked for clarifications and we discussed them for a long time. Therefore, talks dragged out," said Mr. Rumyantsev.

Mr. Rumyantsev recalled that under the agreement Iran would have to cover the costs of spent fuel transportation to Russia.

Yevgeny Reshetnikov, the First Vice-President of Atomstroieksport Co., told a news conference in Beijing on Monday that maintaining cooperation in the nuclear sphere with Iran Russia did not violate international law.

Mr. Reshetnikov added that the agreement on the return of spent nuclear fuel signed in Tehran yesterday "relieves Russia of suspicions of sharing its nuclear know-how as spent nuclear fuel will be returned to Russia for money."



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