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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Atomstroiexport: Late payment to delay launch of Bushehr facility

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Moscow, Feb 19, IRNA
Russia's Atomstroiexport project supervisor Vladimir Pavlov said on Monday that late payments by Iran might postpone the commissioning of Bushehr nuclear power plant.

"Absolutely such issues affect the completion date," said Pavlov in an interview with reporters on Monday.

He confirmed claims of a Russian official that Iran had not made the last part of payments to Atomstroiexport as a result of its new foreign exchange mechanism to replace dollar with euro.

Russian news agencies too quoted an unnamed state official as saying that payments by Iran had been held up for more than a month due to an Iranian ban on making payments in US dollars.

Pavlov said that Atomstroiexport had received a statement from Iran's Central Bank, which announced the change in the country's foreign exchange payments.

"We are worried about the issue and expect the Iranian side to offer its proposals on the issue," he announced.

The project supervisor said that under a contract signed with a third country on delivery of the cooling equipment for the security system of the compound the shipment process has been postponed to late 2007.

He said that last September the two sides agreed on a new timetable under which Russia would deliver fuel to the power station this March, in order to start operation in September and produce energy in November.

He added that based on the schedule, the nuclear fuel for the power plant should be sent to the facility six months prior to its operation.

Head of Russian Rosatom Federal Agency for Nuclear Power Sergei Kiriyenko already said that Bushehr nuclear power plant would be completed on schedule if no financial problem arose in the process.

Main contractor of the project Atomstroiexport announced late last year that about 95 percent of operations related to construction of the power plant had been implemented.


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