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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Russia guarantees repatriation of spent fuel from Bushehr NPP

RIA Novosti

04/07/2007 16:20 MOSCOW, July 4 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's nuclear agency said Wednesday that nuclear fuel Moscow has pledged to supply to a nuclear power plant being built in Iran will definitely be returned to Russia and will not end up in the wrong hands.

Russia is building Bushehr, Iran's first nuclear power plant, under a 1995 agreement in the south of the Islamic Republic, which has been in the focus of international attention over its controversial nuclear research program. Western nations and Israel suspect Tehran of concealing a weapons program, but Iran says it needs to enrich uranium for energy.

"I would like to reiterate that Russia is very serious about adhering to its international obligations in nuclear non-proliferation and will never compromise on this issue," Anatoly Kotelnikov, deputy head of the Federal Agency for Nuclear Power (Rosatom), told a news conference.

He said a Russian delegation had recently visited Bushehr and remained convinced that security and safety measures at the construction site were effective and fully met all international requirements.

Since 2004, Russia has repatriated spent fuel from Soviet-built NPPs and nuclear research facilities in several countries, including Germany, Serbia, Romania, the Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Libya, Latvia, Poland and Uzbekistan.

In a joint Russian-U.S. statement adopted following informal talks at the American president's summer residence at Kennebunkport July 1-2 and published Tuesday, Presidents Vladimir Putin and George W. Bush reiterated an approach they said would give access to the benefits of nuclear energy to a growing number of interested countries, while also preventing them from building nuclear weapons.

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