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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Russia, Iran to discuss Bushehr NPP completion on Sept. 1

RIA Novosti

29/08/2008 18:39 MOSCOW, August 29 (RIA Novosti) - A delegation from a Russian nuclear power construction company Atomstroyexport will discuss the completion of the Bushehr nuclear power plant in Iran on September 1, a company spokesman said on Friday.

Russia is building the $1 billion Bushehr facility, Iran's first nuclear power plant, in the south of the country under a 1995 contract. The project is also subject to UN monitoring following Iran's refusal to halt its uranium enrichment program and Western suspicions that Tehran is seeking to build nuclear weapons.

Commenting on the upcoming visit, Russian MP Konstantin Beschetnov, member of State Duma committee on economy and business, said it is too early to determine the precise date for the completion of the project, which has suffered numerous delays in the past.

"This project is so unique that it is too early to announce a completion date. As any business project it has experienced a number of complications," he said.

"In effective business any disputable issues are resolved through negotiations. That is why I am certain that the Bushehr construction will be completed successfully," Beschetnov said. "Besides, it is important for Russia's reputation [as a reliable business partner]."

The Bushehr project was originally scheduled for commissioning at the end of 2006, but the date has been postponed several times.

Russia delivered its eighth and final nuclear fuel shipment to Bushehr on January 28, supplying a total of 82 metric tons of low-enriched uranium to the plant's light-water reactor.

Russia's nuclear power chief Sergei Kiriyenko said in early June that preparations for the launch of the Bushehr project, including nuclear fuel operations, would start in the fall. He said with confidence that the safety of nuclear fuel storage was not in doubt.

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