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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Russia completes automated control system for Bushehr NPP

RIA Novosti

13:24 23/09/2009 MOSCOW, September 23 (RIA Novosti) - Russia is completing work on an automated control system for Iran's first nuclear power plant, the Russian civil nuclear power corporation Atomenergoprom said on Wednesday.

The automated control system, which will be commissioned on a turnkey basis, is designed to control the NPP's first reactor, Atomenergoprom said in a statement.

The construction of the Bushehr plant was started in 1975 by German companies. However, the firms stopped their work after a U.S. embargo was imposed on high technology supplies to Iran following the 1979 Islamic Revolution and the subsequent U.S. embassy siege in Tehran.

Russia signed a contract with Iran to complete the plant in February 1998, originally due for completion at the end of 2006. The date was postponed several times over financial problems and claims Russia was reluctant to finish the facility amid UN sanctions and suspicions of a covert nuclear weapons program.

In January Russia' completed deliveries of nuclear fuel to the Bushehr plant. As a rule, nuclear fuel is delivered to a nuclear power plant six months before it goes into operation.

According to a report by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) at the end of August, the Islamic Republic increased the number of centrifuges at the Natanz plant to 8,300 from 7,000 reported in June.

Iranian authorities have said the country needs 50,000 centrifuges in order to supply low-enriched uranium for its future nuclear power plants.

Iran has been under international pressure to halt uranium enrichment, used in both electricity generation and weapons production. Tehran has repeatedly rejected the demand, insisting it is pursuing a purely civilian program. Several Western powers have called for harsher sanctions against Tehran if it does not agree to halt uranium enrichment.

 



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