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Russian Nuclear Fuel by March


Russian Nuclear Fuel by March

MOSCOW, Sept. 26--Russia will ship fuel to an atomic power plant it is building in Iran by March under an agreement signed Tuesday--a deal that should allay Iranian suspicions that Moscow is dragging its feet.

With the European Union’s foreign policy chief slated to meet Iran’s top nuclear negotiator soon for talks over a six-nation incentive package, the agreement signed by senior Russian and Iranian nuclear officials in Moscow represents a small victory for Iran, which insists its nuclear efforts are peaceful and aimed solely at generating electricity, AP reported.

Russian news agencies reported that Sergei Shmatko, head of the state-run company Atomstroiexport, and Mahmoud Hanatian, vice president of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization, signed an additional protocol setting out a timeframe for starting up the US$800 million Bushehr nuclear plant--Iran’s first.

“The document provides for supplying Russian fuel for the atomic energy plant in March, physical startup in September 2007 and electric generation by November 2007,“ Hanatian was quoted as saying by ITAR-Tass.

Shmatko said about 80 tons of fuel would be supplied, according to Interfax and ITAR-Tass.

In an effort to ease western concerns over Bushehr, Russia has agreed with Iran that Tehran will ship spent fuel back to Russia. However, Iran has resisted Russia’s proposal to conduct all of Iran’s uranium enrichment on Russian soil.

Later, at a meeting with Russian Security Council Secretary Igor Ivanov, Iranian Vice President Gholamreza Aqazadeh said Tehran was satisfied with the agreement.
“We reached a good agreement...on completing construction of the atomic energy plant at Bushehr, including agreement on a concrete date for directing atomic fuel to Iran,“ said Aqazadeh, who is head of Iran’s nuclear organization.

Ivanov insisted again on a diplomatic solution to international concerns over Tehran’s nuclear program and said Moscow would comply through its terms for the deal on the Bushehr plant.

“We will strictly fulfill our obligations,“ he said.

Javier Solana, the EU’s foreign policy chief, and Ali Larijani, Iran’s top nuclear negotiator, are scheduled to hold another round of talks soon over a package of incentives put forward by six key nations, though Tehran has refused to suspend its enrichment program as a precondition.

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Atomstroiexport, Iran's AEO discuss Bushehr NPP construction
RIA Novosti

In-Depth Coverage 23/08/2006 14:25

MOSCOW, August 23 (RIA Novosti) - Atomstroiexport and Iran's Atomic Energy Organization discussed Tuesday the implementation of the Bushehr nuclear power plant construction schedule, the Russian nuclear power equipment and service export monopoly said Wednesday.

Russia is helping to build an $800 million plant in Bushehr, 400 kilometers (250 miles) southwest of Tehran, which was previously scheduled to become operational by the end of 2006.

Atomstroiexport's news release said the talks also touched on equipment deliveries, start-up operations and the training of personnel, as well as the production of NPP equipment directly in Iranian enterprises.

Atomstroiexport is building the Bushehr NPP's first power unit under a $1 billion contract signed by Russia and Iran in 1995. In line with the renewed schedule, the plant's commissioning is scheduled for the second half of 2007.

Atomstroiexport is a leading Russian organization implementing intergovernmental agreements on the construction of nuclear facilities abroad. The company is currently building five power plants in China, India and Iran.