Iran Nuclear NewsNuclear fuel for Iran's plant 'not ready to be...

Nuclear fuel for Iran’s plant ‘not ready to be transported’

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The Scotsman: Nuclear fuel for Iran’s first nuclear power plant is not yet ready for transporting, said a Russian source. The Scotsman

GUY FAULCONBRIDGE
IN MOSCOW

NUCLEAR fuel for Iran’s first nuclear power plant is not yet ready for transporting, said a Russian source.

The source in Russia’s nuclear sector yesterday denied a statement from Iran’s foreign minister that the fuel was ready to be moved.

“The procedure for sealing the nuclear fuel by international experts, an important step for preparing its transport to the Bushehr plant, has not taken place,” the source, who asked not to be named, said.

The source said the fuel is currently being stored at the Novosibirsk Chemical Concentrate Plant in Siberia.

Iran’s foreign minister, Manouchehr Mottaki, said on Saturday the fuel had been inspected and sealed by International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspectors.

Mr Mottaki said Russia was moving ahead to resolve a dispute that has delayed the start up of the Bushehr plant, which is being built by Russian companies and will be powered with Russian nuclear fuel.

Russia has repeatedly put back the start-up date, citing delays in payments from Tehran.

Iranian officials deny there are any payment problems.

Many observers say Russia is stalling because it does not fully trust the Iranian president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and fears an international backlash if it delivers nuclear fuel to Bushehr.

According to Russian forecasts, the reactor at the plant could begin running in 2008. Nuclear fuel would have to arrive at the plant six months before it could be started up, Russian officials say.

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