Iran Nuclear NewsRussia plans nuke fuel shipments to Iran mid-2005

Russia plans nuke fuel shipments to Iran mid-2005

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Reuters: The Russian nuclear fuel trader TVEL should start fuel shipments for a Moscow-built nuclear reactor in Iran six months before the unit becomes operational in early 2006, a senior company official said on Thursday. Russia is building a 1,000-megawatt nuclear plant in Iran despite strong opposition from the United States, which believes Iran could use Russian know-how to make nuclear weapons.
Reuters

SOFIA – The Russian nuclear fuel trader TVEL should start fuel shipments for a Moscow-built nuclear reactor in Iran six months before the unit becomes operational in early 2006, a senior company official said on Thursday.

Russia is building a 1,000-megawatt nuclear plant in Iran despite strong opposition from the United States, which believes Iran could use Russian know-how to make nuclear weapons.

Tehran denies wanting a bomb and says its atomic ambitions are limited to the peaceful generation of electricity.

“The construction of the Bushehr’s plant is progressing and as part of the technology process, half a year before launching the unit, the fuel should be supplied,” Anton Badenkov, vice president of TVEL, who is on a visit to Sofia, told reporters.

“The unit should become operational in the beginning of 2006,” said Budenkov, who also chairs the board of directors of Atomstroiexport, the company building the Bushehr’s plant.

In February, Moscow and Tehran signed a fuel supply deal, under which the spent fuel will be sent back to Siberian storage units after about a decade of use, a condition that Badenkov said removes all obstacles before the project.

“We have already signed the deal to take back the spent fuel from the plant, for which the international agencies were insisting, and all obstacles are removed,” he said.

TVEL, Russia’s state nuclear fuel producer, has for years kept the fuel, produced for the Bushehr plant, at a storage facility in Siberia, awaiting greenlight from the country’s Atomic Energy Agency to start shipments.

“We are now awaiting a licence from the Russian authorities for nuclear fuel exports,” Badenkov said.

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