West to cooperate with Iran on nuclear reactor: Official

October 19th, 2008 - 8:50 pm ICT by IANS  

Tehran, Oct 19 (DPA) An Iranian nuclear official claimed Sunday that Western countries had declared their readiness to cooperate with Iran in the construction of its first home-made nuclear reactor in southwestern Iran, Mehr news agency reported.The 360-megawatt light-water nuclear reactor in Darkhowayn is under the supervision of the country’s Atomic Energy Organisation and is due to be finished by 2012

“The main part of the project is being done by local experts, but we will of course also try to use international experience, and several Western countries have already declared their readiness to cooperate with us in this project,” Mehr quoted Hamid Soltani, the project’s general manager, as saying.

He did not disclose the names of the Western countries, but pointed out that Russia would not be involved as the plant was being built to Western standards.

The fuel for the Darkhowayn plant is supposed to be provided by the uranium enrichment plant at Natanz in central Iran.

Iran is still waiting for the completion of its first joint nuclear plant with Russia as Russian state contractor Atomstroiexport has not yet made the Bushehr plant in southern Iran operational.

Although the nuclear fuel has already arrived at the plant, the operational phase has been postponed by the Russian side until March 2009.

Iran had hoped that electricity from the Bushehr plant would be fed into the national power grid within the second quarter of 2008.

While Iran insists it is solely pursuing civilian nuclear projects, the West fears that it might use the technology for military weapons, especially nuclear warheads to attack arch-foe Israel.

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