Russia, Iran may operate nuclear plant together

February 15th, 2008 - 2:45 pm ICT by admin  

RIA Novosti
Bushehr (Iran), Feb 15 (RIA Novosti) Russia and Iran could set up a joint venture (JV) to start operating the Bushehr nuclear power plant in southern Iran within the next three months, the chief of Russia’s nuclear power equipment and service export agency has said. “We have almost agreed to establish a JV to operate the Bushehr plant, both as part of the contract and later, during maintenance,” Sergei Shmatko of Atomstroyexport told reporters Thursday.

“I have set myself an optimistic timeframe - three months,” he said.

Shmatko also said Atomstroyexport, which is building the Bushehr plant, plans to almost double the 1,300 Russian personnel employed in the plant construction.

He added that the legal status of the JV was as yet unclear.

Russia delivered the final fuel shipment to Bushehr Jan 28. With the eighth delivery of five tonnes, Russia has supplied a total of 82 tonnes of low-enriched uranium to the light-water nuclear power plant, which has been the focus of international attention over fears that Iran is developing nuclear weapons.

While western nations, especially the US, fear that Iran seeks to produce nuclear weapons, Tehran insists it needs nuclear technology to generate electricity.

Two sets of UN Security Council sanctions are currently in place against Tehran over its refusal to halt uranium enrichment.

The five permanent UN Security Council members and Germany have last month agreed a draft for new measures against the Islamic country, strengthening two previous rounds of sanctions but falling short of the punitive steps proposed by Washington.

Tehran plans to hold tenders for the construction of 19 new nuclear reactors and to generate 20,000 megawatts of electricity at its NPPs in the next two decades.
RIA Novosti

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