Iran News ...


2/18/03

Iran considers Russia's assistance in building Bushehr's 2nd reactor

Tehran, Feb 18 IRNA -- Iran that has achieved great success in mastering the complicated nuclear science technology from mining uranium, to production of nuclear reactors' fuel, according to President Khatami, is now studying foreign assistance in building its 2nd nuke reactor in Bushehr.

A delegation of the Russian Nuclear Energy Ministry is on a brief visit to Iran, for discussing bilateral cooperation on the said project, it was announced here on Monday.

Deputy Nuclear Energy Minister Andrei Malyshev leads the delegation, which began talks with the Iranian Nuclear Energy Organization on Monday.

Sources told Itar-Tass that the discussion would center on Russian-assisted construction of the 2nd nuclear power plant in Bushehr.

The delegation will not visit the construction site as was originally planned, and will return to Moscow early on Tuesday.

Russian Nuclear Energy Minister Alexander Rumyantsev earlier told Itar-Tass that, if Iran declared an international tender for the construction of six reactors on its territory, "Russia "will participate in it, and we have every chance of winning".

"Russia is continuing the construction of the station's first unit in Bushehr, which does not violate any international accords and does not pose a threat of proliferation of nuclear technology," Rumyantsev stressed.

He said "last year the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) carried out 60 checks in Iran, and did not register any violations."

Moscow and Tehran signed a contract for the construction of the Bushehr Plant in 1995.

Russia is to receive about 1 billion dollars for the work.

Iran stands for freeing the region from weapons of mass destruction, and does not have nuclear arms programs, Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi said Sunday.

At the same time, Iran is proud of the achievements of its atomic energy scientists and specialists.

All the activities of Iran in the sphere of nuclear technologies are under the control of the IAEA, and the more so since Iran has signed related agreements and the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, the minister said.

The IAEA chief Mohamed ElBaradei visits Iran to discuss a number of issues, including allegations made by the US that two nuclear facilities under construction could be used to make atomic weapons from February 23 to 26.

The United States had said last Monday that Iran's admission that it is mining uranium added to already "grave concerns" that the country is secretly pursuing a nuclear weapons program.

"We continue to have very grave concerns that Iran is using its supposedly peaceful nuclear program, including construction of a reactor at Bushehr, as a pretext for advancing a nuclear weapons program," State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said.

His comments followed an announcement on Sunday by Iran's President Seyed Mohammad Khatami that Tehran had discovered uranium deposits near the central city of Yazd and had already taken steps to begin exploiting them.

He said a uranium oxide plant had been completed in the central city of Isfahan and that it would be complemented by an enrichment plant now under construction near Kashan to its north.

President Khatami also said work had begun in Yazd province on a plant to produce concentrated "yellow cake," while a further facility at an undisclosed location would complete the cycle by turning out finished fuel entirely made in Iran.

But he insisted that Iran was only interested in the uranium for power generation and repeated assertions that it remained committed to a peaceful nuclear program.

Washington has long complained to Russia over its nuclear cooperation with Iran, particularly on the construction of the reactor in the southern port of Bushehr, warning that it is an unacceptable proliferation risk.

Last year, in response to those concerns Moscow informed Washington that the return of all spent fuel is a stated condition in working on the nuclear projects of Iran.

... Payvand News - 2/18/03 ... --



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