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Russia's atomic energy agency head due in Iran late January

Moscow, Dec 24, IRNA -- The head of the Russian Federation's Atomic Energy Agency, Alexander Rumyantsev, is to visit Tehran in late January to hold talks on the two countries' continuing nuclear cooperation, a Russian official said in Moscow on Friday.

A preliminary agreement has been reached between the two sides over the visit, Nikolai Shingarev, spokesman for the Russian agency, told IRNA.

During Rumyantsev's upcoming visit to Iran, an agreement for the delivery of nuclear fuel and the return of spent nuclear fuel for the Bushehr power plant is to be signed between Russia and Iran, said Shingarev.

The price of nuclear fuel which Russia is to deliver to Tehran and the expense incurred by Iran for the return of spent nuclear fuel will be set out at the time when the delivery is made, he said, adding that Iran will return any spent nuclear fuel 10 years after it receives the fuel.

Commenting on the reported cooperation to construct seven more nuclear power plants for Iran, Shingarev voiced Russia's readiness to cooperate with Iran on this matter.

Earlier, Rumyantsev had said that Russia was ready to construct seven other nuclear power plants for Iran.

Speaking to RIA-Novosti news agency, he revealed that the total cost of the project was estimated at dlr 10 billion.

Iranian officials are now studying the possibilities of the project with Russia as well as some other countries, he pointed out.

Regarding the US position on the Iran nuclear case and US moves to sabotage nuclear agreements entered into by Iran with other countries, Shingarev said that these issues will be resolved in the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and were none of America's business.

Describing the UN nuclear agency's decisions on the Iran nuclear issue as "positive," he declared that the IAEA Board of Governors had enough competency to resolve the issue.

Russian officials had previously said that Rumyantsev was to visit Tehran to sign a final accord on the issue of the return of spent nuclear fuel towards the end of 2004.

Tehran and Moscow are currently working out the technical details of an agreement that would bring the nuclear power plant in the Iranian port city of Bushehr on line in 2006, Russian Federation Council Chairman Sergei Mironov said last Saturday.

The issue on the return of spent nuclear fuel has seen operations of the power plant pushed back several times from its initial target of 2003.

In August, Iran said the plant would become operational in October 2006, a year behind schedule.

Once operational, the Bushehr power plant is projected to generate 1,000 megawatts of electricity, 6,000 megawatts less than Iran's nuclear power production target for 2021.

... Payvand News - 12/24/04 ... --

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