Russia completes fuel deliveries to Iran's nuclear power plant

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Moscow, Jan 28 (UNI) Russia delivered the eighth and final shipment of nuclear fuel to Iran's Bushehr power plant early today.

Interfax news agency quoted Irina Yesipova, spokesperson for Russia's state Atomstroiexport company, in-charge of building the nuclear plant in Bushehr, as saying that the final shipment of fuel had been delivered.

With the eighth delivery of five metric tons, Russia has supplied a total of 82 metric tons of low-enriched uranium to the light-water nuclear power plant, which has been the focus of international attention over fears that Iran was developing nuclear weapons.

The first fuel shipment to the plant arrived on December 16, 2007 following months of project delays that Moscow attributed to payment arrears, but which Iran blamed on pressure from Western nations.

The shipments were monitored by the United Nations nuclear watchdog-- the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

Iran said Bushehr, the country's first nuclear power plant, will start operating in the summer of 2008, producing half its 1,000-MW capacity of electricity.

The US initially opposed Russia's contract for building the reactor and supplying it with fuel, but later softened its position as Iran agreed to return spent nuclear fuel from the reactor to Russia to ensure it does not extract plutonium from it to make nuclear bombs.


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