Saturday, August 23, 2008

Russia: Iran N-plant operational in '08

Sat, 23 Aug 2008 17:26:16 GMT

Iran's first Russian-built nuclear power plant in the southern city of Bushehr will become operational by the end of 2008, Moscow says. "Russia is seriously committed to completing and running Bushehr power plant in the shortest possible time," Russia's ambassador to Tehran, Alexander Sadovnikov, said Saturday. Russia began the delivery of 82 tons of nuclear fuel to Bushehr in late 2007, giving rise to speculation that the Iranian power plant would become operational earlier in 2008. According to the Russian envoy, the delays have been caused by 'sanctions imposed by Western powers'. The United Nations Security Council - under US pressure - has imposed three rounds of sanctions against Iran. The US, Israel and their European allies accuse Iran, a signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), of pursuing a military nuclear program. This is while the Vienna-based UN nuclear watchdog continues to conduct snap inspections of Iranian nuclear sites and has reported that all "declared nuclear material in Iran has been accounted for, and therefore such material is not diverted to prohibited activities." Iran plans to construct additional nuclear power plants as its growing population suffers from electricity shortage. Caused by a dramatic drop in rainfall, the shortage has forced the country to adopt a rationing program by scheduling power outages - of up to two hours a day - across both urban and rural areas in the country. Press TV


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