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Russia to enjoy priority in Iranian nuclear power plant tenders

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Russia will have priority in future tenders for the construction of new nuclear power plants in the Islamic Republic, an Iranian official said on Wednesday.
TEHRAN, February 20 (RIA Novosti) - Russia will have priority in future tenders for the construction of new nuclear power plants in the Islamic Republic, an Iranian official said on Wednesday.

"We certainly should give priority to Russia in the construction of new stations, because Russia is constructing Iran's first nuclear power plant in a difficult international situation and has vast experience in this field," said Kazem Jalali, a spokesman for Iran's parliamentary committee on national security and foreign policy.

Russia is currently building Iran's first nuclear power plant in Bushehr, in southern Iran.

Jalali stressed that Russia had completed the delivery of nuclear fuel for the Bushehr nuclear power plant's initial operation.

Russia delivered its final fuel shipment to Bushehr on January 28. With the eighth delivery of five metric tons, Russia had supplied a total of 82 metric tons of low-enriched uranium to the light-water nuclear power plant.

"I hope that the insignificant amount of work left for completion of the Bushehr nuclear power plant will be finished on schedule and no problems will hinder construction this year," the official said.

The first delivery of fuel to the plant arrived on December 16, 2007 following months of delays that Moscow attributed to payment arrears, but which Iran blamed on pressure from Western nations. The West suspects that Iran's nuclear program is military-oriented, a claim Tehran has denied.

The five permanent UN Security Council members plus Germany agreed at talks in Berlin on January 22 on a draft for a third sanctions resolution against Iran calling for travel ban, asset freeze and vigilance on all banks in the Islamic Republic.

Iran hopes its first nuclear power plant will be launched in October.

Jalali said Tehran plans to hold tenders for the construction of 19 nuclear power plants in the country within 20 years, with a capacity of 1,000 MW each.

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