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Iran's first NPP in Bushehr to be launched in August 2010

© AtomStroiEksportThe date of launch of the Bushehr NPP has been postponed many times for financial and technical reasons
The date of launch of the Bushehr NPP has been postponed many times for financial and technical reasons - Sputnik International
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The Bushehr nuclear power plant in Iran will start operating in August, disregarding possible sanctions against the Islamic republic.

The Bushehr nuclear power plant in Iran will start operating in August, disregarding possible sanctions against the Islamic republic, the head of the Russian Federal Atomic Energy Agency (Rosatom) said.

"Sanctions, which are being discussed regarding Iran, have no concern with [the] Bushehr [nuclear power plant]," Sergei Kiriyenko said, adding "nobody has questions concerning this NPP, and it is clear for everybody that [the] Bushehr [NPP] is not a threat to the non-proliferation regime."

The date of launch of the Bushehr NPP has been postponed many times for financial and technical reasons. Iranian officials have claimed that Russia was reluctant to finish the facility due to UN sanctions and concerns voiced by world powers that the plant is part of a covert nuclear weapons program.

The United States and other Western countries suspect Iran of developing nuclear weapons under the guise of a civilian nuclear energy program and are seeking new sanctions following Iran's move to enrich uranium to 20%.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said earlier sanctions, if imposed, were unlikely to target Iran's energy sector or its international trade.

Russia has consistently said the dispute should be resolved through diplomatic means, but has increasingly expressed a willingness to consider sanctions.

Speaking on Wednesday at the Brookings Institute, a leading U.S. think tank, following the nuclear security summit in Washington, the Russian leader said possible sanctions against Iran "should ensure nuclear nonproliferation rather than punish the Iranian nation."

The Rosatom chief said the "experience of peaceful use of atomic energy should be supported."

The construction of Iran's first nuclear power plant began in 1975 by German companies. However, the firms stopped work after a U.S. embargo was imposed on high-technology supplies to Iran following the 1979 Islamic Revolution and the subsequent U.S. Embassy siege in Tehran.

Russia signed a contract with Iran in February 1998 to complete the plant.

Russia's nuclear fuel producer TVEL has said it will deliver its next fuel shipment to Bushehr a year after the plant is launched.

 

BUENOS AIRES, April 15 (RIA Novosti)

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