Iran receives fifth consignment of nuclear fuel from Russia

Updated: 2008-01-22 20:09

Tehran -- Iran received the fifth shipment of nuclear fuel from Russia on Tuesday for it's first nuclear power plant being built at the Gulf port city of Bushehr, state media reported.

The newly arrived consignment contained 11 tons of enriched uranium and the rest nuclear fuel will be received in three separate shipments in coming weeks, said the state television.

According to a report of the official IRNA news agency, Iran Atomic Energy Production and Development Company has confirmed the arrival of the new fuel shipment, which increased the received fuel so far to 55 tons. Bushehr nuclear power plant needs a total of 82 tons of fuel for its primary stage of commissioning.

Russia previously has delivered four consignments of fuel to Bushehr on December 17 and 28, and January 18 and 20. According to the agreement between the two countries, Russia would deliver all the 82 tons of nuclear fuel to Iran in eight consignments in two months.

Located in southwestern Iran, Bushehr plant is the country's first nuclear power station, but the start of the plant has been long delayed.

Earlier this year, the two sides had disputes over the construction payment, which led to the delays.

Iranian has said it would put Bushehr power plant into operation with its half capacity in the summer of 2008, but the Russian contractor Atomostroiexport said last December that it would take at least one year to start the operation.

The United States and some of its allies have worried Iran may use power plant as a civilian cover to develop atomic weapons and have called on Russia to suspend the Bushehr project.

Russian Foreign Ministry, however, has promised that those fuel will be under control of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), saying "all fuel that will be delivered will be under control and guarantees of the IAEA for the whole time it stays on Iranian territory."

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