Russia’s deputy nuclear chief due in Tehran tomorrow

TEHRAN (FNA)- A high-ranking delegation from the Russian state nuclear company, Rosatom, will arrive in Iran on Wednesday.

“Deputy Head and Spokesman of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Behrouz Kamalvandi and Deputy Head of Russia’s Rosatom State Atomic Energy Corporation Nicolai Spassky are due to have consultations on further nuclear cooperation during the visit,” an informed source in the Russian embassy in Tehran told FNA on Tuesday.

“During the two-day visit, Spassky will visit Isfahan province too,” the source added.

Isfahan hosts Iran’s sensitive Uranium Converversion Facility (UCF).

Early last month, Kamalvandi travelled to Moscow to follow up on the trend of nuclear cooperation between the two states.

“I will follow up the recent contract signed by Iran and Russia on construction of two nuclear power plants in Bushehr during my visit to Moscow,” nuclear spokesman said.

The Iranian atomic official said in early March that practical measures are underway for the start of the construction of two nuclear power plants for Iran according to a recent deal signed by the two countries’ top nuclear officials.

Kamalvandi had said that construction of the nuclear power plants would start the current Iranian year.

Meantime, AEOI Chief Ali Akbar Salehi had also stated that Iran and Russia would launch cooperation in supplying nuclear fuel for the Bushehr nuclear power plant.

“We inked an agreement with the Russians in 1995 in which they have announced their preparedness that if Iran produces four fuel batches by itself or with the help of others every year, they will do the needed tests and evaluations over them for maximum 26 fuel batches in 10 years, and if they don’t see any technical problem, they will load them into the heart of the reactor,” Salehi said.

Noting that Iran will display the first fuel batch produced inside the country on April 9, he said a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has also been signed by Iran and Russia to provide fuel for the nuclear power plant.

Salehi also referred to an agreement between the two countries for building two 1,000-MW nuclear power plants in Bushehr, and said construction of the two power plants will take 10 years.

Construction of the first one will take 8 years, he said, and explained that building the second plant will start 2 years after the construction of the first power plant starts.

In relevant remarks in November, Salehi stressed that the recent agreement between Tehran and Moscow on the construction of two new nuclear power plants for Iran would further strengthen the country’s stance in the nuclear talks with the six world powers.

Salehi said in a televised interview that the recent agreement between Iran and Russia for construction of two power plants and the protocol to produce nuclear fuel in Iran “will make our stances stronger in talks with Group 5+1 (the US, Russia, China, Britain and France plus Germany)”.

Reacting to certain reports by Western media about transfer of Iran’s produced fuel to Russia , he said rumors that Iran agreed to transfer its fuel to Russia or other countries, or is negotiating on the issue, are not correct. “There is no reason to send our fuel to Russia,” Salehi added.

The top nuclear officials of Iran and Russia in a meeting in Moscow in November signed an agreement on the construction of two new nuclear power plants for Iran.

The agreement was signed by Salehi and Head of Russia’s Rosatom State Atomic Energy Corporation Sergey Kiriyenko in the Russian capital.

Upon arrival in the Russian capital, Salehi told reporters that he is also due to “discuss mechanisms for nuclear fuel swaps” with the Russian side.

By Fars News Agency