Source Pravda.Ru

Russia and Iran sign protocol of intention to expand nuclear power cooperation

Russia and Iran have signed a protocol of intention to expand nuclear power cooperation, Iranian vice-premier Abdollah Aghazadeh, head of Iran's Atomic Energy Organization, told RIA Novosti.

The document provides for speedier construction of the first unit of the Bushehr nuclear power plant.

"Besides," said Aghazadeh, "under the protocol a joint committee will be set up to include representatives of Russia and Iran". This committee will undertake feasibility studies for the construction of a second unit of the Bushehr station.

A third point in the agreement provides for creating conditions for the delivery of nuclear fuel by Russia to Iran by the middle of next year.

Russia's Nuclear Power Minister Alexander Rumyantsev, commenting on US accusations of Russia concerning Iranian-Russian nuclear power cooperation, said that the US has so far made no official representations to the Russian side.

Rumyantsev emphasized the difficulty of constructing the Bushehr nuclear power plant, which is due to the fact that Russia has to finish off a project started by other countries.

The head of the Russian nuclear power ministry said that there is an intention to recommend the personnel taking part in the building of the nuclear plant for a Russian prize for scientific and technological achievements. But this will not take place until after the first unit of the station is completed, Rumyantsev added.