Iran gets 5th shipment of nuclear fuel

Iranian TV says Teheran has received 55 tons of fuel out of 82 tons needed for Bushehr power plant.

bushehr front 224 88 (photo credit: AP [file])
bushehr front 224 88
(photo credit: AP [file])
Iran received the fifth shipment of nuclear fuel from Russia on Tuesday for a power plant being constructed in the southern port of Bushehr, state radio reported. The 11-ton consignment of enriched uranium arrived at the light-water Bushehr nuclear power plant on Tuesday morning, and the remainder of the fuel will arrive in three separate shipments in coming weeks, the television reported. "Of 82 tons of initial fuel needed for the Bushehr nuclear power plant, 55 tons have been shipped to Iran so far," the television report said. Iran received the fourth shipment of nuclear fuel from Russia on Sunday. The first shipment arrived on December 17 after months of dispute between the two countries, allegedly over delayed construction payments for the reactor. Iran has said Bushehr, the country's first nuclear reactor, will begin operating in the summer of 2008, producing half its 1,000-megawatt capacity of electricity. Teheran heralded the first shipment as a victory, saying it proved its nuclear program was peaceful, not a cover for weapons development as claimed by the US and some of its allies. The US initially opposed Russian participation in building the Bushehr reactor and supplying it with fuel, but reversed its position about a year ago to obtain Moscow's support for the first set of UN sanctions against Iran. Washington was also influenced by Iran's agreement to return spent nuclear fuel from the reactor back to Russia to ensure it doesn't extract plutonium to make atomic bombs. The United States and Russia have said the supply of nuclear fuel means Iran has no need to continue its own uranium enrichment program - a process that can provide fuel for a reactor or fissile material for a bomb. Iran has insisted it would continue enriching uranium because it needed to provide fuel to a 300-megawatt light-water reactor it was building in the southwestern town of Darkhovin. Iranian officials have said they plan to generate 20,000 megawatts of electricity through nuclear energy in the next two decades.