Sixth nuclear fuel batch lands in Iran

Business Materials 24 January 2008 17:03 (UTC +04:00)

( AP ) - Iran received a sixth shipment of nuclear fuel Thursday from Russia, destined for a power plant being constructed in the southern port of Bushehr, the official IRNA news agency reported.

The report said the 11-ton load of enriched uranium arrived in Iran and was transferred to the light-water Bushehr nuclear power plant Thursday morning. The remainder of the fuel will arrive in two separate shipments in the coming weeks, it said.

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.

Russia's decision to ship nuclear fuel to Iran follows a U.S. intelligence report released last month that concluded Tehran had stopped its nuclear weapons program in late 2003 and had not resumed it since. Iran says it never had a weapons program.

The United States and Russia have said that with a source of foreign nuclear fuel, 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 to fuel a 300-megawatt light-water reactor in the country's southwest.

Iranian officials have said they plan to generate 20,000 megawatts of electricity through nuclear energy in the next two decades.