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Iran nuclear plant not operational before 2008: Russian contractor

(AFP) A nuclear plant Russia is building for Iran will not be completed before autumn 2008 at the earliest, Russian news agencies quoted one of the companies building the plant as saying Wednesday.  “The real date for the physical launch of the power plant is being delayed until autumn 2008,” RIA Novosti quoted Ivan Istomin, director of nuclear builder Energoprogress as saying.  Istomin rejected Iranian claims that the plant, the Islamic republic’s first, could be operational this year.  “It can be said quite precisely that putting the Bushehr plant into operation this autumn is unrealistic,” he said.  “Even if Russia delivered the first shipment of nuclear fuel to Bushehr tomorrow, it would be impossible to launch the station within six months.”  The much-delayed project is at the center of Iran’s plans for a civilian nuclear energy program, which Washington fears could cover the development of nuclear weapons.  The comments from Energoprogress, one of the subcontractors working on the plant, are the latest indication that Moscow may be slowing work on the project.  Construction stalled earlier this year over charges that Iran had fallen behind on payments and over delays in shipping parts for the plant from third countries.  A pair of Iranian nuclear negotiators flew to Moscow on Tuesday to attempt to persuade Russia to complete the plant, Viennese diplomats earlier told AFP.

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July 25, 2007 - Posted by | Blogroll, Homeland security, news, personal, politics, random, religion, Terrorism, Terrorism In The U.S., Terrorism News, Uncategorized, War-On-Terror

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