Monday, February 23, 2009

Iran To Test Commercial Nuclear Plant

Iran plans to operate its first nuclear power plant this year and is performing tests this week at the 1,000-megawatt reactor. The Bushehr plant is being built by the Russian state company Atomstroiexport, which also supplies enriched uranium for the plant's operation. The Russian program with Iran is similar to our Global Nuclear Energy Partnership (GNEP) program that helps other nations use commercial nuclear power while protecting against proliferation of nuclear weapons. The spent uranium has to be returned to Russia. If Iran sticks to its commercial use of nuclear power to generate electricity, it should be a valuable asset to the Iranian people.

According to the United Nations, Iran is cooperating well with U.N. International Atomic Energy Agency nuclear inspectors. Iran would have to withdraw from the Non-Proliferation Treaty, kick out international inspectors, break U.N. seals on batches of uranium and shut down dozens of U.N. cameras that monitor nuclear sites across the country in order to start producing nuclear weapons. The Center agrees with U.S. and Israeli policies that production of nuclear weapons by Iran is unacceptable. (The Washington Post, 2/23/09)

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