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Iran's Bushehr NPP no threat to its neighbors - experts

13:49 13/05/2009
ABU DHABI, May 13 (RIA Novosti) - The Bushehr nuclear power plant in southern Iran poses no threat to neighboring Arab countries, a Saudi newspaper reported on Wednesday following an Arab delegation visit to the facility.

According to Al-Hayat, a delegation of Persian Gulf countries visited Iran's first nuclear power plant last week to familiarize themselves with the work being carried out at the NPP.

Samir Al-Asfour, director of the radiology department at the Kuwaiti Health Ministry and an engineer by profession, told the paper that Iranian specialists working at the Bushehr NPP had explained the plant's operation and guaranteed the water treatment system posed no threat to the environment, including Persian Gulf waters.

The Iranian specialists assured the delegation that the reactor was safe and said there was no chance of radiation leaks, adding the plant was supervised by Russian experts, with Iran maintaining the reactor's operation, its safety and radiation monitoring, the paper said.

"The Iranian nuclear reactor is expected to be fully prepared for work in the first quarter of 2010," the Kuwaiti engineer said.

Al-Asfour said that there was no possibility of Persian Gulf Arab countries constructing any joint nuclear power plants in the next twenty five years.

The construction of the Bushehr plant was started in 1975 by German companies. However, German firms stopped work after a U.S. embargo was imposed on high technology supplies to Iran following the 1979 Islamic Revolution and the subsequent U.S. embassy siege in Tehran.

Russia signed a contract with Iran to complete the plant in February 1998 originally due for completion at the end of 2006. The date was postponed several times over financial problems and claims Russia was reluctant to finish the facility amid UN sanctions and suspicions of a covert nuclear weapons program.

The Islamic Republic insists it needs its nuclear program to provide civilian energy.

Russia's state nuclear power corporation Rosatom Sergei Kiriyenko announced in March that Russia had completed the construction of Iran's first nuclear power plant at Bushehr. The announcement was followed by a series of pre-launch tests at the facility.

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RIA NovostiIran's Bushehr NPP no threat to its neighbors - experts

13:49 13/05/2009 The Bushehr nuclear power plant in southern Iran poses no threat to neighboring Arab countries, a Saudi newspaper reported on Wednesday following an Arab delegation visit to the facility. >>

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