Agreement to return spent nuclear fuel from Iran to Russia postponed again

Publish date: December 9, 2003

Moscow and Tehran will not sign an agreement about spent nuclear fuel return from Iran.

As the Russian nuclear minister Alexander Rumyantsev said in November in an exclusive interview to Itar-Tass, Iranian specialists ”simply have no time” to prepare this document, as they ”are focused on providing IAEA with information” about their nuclear programs. ”Busher NPP will not need fuel soon, the shipment will not start before the next year, so we have three months minimum to prepare the agreement” the minister said. The Secretary of the Iranian Supreme Council Hasan Rouhani confirmed Iran’s consent to sign an agreement about returning spent nuclear fuel back to Russia as it is the main condition of the Russia’s fresh nuclear fuel deliveries. The text of the agreement was drafted during the minister’s visit to Tehran back in December 2002. On August 22nd, 2003, after an evaluation carried out by the Russian Ministry of Natural Resources, the Russian Government instructed Minatom to sign the agreement about spent nuclear fuel return. Some reports indicated that Minatom was ready to go as far as buying the spent fuel back from Iran.