Friday, October 15, 2004

Iran Completes Nuclear Reactor

Russian and Iranian officials have announced that they have completed the construction of the Bushehr lightwater nuclear reactor in Iran:

Iran and Russia said they have completed construction of the nuclear power reactor at Bushehr.

The announcement came less than two months after Iran said Bushehr would not begin operations until late 2006, three years behind schedule. At the time, officials said Bushehr — a project estimated at $1 billion — was delayed by the Russian revision of the original nuclear reactor design, drafted by the German firm Simens in the 1970s.
But officials from both countries said on Thursday that Russia completed the construction of Bushehr and the installation of the first 1,000-megawatt light-water reactor unit. They said the key remaining task was for Russia to supply Iran with the nuclear fuel required to operate Bushehr, Middle East Newsline reported.

So Iran’s Manhattan project steams ahead under the nose of the United Nations and the IAEA, who is supposed to be monitoring Iran’s nuclear programs (by the way, shouldn’t the IAEA have known that Iran was close to finishing the reactor, that is too much to expect from the UN or the IAEA). Officials from both countries also stated that Iran needed only the shipments of nuclear fuel from Iran to begin operation:

Last week, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov visited Iran and assured his hosts that his government would provide the nuclear fuel for Bushehr, a move that has been delayed because of Iran's refusal to bear the costs of returning the spent nuclear fuel to Moscow. Earlier, a senior Iranian official said nuclear fuel deliveries must begin seven months before the facility was scheduled to launch operations

"The [nuclear fuel] agreement is practically ready," Borudjerdi said. "If the experts agree on a few remaining commercial matters, it could be signed in November."

Nuclear fuel. Exactly the material John Kerry proposed selling to Iran. It is the last component needed to begin the operation of a reactor. Americans should be furious that the Russians have agreed to supply the fuel to Iran, and the assertion by a presidential candidate to do the same should be a disqualifying remark.

Iran is developing nuclear weapons. They have a reactor built and ready to go. John Kerry has stated that, if elected, he would supply them the one ingredient they need to start the reactor. George Bush has stated that he will not allow the Iranians to possess nuclear weapons. This is not a difficult choice.

Be sure to check the current posts for updates.