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Saturday, December 22, 2007

How Russia's nuclear fuel delivery to Iran benefits nonproliferation

Analytical from Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists
By Pavel Podvig
It's possible that by delivering the first 180 fuel assemblies to the Bushehr nuclear power plant in Iran on December 16, Russia scored a critical victory for the nuclear nonproliferation regime. Early acknowledgement of the event's importance came from an unlikely source--President George W. Bush. Commenting on the Russian shipment, he publicly urged Iran to now suspend its controversial enrichment program, arguing that with Russian fuel, Iran no longer needed to enrich uranium on its own. Of course, it's unlikely that Iran will stop its centrifuges--at least not any time soon. But if Washington accepts the shipment of rector fuel to Bushehr as legitimate--despite the continuing controversy surrounding the Iranian nuclear program--it will set an important precedent that should help build a workable system of fuel supply guarantees.
(full story here)

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