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Iran: West willing to help on second nuclear plant
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Iran's Management and Construction of Nuclear Plants Company said Sunday some Western countries have declared their readiness to cooperate with Iran on its second light-water nuclear plant, Iran's English-language Press TV reported.

Iranian technicians are currently designing the country's second nuclear plant in Darkhovin, which is located in the southern province of Khuzestan.

"Several Western countries have already declared their readiness to cooperate with Iran on the project," Managing director of the company Hamid Soltani was quoted as saying. "We will try to use international experience."

The construction of the 360-megawatt light-water nuclear plant is scheduled to begin by 2012, Press TV said.

Iran's official IRNA news agency reported in August that Iran is designing a 360-megawatt nuclear power plant in Darkhovin.

Russia is helping Iran build the country's first nuclear power plant in the southern port of Bushehr. The plant was expected to launch early this year, but its operation was postponed for several months due to disputes on payment.

Russian Ambassador to Tehran Alexander Sadovnikov said in August that Bushehr nuclear power plant would be ready by the end of 2008.

Local media reported recently that Bushehr nuclear power plant would be operational in early 2009.

IRNA also reported in August that Iran was preparing to build more nuclear power plants.

Ahmad Fayyazbakhsh, deputy chief of Iran's Atomic Energy Organization and head of a state-owned nuclear energy production company, said his company has signed an agreement with six local companies, assigning them to hunt for potential sites for new nuclear power plants within 13 months.

Iran repeatedly insists that its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes only. The United States and its Western allies, however, fear that Tehran is trying to build nuclear weapons.

(Xinhua News Agency October 20, 2008)

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