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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Iran Agrees to Return Spent Nuclear Fuel

TEHRAN, Iran -- Iran has moved a step closer to producing nuclear power by agreeing to return spent fuel to Russia from a $800 million reactor being built by Moscow despite U.S. opposition, an Iranian official said Monday.

Nuclear Power Minister Alexander Rumyantsev arrived in Tehran on Sunday to finalize the nuclear program.

"Iran has accepted to return the waste fuel to Russia as one of the terms for starting the shipment of fuel," said an official at Iran's Atomic Energy Agency.

Moscow's participation in the project to build a nuclear reactor near the port of Bushehr depended on Iranian assurances that all spent fuel would be returned to Russia. "The first batch of fuel for the Bushehr nuclear plant produced by Russia is ready and packed. Russia is trying to make necessary preparations for its shipment," Rumyantsev said.

He said supplying the fuel remained contingent on signing an agreement on fuel delivery and the return of spent fuel. Iranian officials said the deal would be signed Wednesday.