Bushehr Nuclear Plant

Reuters reports that Arab Gulf states are calling for greater assurances from Iran about the safety of the Bushehr Nuclear Plant, which is located in an earthquake-prone region.

The report indicates that at a meeting of the IAEA Board of Governors, the Arab Gulf states called for further investigation of the power plant to ascertain the impact of a recent earthquake in the region.

Qatar and Saudi Arabia reportedly expressed grave concern to the IAEA in this regard, and Reuters adds that the Bushehr Power Plant is closer to the capitals of the five Arab states than it is to the Iranian capital of Tehran.

A deadly earthquake in Bushehr about two months ago left more than 30 people dead, but Iranian and Russian officials immediately reassured the public that the power plant, which was built to withstand earthquakes measuring 8 on the Richter scale, was not affected by this quake. The April earthquake was measured at 7.7.

Two western diplomats told Associated Press on Tuesday June 4 that there is some evidence that indicates the power plant may have been damaged by the earthquake. The news was immediately refuted by the Russian contractors of the Bushehr Power Plant.

Ali Asghar Soltanieh, Iran’s representative to the IAEA, was quoted as saying that the Russian contractors are responsible for monitoring the nuclear plant, adding: “We have expected them to apply the highest safety standards in this reactor and, therefore, it is their responsibility.”