Monday, April 15, 2013

GCC Urges Iran to Boost Nuke Safety



by Asharq Al-Awsat

More tremors hit Southern Iran 

A file picture dated August 21, 2010, shows a general view of the Iranian nuclear power plant in Bushehr, southern Iran. (EPA)

A file picture dated August 21, 2010, shows a general view of the Iranian nuclear power plant in Bushehr, southern Iran. Source: EPA

Riyadh, Asharq Al-Awsat—The secretary-general of the Gulf Cooperation Council has urged Iran to join an international accord on nuclear safety following an earthquake near the country’s lone energy-producing reactor.

Abdullatif Al-Zayani opened a meeting in Riyadh today in order to discuss the risk of radiation spreading over the Gulf if Iran’s Bushehr nuclear power plant is damaged by another earthquake.

A 6.3-magnitude earthquake struck close to the Bushehr nuclear power plant last week, killing at least 37 people. It left the plant undamaged, according to Iranian officials and the Russian company that built it.

There is no indication of any radiation leak following last week’s earthquake, and the head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization said the plant was built to withstand much bigger quakes.

Al-Zayani urged Iran to join the UN’s Convention on Nuclear Safety, which allows greater review by the UN’s atomic watchdog agency. Iran is part of other UN pacts to report any nuclear accidents.

In a related development, several tremors hit parts of southern Iran today, according to the semi-official Fars News Agency.

According to the report, the biggest of the tremors measuring 4.3 on the Richter scale struck the city of Kaki, Bushehr Province, at approximately 07:31 local time (0301 GMT).

The deadliest quake to hit Iran was in June 1990, which measured 7.7 on the Richter scale. About 37,000 people were killed and more than 100,000 injured in the northwestern provinces of Gilan and Zanjan. It devastated 27 towns and about 1,870 villages.


Asharq Al-Awsat

Source: http://www.aawsat.net/2013/04/article55298734

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