Five Russian scientists who assisted in the design of Iran's Bushehr nuclear power plant were among the 44 fatalities of Monday's Russian plain crash, Moscow's International News Agency RIA Novosti reported Thursday.Russian aircraft, particularly the TU-134 have been notoriously prone to accidents, so it isn't all that surprising that the plane went down. That will be cold comfort to not only the Russians, but the Iranians, who were relying on the Russian assistance for completing an Iranian nuclear reactor at Bushehr.
The Tupolev-134 plane broke up and caught fire upon making an emergency landing outside the northern city of Petrozavodsk. A preliminary investigation ruled out the possibility of a technical failure.
This will be a setback to the Iranian nuclear ambitions since these were among the top scientists working on the project. It will also hamper Russian nuclear energy initiatives around the world, since these were major figures in the Russian nuclear community.