Syria is considering building its first nuclear power plant by 2020 to meet rapidly growing electricity demand, a document from the Arab state's Atomic Energy Commission showed.
Russia said in May last year, during a visit to Damascus by President Dmitry Medvedev, that it was studying building an atomic power plant in Syria.
Syrian officials have given no details since then and none was available to comment on Tuesday.
Countries have the right to develop nuclear energy provided they comply with their commitments under the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and the facilities are under IAEA oversight.
The Syrian document, from a presentation made at a closed-door seminar on nuclear energy at the IAEA's Vienna headquarters last week, made no mention of the dispute.
The country, which only has limited fossil fuel supplies, has been plagued for years with electricity shortages.
Its paper on "the development of the national nuclear infrastructure" predicted that national power demand would increase by more than a third between 2010 and 2015.
Because of this development, it said building Syria's first nuclear power plant by 2020 as well as a number of hydro power plants within the next few years were being considered.
It said the IAEA, which supports countries in developing peaceful nuclear energy programmes, was providing assistance in the preparation of infrastructure.
Dozens of countries in the world, some in the conflict-prone Middle East, are looking into introducing possible nuclear energy programmes, to reduce their dependence on oil and gas.
ReutersLast Mod: 15 Şubat 2011, 17:47