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Fueling of Iran’s nuclear plant begins

21 August 2010 6:51

Iran has begun loading its first nuclear power plant in the southern city of Bushehr with fuel in an effort to provide the country with nuclear-generated electricity.

Nuclear fuel is being transferred to the Bushehr reactor under the supervision of the International Atomic Energy Agency and senior officials from Iran and Russia.

The Russian-completed plant is finally being launched after years of delay.

163 fuel rods are to be transferred to the core of the plant.

The fueling comes after head of Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Ali Akbar Salehi and Russian Federal Atomic Energy Agency Director Sergei Kiriyenko held talks earlier on Saturday ahead of the inaugural ceremony of the Bushehr nuclear power plant.

Iran’s AEOI chief said the fueling process will be completed by September 5.

For his part, Kiriyenko lauded the “physical launch process” of the plant and said, “Bushehr plant is a unique power plant, as most of its parts and equipment have been installed on the ones mounted by the Germans,” said Kiriyenko, quoted by IRNA.

He further expressed satisfaction with Russia’s commitment to its part of the deal and noted, “This is an important event. We declare that Russia has stood by all its commitments to the Bushehr nuclear power plant.”

Iranian officials say they expected to use nuclear-generated electricity two or three months following the fuel launch of the plant.

The reactor’s construction was resumed by Russia in 1995, after the German contractor withdrew from the project soon after the 1979 Islamic Revolution in the country.

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