Iran plans test run of Bushehr nuclear plant Wednesday

February 24th, 2009 - 3:10 am ICT by IANS  

Tehran, Feb 24 (RIA Novosti) Iran has said it will turn on its Russian-built nuclear power plant in the Persian Gulf city of Bushehr for a test run Wednesday.
A test run of the Bushehr nuclear plant will be conducted Feb 25 in the presence of Russia’s atomic energy corporation Rosatom head Sergei Kiriyenko and Iran’s Atomic Energy Organisation (AEO) chief Gholam Reza Aghazadeh, an AEO spokesman said.

The Bushehr nuclear plant, being built with Russia’s assistance, was originally scheduled for completion by the end of 2006.

Though Russia has cited financial problems for the delay, it has been suggested that Moscow was delaying the work due to Western suspicions that the plant may be used for making nuclear bombs.

Iran insists that its nuclear programme is only to generate energy for civilian purposes.

Russia has supplied nuclear fuel for the plant between December 2007 and January 2008 under the supervision of the UN nuclear watchdog IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency). Iran has agreed to return the spent nuclear fuel to Russia.

The $1 billion Bushehr plant is being built under a contract signed by the two countries in 1998.

Earlier, Iran’s Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki had said that the plant would be operational in the first half of 2009.

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