Iran to test its first nuclear power plant Wednesday

February 25th, 2009 - 8:08 am ICT by IANS  

Tehran, Feb 25 (IANS) Iran will test its first nuclear power plant Wednesday near the Persian Gulf city of Bushehr.
The Russian-built nuclear power plant, some 15 km south of Bushehr City, is expected to generate 1,000 megawatt of electricity.

A Russian delegation, led by the country’s state atomic corporation Rosatom chief Sergei Kiriyenko, arrived here early Wednesday to oversee the test run of the plant, IRNA reported.

Kiriyenko is expected to attend a joint press conference with Iran’s Atomic Energy Organisation (AEO) chief Reza Aqazadeh after visiting the site. The exact date of the commissioning of the plant will be announced Wednesday.

AEO’s spokesman Mohsen Delaviz said the Russian experts would be in Bushehr for another year to help in the plant’s operation as per the agreement with Iran.

In 1974, a Germany company had initially started the work on the project but abandoned it following Iran’s Islamic revolution in 1979.

A Russian company called “Atomstroyexport” signed a contract in 1995 to complete the project.

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.

Western countries have accused Iran of having plans for developing nuclear bombs, but Tehran insists its nuclear programme is only to generate energy for civilian purposes.

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