Iran's nuclear power plan to be operational by next September

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Nicosia, July 29 (ANI): The new head of the Atomic Energy Organisation of Iran Ali-Akbar Salehi was quoted as saying that the Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant would be operational by the end of next September.

MP Alireza Salimi said that Salimi told a Majlis (Parliament) committee on Sunday that the controversial nuclear power plant will be operational in two months.

The plant will generate 500 MW of electricity, fulfilling an old dream of Iranians. he relevant contract with Russians was signed in January 1995, but the completion of the plant has been repeatedly delayed.

Russia in 2008 completed delivery of nuclear fuel to the station under a contract estimated to be worth about one billion dollars.

Moscow says Iran will return all spent fuel rods to Russia.

Last March, the head of Russia's state nuclear power corporation Rosatom, Sergei Kiriyenko, announced that Russia had completed the construction of the plant. A series of pre-launch tests were conducted after the announcement.

Iranian Energy Minister Parviz Fattah has said that the Bushehr would be brought up to full capacity by the end of March 2010.

The construction of the Bushehr power plant was viewed with great suspicion by the US and Western Governments in general.

Opposition to Russian construction of Bushehr rested on three main issues. irst was that weapons grade plutonium could be extracted from the reactor allowing the Iranians to construct nuclear weapons.

Secondly, the US feared that the Russians and the Iranians were using Bushehr as a cover for the transfer of other sensitive technology that would normally be prohibited.

Finally, the US was concerned that the knowledge gained by Iranian scientists working at Bushehr could further Iran's nuclear weapons program. (ANI)

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