Iran’s first n-plant to come online Aug 21

By IANS/RIA Novosti,

Moscow : The launch of the Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant in Iran has been set for Aug 21, the Russian Federal Atomic Energy Agency (Rosatom) said Friday.

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Rosatom spokesman Sergei Novikov told RIA Novosti that the first reactor at the Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant would be loaded with fuel Aug 21.

“From then on, it (the reactor) will be qualified as (an operational) nuclear power plant,” Novikov said.

A Russian delegation headed by Rosatom chief Sergei Kiriyenko will attend the launch ceremony.

The construction of Iran’s first nuclear plant was begun in 1975 by several German construction companies. They pulled out after a US embargo on high-technology supplies to Iran after the 1979 Islamic Revolution and the subsequent US Embassy siege in Tehran.

Russia signed a contract with Iran to complete construction in February 1998.

On June 9, 2010, the UN Security Council approved a fourth round of sanctions against Iran over its nuclear programme, including tougher financial controls and an expanded arms embargo, as well as an asset ban on three dozen companies and a travel freeze on individuals.

Later, the US and the European Union imposed extra sanctions against Iran, including tougher restrictions on the energy sector and a tougher trade embargo.

The construction of the Bushehr plant has not been affected by the sanctions against Iran.