Iran refuels nuclear plant

By IANS/RIA Novosti,

Moscow: Iran’s Bushehr nuclear power plant has been refuelled and is ready to resume operations, the IRNA news agency reported Wednesday.

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The refuelling operation was conducted Monday in the presence of experts from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the agency said.

On Nov 18, Iran’s IAEA Ambassador Ali Asghar Soltanieh said the removal of the fuel was a “routine technical procedure” related to the transfer of responsibility for the plant’s operation from Russia to Iran.

Iran should be on its own with its first nuclear power plant after Russia officially hands Bushehr over at the end of December.

The station began operating at full capacity Aug 31 as the reactor of Bushehr’s Unit 1 was brought up to 100 percent of capacity.

Construction of Bushehr began in the 1970s but has been dogged by delays. Russia signed a billion-dollar deal with Tehran to complete the plant in 1998.

The plant’s launch in August 2010 prompted Israel and other nations to express fears the reactor could help Iran create an atomic bomb. Tehran has denied the allegations, saying the facility was for peaceful power generation only.

The plant was connected to Iran’s power grid in September 2011.