Monday Sep 12, 201112:20 PM GMT
Iran's first nuclear plant operational
Mon Sep 12, 2011 11:20AM
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Bushehr nuclear power plant in southern Iran
Iran has officially launched Bushehr nuclear power plant, ending the countdown for the inauguration of the first atomic plant in the country, Press TV reports.

The nuclear power plant was launched on Monday.

The ceremony was attended by Iran's Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi, Iran's Atomic Energy Organization (IAEO) Chief Fereydoun Abbasi, Iran's Energy Minister Majid Namjou, Russian Energy Minister Sergei Shmatko and Sergei Kiriyenko, the chief of Russia's state-owned atomic energy corporation, Rosatom, IRNA reported.

“The completion of Bushehr nuclear power plant symbolizes the cooperation between Iran and Russia. It is a representation of human respect believed by both countries, and a model of how atom can be utilized for the comfort of nations,” IAEO chief said Monaday.

“Iranian scientist drew important lessons from Japan's Fukushima nuclear disaster. The Islamic Republic of Iran would like to declare to its Persian Gulf's southern littoral states that it is determined to observe international nuclear security measures following the launch of the Bushehr nuclear plant,” Abbasi added.

He also praised selfless efforts in the construction of Bushehr nuclear power plant, which was among ideals of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

“The launch of Iran's first nuclear plant is a demonstration of self-belief and perseverance to defend sovereignty,” Abbasi pointed out.

In a joint press conference in the capital Tehran on Sunday, Iran's Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi and Russian Energy Minister Sergei Shmatko both reassured the international community on the safety of the Bushehr power plant.

“It has always been said that Iran is a member of the [Nuclear] Non-Proliferation Treaty [NPT]. Iran is committed to all the international commitments existing within the framework of the NPT and the [International Atomic Energy Agency] IAEA's charter,” Salehi said.

The Russian energy minister, for his part, said that the plant meets all the international standards.

“The Bushehr nuclear power plant has been built, meeting all the international standards and under the supervision of the International Atomic Energy Agency,” Shmatko said.

Bushehr power plant will initially generate electricity at 40 percent of its capacity. The plant will reach its full capacity of one-thousand megawatts in about two months.

The power station was linked to the national grid earlier this month.

Initial construction of the facility began in 1975 by German companies, but the work was stopped following the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

In 1995, Iran and Russia reached an agreement to complete the project. But power generation was delayed several times due to a number of technical and financial problems.

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