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Wed Nov 28, 2012 3:38AM
A view of the Bushehr nuclear power plant in southern Iran (file photo)

A view of the Bushehr nuclear power plant in southern Iran (file photo)

Iran's Bushehr nuclear power plant is ready to resume operations after being reloaded with fuel. On Monday, the refueling operation was conducted in the presence of experts from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), IRNA said, citing a report published by RIA Novosti on Tuesday. On November 18, Iranian Ambassador to the IAEA Ali Asghar Soltanieh said the removal of the fuel had been a "very normal technical procedure” related to the transfer of responsibility for the plant’s operation from Russia to Iran. Iran signed a deal with Russia in 1995, according to which the plant was originally scheduled for completion in 1999. However, the project was repeatedly delayed by the Russian side due to intense pressure exerted by the United States and its Western allies. In September 2011, the Bushehr nuclear power plant officially began its operations, generating electricity at 40 percent of its capacity. The 1000-megawatt plant, which is operating under the full supervision of the IAEA, reached its maximum power generation capacity for the first time on August 30, 2012. Iran and Russia have assured the international community that the plant is fully compliant with high-level safety standards and IAEA safeguards. MHB/HGL
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