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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Bushehr nuclear power plant to become operational soon

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Tehran, Dec 12, IRNA -- Head of Iran's Atomic Energy Organization Fereydoun Abbasi said Wednesday that the nuclear power plant of Bushehr in southern Iran would preliminarily become operational soon.

Speaking to reporters at the end of a cabinet meeting, Abbasi said technical tests should be repeated carefully before putting into operation of the facility.

"We will announce the start of the plant's work after ensuring of its safety," said the official who is also a Presidential Advisor.

The Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant locates 17 kilometres southeast of the city of Bushehr in the Persian Gulf region.

Construction of the plant was started in 1975 by German companies, but the work was stopped in 1979 following the victory of the Islamic Revolution.

A contract for finishing the plant was signed between Iran and the Russian Ministry for Atomic Energy in 1995, with Russia's Atomstroyexport named as the main contractor.

The work was delayed several years by technical and financial challenges as well as by The West's political pressures.

The project is considered unique in terms of its technology, the political environment and the challenging physical climate. It is considered the first civilian nuclear power plant built in the Middle East.

Referring to the next round of talks between Iran and the western states, Abbasi said "colleagues of the International Atomic Energy Agency's Director General Yukiya Amano will visit Iran and hold talks with our representatives."

Abbasi added that the talks would be focused on the "alleged studies."

Islamic Republic News Agency/IRNA NewsCode: 1033853

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