Iran will open its first nuclear power plant by September, said Head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran Ali Akbar Salehi in a statement to the IRNA. The plant is situated in the southern Iranian city of Bushehr. Salehi said the plant passed one of its “most important and final tests, the hot water test, before its inauguration. Iran also plans to lunch a new satellite in the last week of August, according to an Iranian news report cited by AFP Wednesday.
“We have reached the point of no return,” said Salehi of the power plant. “Grounds are prepared for the final opening of the reactor. After 37 years, the grounds have been prepared for the opening.” Construction of the power plant was first contracted by Berlin in 1975, but Germany ended its involvement after the 1979 Islamic Revolution. Then Russia agreed to build the 1,000-megawatt reactor in 1999, but the $1 billion project has suffered repeated delays, Reuters reported. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spoke out against Russia’s plans to start the Bushehr plant, calling it “premature” in light of international concern over Iran’s nuclear program. Iran says its nuclear ambitions are peaceful, and aimed at generating electricity. Speaking of Iran’s planned satellite launch in August, Iranian Telecommunication Minister Reza Taghipour said the satellite, Rasad 1, marks Iran’s “newest achievement in space technology.” Teheran launched its first Iranian-built satellite in 2009, called the Omid, conciding with the 30th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution.
Categories: Middle East