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Iran Tests its First Nuclear Power Plant | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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BUSHEHR, Iran, (AP) – Iranian and Russian nuclear officials are testing the first nuclear power plant built in Iran.

A spokesman for the Iranian atomic energy organization, Mohsen Shirazi, says virtual fuel has been loaded into the Russian-built plant. The material consists of lead and is meant to imitate the enriched uranium needed to run the plant.

Russian nuclear agency chief Sergei Kiriyenko is inspecting the process Wednesday.

The pilot operations at the 1,000-megawatt light-water reactor — built with Russia under a $1 billion contract — have been long delayed. The reactor is expected to become operational later this year.

The reactor’s construction has raised concerns among the U.S. and its Western allies that it could help Tehran develop nuclear weapons.