TEHRAN, Iran, (AP) – Iran’s first nuclear power plant will start feeding the country’s power grid late next month, state television reported Sunday.
It quoted Behzad Soltani, deputy head of Iran’s nuclear department, as saying the feed from the Bushehr plant in southern Iran will begin when its output reaches 250 megawatts.
The power plant’s energy output was scheduled to reach about 900 megawatts by spring next year, he added.
That is about 11 megawatts below the full capacity of the Russian-built plant.
The plant is not part of Iranian nuclear activity that’s a source of serious concern to the West, which suspects that the Iranians are trying to produce an atomic bomb. Iran denies its nuclear program is geared toward anything other than the production of energy.
The West is pushing Tehran to fully open all of its nuclear-related facilities to international inspection and to give up uranium enrichment, a crucial step in the process of making a nuclear weapon.
The European Union is offering to meet with Iran on Dec. 5 to discuss Tehran’s nuclear program. If Iran agrees, the talks will involve a group of negotiators from the United States, Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany.