Saturday, June 07, 2008

Russia: preparations for Iran nuclear reactor startup set for autumn

The Associated Press
Published: June 7, 2008

ST. PETERSBURG, Russia: Russian news agencies say preparations for the startup of a nuclear power plant in Iran will begin this autumn.

The agencies quoted Russian nuclear agency chief Sergei Kiriyenko as saying builders are in the final stages of work on the plant near the city of Bushehr.

His remarks Saturday were in line with a statement by the head of the Russian company building the plant that it would not be started up before late 2008. But Iran has said the reactor would begin operating at half its capacity this summer.

Russia has been building Iran's first nuclear power plant for more than a decade. Delays have prompted speculation that Moscow has used the project to pressure Iran to halt nuclear activities.

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