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Final countdown for Iran's first atomic energy plant

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Final countdown for Iran's first atomic energy plant

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The irreversible process of loading fuel rods into Iran’s first atomic energy plant will begin this Saturday after a delay of almost 40 years.

Tight security surrounds the inauguration at Bushehr.

Scientists hope to begin generating electricity by the end of the year.

The plant has been completed with help from Moscow, despite fears that Iran’s nuclear programme may be geared to developing weapons.

“This is a global project which once again shows that if Iran develops nuclear energy peacefully under the control of inspectors and in line with all the international legislation, then Iran, along with any other country, has the right to do so and Russia will support that,” Russia’s atomic energy chief Sergei Kirylenko told Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.

Tehran has so far faced four sets of UN sanctions for its refusal to halt uranium enrichment.

US officials have reportedly convinced Israel that Tehran would take at least a year to build an atomic weapon. Israel has hinted in the past that it may attack Iran’s nuclear facilities if it suspects they are being used for that purpose.