Iran has passed a milestone on the road to nuclear-generated electricity. A senior Russian energy figure called it: “The beginning of the first stage of the physical start-up.” Russia has built and supplied the fuel for the Bushehr plant, in southern Iran. German company Siemens began the Bushehr plant in the 1970s, before Iran’s Islamic Revolution.
The pushing ahead with Moscow’s help brought US criticism of Russia, most recently earlier this year, although a UN Security Council resolution in June also won Russia’s support — a call for Tehran to stop its own uranium enrichment which some countries fear could lead to atomic weaponry.
Rosatom chief Sergei Kiriyenko said: “In our opinion, it is important to work in the framework of law — and achieve peaceful results. Russia has always stuck to its promises, both regarding bilateral relations and its assistance in the Bushehr project.”
Officials say it will take two to three months before the plant starts producing electricity. This comes after decades of delay. Iran says Bushehr will reduce consumption of its abundant fossil fuels, allowing it to export more oil and gas.