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Iran Nuclear Power Plant Full Launch Facing Further Delay

RIA Novosti, PUBLISHED May 31, 2012

The full capacity launch of the Bushehr nuclear power plant, IranТs first, may be rescheduled to June from May, a source in Russia's civilian nuclear power corporation, Rosatom, said on Tuesday.

"An approval from the Iranian party to launch [the plant] at 100 percent capacity has not yet been received. This phase is most likely to be postponed to June from late May," the source told RIA Novosti.

Under a bilateral agreement approved by the International Atomic Energy Agency, Russia will operate the plant, supply its fuel and take away all the spent fuel for the next two or three years, but will eventually hand over full control to Iran.

The construction of Bushehr has taken more than three decades and been dogged by delays. Russia signed a contract with Iran in February 1998 to complete the plant, which German companies first began back in 1975.

Concerns have been growing in Israel and the West that Iran is seeking to build an atomic bomb, although Tehran insists its nuclear program is entirely peaceful.

Topics: Iran, NPP Bushehr

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