Iran begins fuelling Bushehr nuclear reactor amid talks appeal – Xinhua
Last Updated on Tuesday, 26 October 2010 08:26 Written by admin Tuesday, 26 October 2010 08:26
A worker works in a part of the electricity generating plant of the Bushehr nuclear power plant in southern Iran, Oct. 26, 2010. Iran has begun loading fuel into the Bushehr nuclear power plant, the first in Iran, on Tuesday. (Xinhua/ Mehr News Agency/Majid Asgaripour)
TEHRAN, Oct. 27 (Xinhua) — Iran began loading uranium fuel rods into the core of its first nuclear power plant on Tuesday, a process considered as the last major step to start up the long-delayed Russia-built reactor.
Head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran Ali-Akbar Salehi said “injecting 163 fuel rods into the core of the Bushehr reactor has started,” and the plant would join national grid in mid-February, the semi-official ISNA news agency reported.
“Although it is an approximate date, we hope that if everything goes according to the schedule, we could see the plant connected to the national grid in mid-February,” Salehi said.
Officials said the fuelling of the Bushehr plant termed by Salehi as “one of the most sensitive nuclear power plants in the world” showed Iran’s nuclear drive was on track despite sanctions aimed at curbing its uranium enrichment, a major concern for the West.
Yukiya Amano, chief of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), called on Iran to address concerns about its nuclear aims.
“I am requesting Iran to take concrete steps, concrete measures toward the full implementation of their obligations,” he said in Moscow.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Tuesday that Iran is entitled to the peaceful use of civilian nuclear power, but not to nuclear weapons.
Washington has no problem with the Bushehr plant, she told reporters at a meeting with Austrian Foreign Minister Michael Spindelegger.
“Our problem is not with their reactor at Bushehr, our problem is with their facilities at places like Natanz and their secret facility at Qom and other places where we believe they are conducting their weapons program,” she said.
Clinton also voiced Washington’s hope to see Tehran back to the negotiating table with the United States, Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China, on a package of incentives in exchange for Iran halting enrichment.