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Iran Opens Its First Nuclear Power Plant


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NY Times:

TEHRAN — Thirty-six years after construction began under the shah, Iran finally opened its first nuclear power plant at a ceremony on Saturday.

Attended by senior officials from Iran and Russia, the ceremony marked the beginning of the transfer of low-enriched uranium fuel rods from a storage site into the plant.

Officials of both countries said that Saturday’s events signified the opening, not the startup, of the plant near Bushehr, in southern Iran, as a working nuclear plant.

“This is a special day for both Russian and Iranian specialists,” the chief of Russia’s Rosatom state nuclear power company, Sergei Kiriyenko, said, shaking hands and smiling with his Iranian counterparts, in television reports broadcast in Russia.

Russia helped build the station through years of concern by the West that Iran was using its civilian program to mask a plan to build a bomb.

And it was a day sure to upset United States diplomats who had encouraged Russia to delay the opening as a way to add to economic sanctions imposed on Iran as a result of its refusal to cease enrichment of uranium at its other nuclear facilities.

Russia has promised to provide all the fuel the plant will require and has demanded the return of all spent fuel.

OK, President World Citizen, what do you do now? A disturbing scenario for the future of the region can be found here.
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