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08/22/10

Photos: Loading fuel rods into Bushehr nuclear power plant

Photos by ISNA

Iran's Bushehr nuclear power plant was launched on Saturday as engineers loaded the first of 163 fuel rods into the reactor under the supervision of the International Atomic Energy Agency. The startup of the plant marked a milestone in Iran's history as the country joined 29 nations that currently generate nuclear power.


















Related Report: Blix hails 'positive' Bushehr plant launch
Source: Press TV

One day after Iran launched its first nuclear power plant, former UN chief weapons inspector Hans Blix has hailed "positive" cooperation between Tehran and Moscow.

Iran began injecting the first supply of nuclear fuel into the Bushehr nuclear power plant on Saturday, after Russia delivered its first batch of nuclear fuel.

The fact that Russia is supplying Iran with fuel is "very positive," as it demonstrates that Tehran could rely on foreign suppliers for its fuel need, Blix told the BBC on Sunday.

The remarks came on the heel of similar claims by State Department spokesman Darby Holladay.

Holladay acknowledged that the Iranian nuclear facility carries no risk of proliferation but stressed that launching the power plant "underscores that Iran does not need an indigenous enrichment capability if its intentions are purely peaceful."

The west insists that Iran should exchange its low-enriched uranium abroad for fuel for a medical research reactor.

However, Head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Ali Akbar Salehi has rejected such claims.

"Suppose we receive the required nuclear fuel for the plant from the Russians for the next ten years, what are we going to do for the next 30 to 50 years?" the Iranian nuclear point man queried on Saturday.

Iranian officials have repeatedly said that they do not "trust" the West and cannot rely on it for nuclear fuel supply.

Israel and its allies accuse Iran of pursuing a military nuclear program through its enrichment program.

Tehran rejects the accusations, arguing that as a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency and a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty it has the right to peaceful nuclear energy.

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