Russian ministry confirms Bushehr launch ceremony scheduled for September 12

The opening ceremony for Iran’s first nuclear power plant, Bushehr, is scheduled for September 12 in the city of Bushehr, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said on Thursday.

The head of Russia’s Federal Agency for Atomic Energy, Sergei Kirienko, will attend the ceremony marking the launch of the Russian-built plant, the agency’s spokesman said.

It was reported earlier that Russian Energy Minister Sergei Shmatko will also participate in the launch.

The Bushehr power plant will start operating at 40% capacity under the supervision of Russian experts for a year before its final transfer to Iranian technicians, Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi said in an interview with official news agency IRNA.

On Monday Bushehr fed its first kilowatts of electricity into the national grid.

The plant was generating around 60 megawatts on Saturday evening, IRNA reported.

The fuel for Bushehr was provided by Russia, which completed the long-delayed construction of the plant last summer. The plant was expected to start operating in February.

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.

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