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Iran tests its first nuclear power plant

Iranian and Russian officials tested the first nuclear power plant built in Iran. The move is likely to raise concerns among the US and its Western allies worried over Iranian atomic ambitions.

world Updated: Feb 25, 2009 23:24 IST

Iranian and Russian officials tested on Wednesday the first nuclear power plant built in Iran. The move is likely to raise concerns among the US and its Western allies worried over Iranian atomic ambitions.

The pilot operations at the 1,000-megawatt light-water reactor in the southern Iranian port of Bushehr — built with Russian assistance under a $1 billion contract — have long been delayed over construction and supply glitches.

It’s unclear when the reactor could be switched on. Test runs normally occur a few months before a reactor's start-up. The plant will be run on enriched uranium, which has worried the West because the spent fuel could later be turned into plutonium, potential material for nuclear warheads. Iran has denied it is pursuing nuclear weapons.