Iran's Bushehr nuclear power plant is open and operating at full capacity. This is the first power plant of its type in the Islamic Republic.
While Western nations continue to harass Iran on its nuclear program, the country insists that electricity generation is the core reason for the Islamic Republic's nuclear activities.
The country has now officially opened its first nuclear power plant. The power plant is located close to the Gulf city of Bushehr in Iran's southwest and the first block of the plant has the capacity to generate 1,000 megawatts.
The plant has taken over 40 years to build and Iran now views it as the symbol of its nuclear program.
The equipment and building were originally made by Germany, and were later refitted for Russian nuclear technology.
A representative of Atomstroyexport, a Russian engineering company, said on Friday; "The reactor of Bushehr nuclear power plant’s Unit 1 was brought up to 100 per cent of its projected capacity at 18:47 local time on August 30."
Video screen capture
Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant, Iran.
Initially the construction of the facility was led by the German company, Siemens AG. However, after the 1979 Islamic Revolution, Berlin joined the U.S. embargo on exports to Iran and Siemens was prompted to quit the project.
The Russian company, Atomstroyexport then took over the task in 1998. The company reworked over 12,000 tons of German designed equipment to render it compatible with Russian nuclear technology, and redesigned the facility to fit a Russian-made reactor.
Nuclear inspectors do not regard Bushehr as a nuclear proliferation threat, as under its contract of operation, the spent fuel is repatriated to Russia, and therefore cannot be processed into weapons-grade plutonium.
At the summit of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) held on August 30 and 31, where UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon told Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei to take concrete steps to prove Iran's nuclear program is peaceful, Ban was invited to visit the country's nuclear sites to see for himself that Iran is not working towards a nuclear weapon.
However, on Thursday, the IAEA issued a report stating that Iran was doubling the number of uranium enrichment centrifuges at the country's underground Fordow site. This report has been slammed by Iran as a "political stunt" orchestrated by Western governments.
Kazem Jalali, a member of Iranian Parliament's national security and foreign affairs committee, said the report was intended to “overshadow the meeting in Tehran."
“It seems that this report is a scenario for psychological warfare, because Iran was able to show its authority and international position at the NAM summit,” he added.
Iran has announced plans to build a second unit at Bushehr in the future.