'Iran's first nuclear power plant connected to grid'

ISNA report claims plant near city of Bushehr started adding electricity to national grid; IAEA expected to release "tough report."

September 4, 2011 12:06
1 minute read.
Iranian workers stand in front of Bushehr.

bushehr_311 reuters. (photo credit: Stringer Iran / Reuters)

TEHRAN - Iran's first nuclear power plant, near the Gulf city of Bushehr, has started adding electricity to the national grid, the ISNA news agency reported on Sunday.

"The Bushehr nuclear power plant joined the national grid on Saturday at 23:29 (1859 GMT) with the power of around 60 megawatts," ISNA said.

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The announcement comes three days after a statement by diplomats claiming that the UN International Atomic Energy Agency will once again highlight concern about possible military aspects to Iran's nuclear activities in its latest quarterly report, due to be submitted to member states in the next few days.

"I expect it will be a bit tougher than the last one. Still a number of outstanding matters related to PMD (possible military dimensions) that Iran refuses to answer," a Western envoy told Reuters.

An Iranian effort to show rare openness about its disputed nuclear program is doing little to dispel Western suspicions about Tehran's atomic ambitions, with one Vienna-based envoy dismissing it as just a "charm offensive".

Another diplomat painted a similar picture, saying Tehran had failed to address the IAEA's core concerns.

Western nations suspect Iran is trying to use its nuclear program to develop atomic weapons. The Islamic Republic has denied the charge, saying it wants to produce nuclear energy.

The IAEA - tasked with ensuring that nuclear technology is not diverted for military aims - has repeatedly complained about Iran's lack of cooperation over allegations of military-linked nuclear work.

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