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Iran nuclear power plant begins generation

Associated Press / September 5, 2011

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TEHRAN - Iran’s first nuclear power plant has been connected to the national power grid for a test run, Iran state radio reported yesterday.

The report quoted Mohammad Ahmadian, Iran’s deputy nuclear chief, as saying the plant began to generate 60 megawatts of electricity at about midnight.

Ahmadian said a ceremony marking the connection to the power grid will be held today. He expressed hope that the plant would feed the grid at full capacity in coming months.

The power plant in the southern Iranian port of Bushehr has a generating capacity of 1,000 megawatts.

The plant, built by Iran with Russian help, was supposed to go into operation over the past years but that had been repeatedly postponed.

Also yesterday, Iran state media reported that the speaker of Parliament had postponed a visit to North Korea and China.

The report quoted Hossein Sobhaninia, a member of Parliament, as saying a visit by Ali Larijani to Pyongyang and Beijing has been postponed.

But another member of Parliament said the postponement came after Larijani was not scheduled to meet with sufficiently high-ranking North Koreans.

The lawmaker spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk about the case.

The visit to North Korea would have been the first by an Iranian Parliament speaker since 1980s.

Iranian and North Korean officials have said in the past that the two countries are in “one trench’’ in the fight against the West.

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