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Iran Expected To Announce Launch Date For Bushehr

The general director of Russia's nuclear power corporation Rosatom, Sergei Kiriyenko, has arrived in Iran to inspect the Bushehr nuclear power plant, which Russian experts have been helping to construct.

Rosatom spokesman Sergei Novikov told Iran's Islamic Republic News Agency that Russia and Iran will announce on February 24 the date that the Bushehr plant will officially start operating, potentially later this year.

The head of Iran's Atomic Energy Organization, Reza Aqazadeh, and Kiriyenko are expected to attend a "test operation" of the plant in southwestern Iran.

The Russian firm Atomstroiexport agreed to help construct the 1,000-megawatt light-water reactor station in 1995, but its launch has been delayed many times amid Western allegations that Iran's nuclear program is aimed at developing atomic weapons.

compiled from agency reports