After 40 years and countless international scoldings, Russia has announced it will begin loading uranium-packed fuel rods into Iran’s first nuclear power plant, officially classifying the reactor as a “nuclear installation.”

Western countries, led by the U.S., accuse Iran of seeking to develop nuclear weapons under the guise of its civilian nuclear program. –JCL

Al-Jazeera English:

The power plant, built by Russia in the Iranian southern city of Bushehr, will be loaded with uranium-packed fuel rods after nearly 40 years of delays, a spokesman for Rosatom, the Russian atomic agency, said on Friday.

“The fuel will be charged in the reactor on August 21. From this moment, Bushehr will be considered a nuclear installation. This will be an irreversible step,” Sergei Novikov told the AFP news agency.

Ali Akbar Salehi, the head Iran’s atomic energy organisation, said: “We are preparing to transfer the fuel inside the plant next week … Then we will need seven to eight days to transfer it to the core of the reactor.”

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