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Moscow transfers full control of Bushehr nuclear reactor to Iran

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NICOSIA — Iran has gained full control of its first nuclear energy reactor.

Officials said the Iranian Atomic Energy Organization was granted full responsibility for the 1,000 megawatt nuclear reactor at Bushehr.

Iran's Bushehr nuclear power plant.  /EPA

Iran’s Bushehr nuclear power plant. /EPA

The officials said the transfer was completed in a ceremony on Sept. 23 attended by officials from Russia’s Rosatom, which oversaw the construction of Bushehr and pledged to provide fuel for the reactor for at least a decade.

“But for another two years it will be under Russian guarantee and a number of Russian experts will remain in place to give advice and technical assistance,” IAEO director-general Ali Salehi said.

Officials acknowledged problems with Bushehr, inaugurated in 2010. They included a lack of nuclear rods as well as flaws in safety systems. In 2013, the International Atomic Energy Agency reported that Bushehr had been closed at least twice amid an earthquake near the city.

For his part, Salehi said Iran was also preparing to construct a second
nuclear reactor at Bushehr. He said Russia was the likely candidate for the

“Negotiations are continuing and are well-advanced,” Salehi said. “Work
will start soon.”

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