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Russia Says Iranian Nuclear Plant Set to Open This Year

Russia's nuclear power chief says his country plans to start up the Bushehr nuclear reactor in Iran this year.

Sergei Kiriyenko told Russian media Thursday that assuming nothing unexpected happens, the launch will go as planned before the end of 2009.

He said there are no unresolved questions with his Iranian counterparts regarding the technical start-up.

Kiriyenko said he plans to travel to the Bushehr construction site later this month.

Russia began working on the project in 1995, and says it has already delivered the fuel to get Iran's first nuclear power plant running.

The plant's opening has frequently been delayed. In the past, Iranian officials have blamed the delays, in part, on foreign sanctions related to its disputed nuclear program.

Officials say Bushehr will be capable of producing about 1,000 megawatts of electricity a year.

Some information for this report was provided by Reuters.