Iran has connected its first nuclear power plant to the national electricity grid. The Atomic Energy Organisation of Iran (AEOI) has confirmed that 60MW of capacity has been added to the grid.

The Bushehr nuclear power plant is located in southern Iran and will have a final generating capacity of 1,000MW when it is fully commissioned.

The remaining capacity will be brought online in stages. Iranian officials have said 40 per cent of the project will be connected on 12 September. The AEOI has unveiled plans to inaugurate the complete plant in late November or early December.

Pre-launch tests were carried out on the project in August and construction was completed a year previously in preparation to receive fuel for the project (MEED 17:8:10).

The project was built by Russian contractors and with expertise from Russia’s State Atomic Energy Corporation (Rosatom). Iran signed an agreement with Russia in 1995 to build the project which was initially expected to be completed by 1999. However, delays occurred and the commissioning date was repeatedly revised.