BEIJING, Aug. 21 (Xinhua) -- Iran began to load fuel into a reactor at the Bushehr nuclear power plant Saturday, an important step in the process of starting the plant.
The following is a brief introduction to the Bushehr nuclear station, Iran's first one.
The Bushehr plant, with a planned operating capacity of 1,000 megawatts, lies near the port city of Bushehr in southwestern Iran.
In order to exploit nuclear resources, Iran started its nuclear power- developing plan in late 1950s.
In 1974, Iran and German contractor Siemens signed an agreement to build two 1.2 million-kilowatt nuclear reactors in Bushehr.
Before the 1979 Iranian Revolution, the Bushehr I reactor was 85 percent complete and the Bushehr II reactor was partially complete.
The project was halted due to the revolution and destroyed during the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq war.
In 1991, Iran launched talks with Russia on the construction of the Bushehr nuclear plant. In January, 1995, Iran and Russia signed a 1-billion-U.S.-dollar contract on the Bushehr plant. Russia would provide fuel, equipment, technology and personnel-training for Iran.
In February, 1996, Iran restarted the building of the Bushehr plant with Russia's aid. The project's completion was prolonged many times due to fund rifts between Iran and Russia.
It has been accused by the Western countries, who fear the project may facilitate Iran's attempt to develop nuclear weapons.
In February, 2009, the Bushehr plant entered the stage of an testing operation.
On Aug. 13, Iran and Russia said fuel would be added into the reactor at the Bushehr plant soon.