The Russian aided Bushehr NPP project in Iran is nearing final completion. On August 20-22, the first fuel will be transferred into the reactor’s engine room. This means that the construction and testing of all systems of the station are complete. The physical launch of the Bushehr NPP will thus commence, followed by an operational startup and the plant going fully on line.

The Bushehr project is unique in terms of strict adherence to the nuclear nonproliferation regime. During the entire period of operation of the plant, fuel for it will be delivered by Russia on the conditions of its subsequent return. Furthermore, the entire process of operation of the station, as well as supply and return of fuel will be under full IAEA supervision. This eliminates the possibility of any manipulation of spent nuclear fuel.

According to many assessments, including by the IAEA, the Bushehr NPP project is a good example of how Iran could benefit from cooperation with the international community, if it undertook concrete steps to ensure confidence in the exclusively peaceful nature of its nuclear program.