Iran Preparing to Fuel Bushehr Reactor

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TEHRAN - Iranian nuclear engineers have readied the Bushehr reactor for fuel, Ali Akbar Salehi, head of Iran's nuclear program announced.

"Grounds have been paved for loading fuel into the heart of Bushehr's reactor, including carrying out drills, practices and tests, washing the heart of the reactor and carrying out reactor tests, and we will witness the transfer of fuel [to the reactor] in the coming days," Salehi said during a press conference, according to Iran's official news agency, FARS.

Salehi said the plant would go on line within two to three months after loading the fuel.

"All the necessary measures have been adopted successfully and we hope to load fuel into the core of the Bushehr power plant reactor by early October," Salehi told reporters.

He also said that Iran had successfully blocked attempts by hackers to penetrate the plant's computer system.

In a related matter, Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan announced that "Ankara would not abide by the unilateral sanctions imposed by certain countries again Iran."

Babacan said Turkey is not bound by the U.S and European Union blacklist of companies doing business with Tehran and is, in fact, boosting its trade ties with Iran.

Speaking with reporters at the Istanbul Finance Summit last week, Babacan said Turkey voted against adhering to the sanctions and will continue increasing its trade relations with the Islamic Republic, according to FARS.

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