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Iran conducts tests on Bushehr nuclear plant

An Iranian technician works inside a nuclear power plant in Bushehr, about 1,215 km (755 miles) south of Tehran, April 3, 2007. REUTERS/Raheb Homavandi

BUSHEHR, Iran (Reuters) - Iran has started tests on its Russian-built Bushehr nuclear power plant as part of preparations for its launch, an official said on Wednesday.

The official, Mohsen Shirazi, said the visiting head of Russia’s state nuclear company, Sergei Kiriyenko, and his Iranian counterpart were at the plant to inspect work that included injecting virtual fuel into rods.

“This process started 10 days ago. Lead is used instead of nuclear fuel,” Shirazi told reporters at the site.

Reporting by Hossein Jaseb and Parisa Hafezi; Writing by Fredrik Dahl; Editing by Angus MacSwan