Iran has started the final test of equipment at the country's first nuclear power plant, the Bushehr project manager has said.
Mahmoud Jafari was quoted by the Irna national news agency as saying that in the "warm-water test," the plant's equipment will be run at high temperatures.
The deputy chief of Iran's Atomic Energy Organization Behzad Soltani said on Sunday the nuclear plant, located in the country's south, will go on stream in the summer.
He said the warm-water test would be completed within the month.
"After the test, nuclear fuel will be inserted into the reactor, and this will put Iran among the members of the world's nuclear club," he said.
Russia's nuclear fuel producer TVEL said on Wednesday it would deliver its next fuel shipment to Bushehr a year after the plant is launched, while Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said last month that Iran's first nuclear power plant will be launched later this year.
The launch date has been postponed many times over financial and technical reasons. Iran has claimed that Russia was reluctant to finish the facility due to UN sanctions, and concerns voiced by world powers that the plant is part of a covert nuclear weapons program.
The construction of Iran's first nuclear power plant began in 1975 by German companies. However, the firms stopped work after a U.S. embargo was imposed on high-technology supplies to Iran following the 1979 Islamic Revolution and the subsequent U.S. Embassy siege in Tehran.
Russia signed a contract with Iran in February 1998 to complete the plant.
MOSCOW, April 12 (RIA Novosti)