ADVANCING

Iran Connects First Nuclear Power Plant

After years of delays, Iran successfully connected its first nuclear power plant to the national grid on Sunday. The Bushehr facility is contributing around 60 megawatts right now and will be officially inaugurated by Sept. 12, at which point it will be operating at 40-percent capacity. The project is a $1 billion, 1,000-megawatt plant on the Gulf coast started by Germany's Siemens in the 1970s, even before Iran's Islamic revolution. This comes as reports that Iran is accelerating its nuclear weapons program, but experts say the Bushehr plant will not bring Iran any closer to building a nuclear bomb because Russia supplies the enriched uranium for the reactor and takes away spent fuel before it can be used to make weapons-grade plutonium.