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Iran nuclear program: 5 key sites

Iran’s nuclear program is the subject of constant scrutiny by the international community, particularly the United States and Israel. Here are five of Iran’s most important nuclear sites.

This file photo made Friday, Aug. 20, 2010, shows the Bushehr nuclear power plant, outside the southern city of Bushehr, Iran.
Vahid Salemi/AP/File
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1. Bushehr nuclear power plant

The Bushehr nuclear power plant, perhaps the most well-known nuclear site in Iran, made headlines in 2010 as a suspected target of the computer virus Stuxnet. Iranian nuclear officials denied that any damage was done by a cyberattack, but soon after they announced delays in the reactor’s launch.

Bushehr is central to Iran's nuclear power program and, in September 2011, became the country's first nuclear reactor to come online. Germany originally began work on a reactor at Bushehr in 1975, but abandoned it after the 1979 Islamic Revolution. In the 1990s, Iran's nuclear partnership with Russia revived the Bushehr project, but its completion was plagued by delays, financial troubles, and pressure from the West.

The plant, located in southwestern Iran on the Persian Gulf, once elicited widespread concern, especially in the US and Israel. As a light-water nuclear reactor that uses low-enriched uranium to produce electricity, its spent fuel includes plutonium that could be reprocessed to produce nuclear weapons. However, with Russia supplying the nuclear fuel and reprocessing spent fuel in Russia, most experts no longer consider Bushehr a proliferation risk.

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