Russia also announced what seemed to be a new safeguard. Its technicians will jointly operate the station for two to three years under an agreement signed Saturday before the opening ceremony, Mr. Kiriyenko said, gradually handing over the controls to the Iranians. Russians say that the plant complies with the International Atomic Energy Agency’s requirements.
Technicians from Russia, who took over work at the Bushehr site in the mid-1990s, will be moving the rods, which contain tons of uranium, for several weeks. Iranian television said that task would be completed by Sept. 5.
After the transfer, more time will be required to load them into the stainless-steel core and lower them to begin the nuclear reaction, Russian nuclear officials have said; only later this year will the plant begin producing electricity, Mr. Kiriyenko said.