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Iran says nuclear plant more modern than Japan’s

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Tuesday his country’s Bushehr nuclear plant has taken every security precaution and relies on more modern technology than Japan’s.

Spain’s public television asked the Iranian leader in an interview in Tehran whether Iran could handle a similar event to the massive earthquake and tsunami that triggered the Japanese nuclear accident.

“We have observed all security measures at the Bushehr nuclear plant,” Ahmadinejad told television broadcaster TVE.

“I don’t think there will be any serious problem,” he added.

“The security standards there are the standards of today. We have to take into account that the Japanese nuclear plants were built 40 years ago with the standards of yesterday.”

Last month Iran announced it was removing the fuel rods from the reactor of the Russian-built nuclear power plant, Iran’s only declared civilian reactor, in the southern city of Bushehr.

The decision likely delayed Iran’s plans to start generating electricity from the plant on April 9.

The installation has been under construction since the 1970s and sits at the junction of three tectonic plates on the Persian Gulf coast.

The West suspects Iran’s nuclear programme is a cover for a weapons drive — a charge vehemently denied by Tehran — but has not seen Bushehr as posing any proliferation risk.