(CNN) -- Iran has begun loading fuel into the core of its first nuclear energy plant in the southern city of Bushehr, state-run Press TV reported Tuesday.
The United States and other world powers fear Iran is developing a nuclear program for military purposes. Iran has denied those allegations and says the plant will be used to generate electricity.
The Bushehr plant was opened in late August when engineers loaded 163 fuel rods into the reactor under the supervision of the International Atomic Energy Agency. It is expected to produce 1,000 megawatts of electricity once all the fuel rods are loaded into the core of the reactor.
The facility was originally scheduled to start operations in 2007, but the date for commissioning the plant has been postponed a number of times due to various technical, financial and political factors.