Iran earthquake did not damage nuclear reactor, officials say

Iran earthquake: Iranian officials have told the International Atomic Energy Agency that their Bushehr nuclear power plant was unscathed following a magnitude 5.6 quake in the region.

Majid Asgaripour/Mehr News Agency/AP/File
A worker rides a bicycle in front of the reactor building of the Bushehr nuclear power plant, just outside the southern city of Bushehr, Iran, in 2010. Iranian officials say that the reactor was undamaged following a magnitude 5.6 earthquake nearby.

Iran has told the International Atomic Energy Agency an earthquake near the city of Bushehr did not damage the country's sole nuclear power plant and it continues to operate normally, the IAEA said on Friday.

At least seven people were killed in Thursday's earthquake that hit a region near the Bushehr nuclear power plant, state news agency IRNA reported.

The earthquake, which had a magnitude of 5.6, struck about 40 miles (60 km) northeast of Bushehr on the Gulf coast, according to U.S. Geological Survey data.

"Iran informed the IAEA's Incident and Emergency Centre (IEC) yesterday that no damage had been found at Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant," the U.N. agency said. "It said the plant, which was in operation at the time of the earthquake, continues to operate normally."

"Based on this information, and the assessment of the IAEA's International Seismic Safety Centre - which considers the earthquake's magnitude and ground shaking, as well as its location - the IEC is not currently seeking additional information from Iran," the statement said.

Iran sits on major geological faultlines and has suffered several big earthquakes in recent years. Less than one week ago, an earthquake measuring 5.4 in magnitude struck western Iran near its border with Iraq.

(Reporting by Fredrik Dahl; Editing by Andrew Heavens)

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