A top Iranian official said on Saturday that Tehran was conducting studies into building an experimental nuclear fusion reactor, which if successful would be the first such plant in the world. "Studies and examining the feasibility of a national plan titled 'Designing and building experimental nuclear fusion reactor and plant' are under way," Asghar Sedighzadeh, head of Iran's Nuclear Fusion Research Centre was quoted as saying by ISNA news agency. He did not elaborate. Earlier on Saturday, Iran's atomic chief Ali Akbar Salehi said an eight-million-dollar fund had been set up to conduct "serious" research in the area of nuclear fusion. He said 50 people had been hired for the work, which the Islamic republic began nearly three decades ago but was initially "not very serious" about pursuing. "Fusion research has been launched seriously today," ISNA quoted Salehi as saying.