Sunday, August 14, 2011

'Bushehr Nuclear Plant to join grid by Sept.'

Head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, Fereydoun Abbasi-Davani (file photo)

Source: Press TV

The first phase of Iran's Bushehr nuclear power plant has been scheduled to be launched by the end of the holy month of Ramadan (early September) with a 40 percent capacity.

Head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Fereydoun Abbasi Davani announced that a pre-launch phase of the plant was due to be implemented by September and “If things proceed according to plans ...the [Bushehr] power plant will join the national grid with a 40 percent capacity,” IRNA reported.

He stated that should certain technical tests be successfully executed, then the power plant will link up to the national power grid.

He further alluded to the safety standards of the power plant and emphasized, “We will observe the safety of the plant at the highest level, especially following the impact of what happened at the Fukushima nuclear power station on the world public opinion.”

Abbasi anticipated that the power plant would be officially launched in its entirety by next December.

The construction of Bushehr power plant started in 1975 when Germany signed a contract with Iran. Germany, however, pulled out of the project following the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

Iran then signed a deal with Russia in 1995, under which the plant was originally scheduled to be completed in 1999, but the completion of the project was repeatedly delayed. The nuclear power plant was finally finished with the help of Russia following a three-decade delay.

In October 2010, Iran started injecting fuel into the core of the reactor at Bushehr nuclear power plant in the initial phase of its launch. However, engineers began removing the fuel rods in late February for safety reasons.

The unloading of the fuel delayed the plant's connection to the national grid, initially scheduled for the beginning of 2011.

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