Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Iran to launch Bushehr plant in Nov-Dec

Bushehr nuclear power plant in southern Iran

Source: Press TV

Iran's top nuclear official has announced a plan for the official inauguration of Bushehr's nuclear power plant in southern Iran in mid-November or in December.

Bushehr nuclear power plant is currently nearing its pre-operation phase which means that initial tests for its reactor and turbine are in the final stages, Head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Fereydoun Abbasi told reporters on Wednesday.

The Iranian vice president added that the plant is getting closer to its 40 percent capacity, IRNA reported.

He stated that the steam which had already been produced in the plant was not transferred to the turbine to generate electricity and noted that the produced steam is currently injected to the turbine and electricity is generated.

The AEOI head explained that in a time-limited experimental phase, the produced electricity will join the grid but it will be then cut off to make necessary revisions.

On Sunday, Abbasi said that the first phase of the Bushehr plant has been scheduled to go on stream by the end of the holy month of Ramadan (early September) with a 40 percent capacity.

He noted 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.”

Iran 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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