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Senior MP Blasts Russia for Delaying BNPP Launch

Service : Politic
TEHRAN, Feb 26 (ICANA) – Chairman of the Majlis Energy Commission Hamid Reza Katouzian has slammed Russia for its continued delay to launch Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant (BNPP).
Saturday, February 26, 2011 11:50:30 AM
Senior MP Blasts Russia for Delaying BNPP Launch

Speaking to ICANA, the senior MP said the Russians had received 1.5 times more money than what they were due to receive but strongly criticized Moscow for its continued procrastinations. He said the Russian excuses included their demands for additional costs, which he said was not acceptable. He also criticized Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization for its “weakness” vis-à-vis Russia’s “irresponsible approach.” He said IAEO’s weakness was partly accountable for Russia’s failure to complete the power plant. Former IAEO Chief Ali Akbar Salehi sais earlier this month that all the required fuel for Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant had been supplied and that it was currently undergoing a test cycle. “The reactor cap in the Bushehr plant has been shut and everything is ready to produce electricity in the near future,” Salehi, now the minister of foreign affairs, said. “Many important parts of the plant have already been inaugurated in the past six months and many activities have been launched. Other units are currently undergoing a test run for an eventual launch,” he added. The former Head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran noted that the plant had “very appropriate and satisfactory” progress and pointed out that Iran is in constant consultation and cooperation with the Russian side that built the plant. On October 26, Iran started injecting fuel into the core of the Bushehr nuclear power plant in the southern port city of Bushehr, constituting the initial phase in launching the country's first nuclear reactor. Later on November 27, Salehi said the fueling of the power plant has been completed, adding that all fuel assemblies have been loaded into the core of the reactor. The facility operates under the supervision of the International Atomic Energy Agency. Iran signed a deal with Russia in 1995, under which the plant was originally scheduled for completion in 1999. However, the project was repeatedly delayed by the Russian side due to intense pressures by the United States and its Western allies against the move. The Bushehr nuclear power plant was eventually completed by the Russia contractor and launched in August, 2010. In July, media reports claimed that Stuxnet had targeted industrial computers around the globe with Iran, particularly the country's newly launched Bushehr power plant, being the main target of the attack. Iranian officials, however, have dismissed the claims, saying that the computer worm caused no serious damage to the country's industrial sites. Russia's nuclear agency Rosatom has also rejected media reports that Stuxnet infected the Bushehr nuclear plant in southern Iran. Stuxnet, first identified by Iranian experts in June, is a malware designed to infect computers using Siemens supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) -- a control system favored by industries that manage water supplies, oil rigs, and power plants. The director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said that the IAEA had only limited knowledge about the computer worm, but it is gathering information about Stuxnet malware with interest. The IAEA director general also said the agency was interested in reviewing the issue of cyber attacks on nuclear sites in a meeting with experts. Iran's Atomic Energy Organization (AEOI) announced that the nuclear plant in the southern city of Bushehr would join the country's power grid in early April.

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