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Russia Begins Refueling Iran Nuclear Plant

Service : Economy
TEHRAN, April 8 (ICANA) – Russia on Friday resumed loading fuel into Iran's first nuclear power plant after it had to be removed because of an apparent technical fault, news reports said.
Friday, April 08, 2011 10:17:51 PM
Russia Begins Refueling Iran Nuclear Plant

The Atomstroyexport agency which oversaw the Bushehr plant's construction said in a statement that the refueling operation began after the plant had been re-checked and its various pieces “washed through,” news agencies reported.

"The loading of fuel-rod assemblies into the core started at the Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant on April 8," Atomstroyexport, which specializes on the construction of nuclear power facilities abroad, said in a statement.

The fuel for Bushehr was provided by Russia, which completed the long-delayed construction of the plant last summer. The plant was expected to start feeding electricity into the national grid in February.

Under a bilateral agreement, which has received approval from the International Atomic Energy Agency, Russia will initially operate the plant, supplying its fuel and taking away all the spent fuel for the next two or three years, but will eventually hand over full control to Iran.

It was not immediately clear from the statement when the Bushehr plant would be commissioned.

Russia last month blamed the delay on internal wear-and-tear at the plant, whose construction was initially launched with the help of Germany's Siemens Company in the 1970s.

Iran's parliament has launched an investigation into repeated delays in the startup of the power plant.

Delays to the start of the plant are being reviewed by parliament’s Energy Commission and discussed with the country’s Atomic Energy Organization officials, according to the Commission’s head, Hamid-Reza Katouzian.

Russia does not seem to have the will to cooperate with Iran on the start of the reactor, the MP said.

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