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Bushehr N. Power Plant Starts Operation

Service : Economy
TEHRAN, May 9 (ICANA) – Iran's first nuclear power plant in the Southern port city of Bushehr officially started work on Sunday after months of testing and safety precautions.
Monday, May 09, 2011 1:24:27 PM
Bushehr N. Power Plant Starts Operation

FNA dispatches from Bushehr said that Iranian and Russian experts finished loading fuel into the heart of the power plant and that nuclear fuel consumption has started in the power plant, meaning that it is now running activity.

The plant will continue working for two weeks before it generates electricity.

The power plant will join the national grid by the next two months.

Iran signed a deal with Russia in 1995, according to which the plant was originally scheduled for completion in 1999. However, the project was repeatedly delayed by the Russian side due to the intense pressure exerted on Moscow by the United States and its western allies. Russia finally completed construction of the plant last summer.

On October 26, Iran started injecting fuel into the core of the Bushehr nuclear power plant in the initial phase of launching the nuclear reactor.

The facility operates under the full supervision of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

Later in March, Iran unloaded fuel from the heart of the Bushehr reactor, and washed and triple-checked the fuel rods in a move to further boost the safety of the plant.

US officials announced the same month that the disruption was due to a US spyware attack against Iran's nuclear facilities through a malicious software known as Stuxnet, but Iranian officials dismissed the claim.

Iran then started reloading fuel into the core of the reactor, and Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi announced that the reactor would enter sensitive phases of operation from May 5 to 10.

The remarks by Salehi came a day after Russia's Atomstroiexport Company, which oversaw the plant's construction, said in a statement that the refueling operation started after the plant had been rechecked.

"The loading of fuel-rod assemblies into the core started at the Bushehr nuclear power plant on April 8," the statement added.

Despite the propaganda campaign launched by the US-led West against the safety of Iran's nuclear facilities, Head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Fereidoon Abbasi had underscored that all Iranian nuclear installations in different parts of the country enjoy the necessary safety standards.

"The important point in any given country's nuclear industry is the high safety level of its installations compared with the other facilities and installations of that country," Abbasi said, addressing a festival dubbed 'National Resistance and Civil Defense' in Tehran in mid March.

Meantime, the UN nuclear watchdog agency as the sole specialized world body has repeatedly approved the high quality of Iran's nuclear safety standards.

The Nuclear Safety and Security Department of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) had also in a visit to Iran in March 2010 approved the standard safety levels of all Iranian nuclear sites and installations, and lauded the country's measures and special efforts in this regard.

"We realized that Iran's safety system responsible for inspecting Iranian nuclear facilities and installations acts very well and is strong," Head of the IAEA's Nuclear Safety and Security Department Olena Mykolaichuk said at the time.

"I, as the head of the (inspection) team, assure the Iranian society that Iran's installations are safe…," Mykolaichuk added.

She also stressed that her team has visited the Bushehr nuclear power plant in Southern Iran and inspected the safety and security control system at the installations.

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