TEHRAN, August 14 (Itar-Tass) —— The Bushehr nuclear power plant built by Russian specialists in Iran is ready for industrial operation. The power plant may run at 40% of the rated capacity in the end of August, head of the Iranian Atomic Energy Organization Fereydun Abbasi-Davani told the Iranian channel Al-Alam on Sunday.
“The power plant’s testing has been successful. We are on schedule and ready to connect the unit to the national energy grid at 40% of the rated capacity. That may happen in the end of the month,” he said. “In the second stage, the unit will run at 75% of the rated capacity of 1,000 megawatt. It may reach the rated capacity in the end of November or in early December.”
“The media wants to know the precise day of the unit connection to the energy grid. Yet we are making gradual progress and try to avoid haste. We do not want the power plant personnel to be burdened with any deadlines,” he said, noting that security came first.
Germany’s Siemens started building the Bushehr NPP in 1975. The works stopped and the contract was invalidated following the Islamic revolution in Iran in February 1979 and the Iranian-Iraqi armed conflict that began soon after the revolution. Russia and Iran signed the Bushehr contract on January 8, 1995, and the addition to the contract was signed in 1998 to bind Russia’s fulfillment of the project on the turn-key terms.
Russia’s Atomstroyexport built the power plant. The power plant’s startup was delayed many times, mostly for technical reasons, as Iran wished to use the German equipment to the maximal degree. Preparations for the physical startup of the power plant began in August 2010, and fuel was loaded into the reactor. It was announced then that the reactor would reach 100% of its rated capacity in spring 2011. However, fuel was retrieved from the reactor in February by recommendation of Russian specialists for additional technical operations. The latter caused the delayed connection of the power plant to the Iranian energy grid.