Iran to inaugurate Bushehr power plant

Iran’s Bushehr nuclear power plant will be inaugurated when it is connected to the national grid later on Monday.

The facility, which was completed with Russia’s help, came on line last year.

The ceremony will be attended by Russian Energy Minister Sergey Shmatko, head of the Rosatom nuclear agency Sergey Kirienko, Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi, and head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization Fereydoon Abbasi-Davani.

Sergey Shmatko praised the efforts in working together, and promised more similar projects in the future.

Together with our Iranian counterparts, we went through difficulties and problems building the Bushehr power plant. And today we can be proud of the results that are drawing the attention of the whole world. I’m sure our further co-operation in operating the station and developing other nuclear energy projects will be distinguished by the atmosphere we created while working together,” he said.

Iran expects that the Bushehr power plant will reach its planned capacity in two to three months, Salehi said on Sunday.

The nuclear power plant will be connected to the main national power grid, and it will generate electricity with 35 to 40 per cent of its capacity. That means about 350 to 400 megawatts,” he said.

Sergey Shmatko underlined the safety issues must be tackled as a priority in the light of the plan to reach the plant’s full capacity.

Russia has agreed to provide fuel for the plant. However Iran plans to return all spent fuel to Russia to ease Western concerns over its uranium enrichment program.

Tehran has once again stressed its atomic ambitions are peaceful and are not aimed at building nuclear weapons.

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