Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Iran hopes to inaugurate its first nuclear power plant in August

Iran expects to inaugurate its first nuclear power plant in late August after more than 30 years in construction work, said spokesman today Iranian Foreign Ministry, Ramin Mehmanparast. "We have consultations with the Russian authorities" which steers the construction of the plant in Bushehr (southern) to determine the date of commissioning, Mehmanparast said in his usual press conference Tuesday.

He explained that the nuclear "is almost finished" and are being "test network connection", so, according to Russian authorities, expects to open "at the end of the month Ramadan (Muslim fasting month this year begin in early August and completed by the end of that month). On May 9, Iranian engineers completed the last phase of nuclear fuel supply to the reactor of the Bushehr plant, which had to be emptied in early April by technical problems.

Russian engineers detected a "small" problem in the cooling pumps of Bushehr, which required removing the nuclear fuel for safety reasons and for the third time delayed the start of the plant, which Iran built more than three decades. Iran started to build that nuclear plant in the seventies, with German help, but the project was interrupted by the triumph of the Islamic Revolution in 1979 overthrew the last Shah of Persia, Mohammed Reza Pahlavi.

Construction resumed last ten years, with the cooperation of Russia, and the work completed last summer after many delays. Iranian nuclear officials kicked on 21 August, the fuel supply to the plant and said they would be ready to be connected to the grid in October or November last year.

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