FM Official: Iran is in talks with Russia over Bushehr N-plant launch date
The country is in talks with Russia to set a time for launch of Bushehr power plant and holding a ceremony, Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said on Tuesday, ISNA reported.
"We hope to agree to run the power plant late Ramadan - Muslims' fasting month - in August," he told reporters in his weekly press conference.
Mehmanparast added, "the launch process is roughly accomplished and the power plant is conducting the test to join the national grid."
Late June, Rosatom director Sergei Kiriyenko said the Bushehr plant has been running at minimal operating capacity since a May startup. The reactor uses Russian technology and has a rated capacity of 1,000 megawatts.
The power plant first was launched in August 2010 as engineers loaded 163 fuel rods into the reactor under the supervision of the International Atomic Energy Agency.
On January 28, then Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Director Ali Akbar Salehi announced that the Bushehr power plant will be connected to the national grid by February 20. He also said that the plant would be able to work at full capacity by mid-April. But in February, Iran unloaded fuel from the reactor due to safety concerns.
In March, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, in a telephone conversation with President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, said that Russia would make every effort to make the Bushehr nuclear power plant fully operational at the planned time.
Later Iran announced that the Iranian engineers in cooperation with Russian experts have managed to complete the reloading of the reactor.
The plant, which is located near the port of Bushehr on the coast of the Persian Gulf, will produce 1000 megawatts of electricity once it becomes fully operational.
Bushehr is the first nuclear power plant in Iran and throughout the Middle East. Bushehr nuclear power plant began to be built by the German Kraftwerk Union concern in 1974, but in 1980 it terminated the contract because of Western German government's accession to the U.S. embargo on supplying equipment to Iran.
Aug.25, 1992 Russia and Iran signed an agreement to continue constructing nuclear power plant. In January 1995, a contract to complete the works on the first power unit was signed, and in 1998 construction management was transferred to AtomStroyExport.