MOSCOW (Reuters) – Nuclear fuel is once again being loaded into the reactor of Iran’s Bushehr power plant, the Russian company that built the station said on Friday, after the latest in a series of delays to its launch.
EDITORS’ NOTE: Reuters and other foreign media are subject to Iranian restrictions on their ability to film or take pictures in Tehran. People work in the nuclear power plant in Bushehr, about 1,215 km (755 miles) south of Tehran, November 30, 2009. (REUTERS/Vladimir Soldatkin/Files)
Russia has built Iran’s first nuclear power plant under a $1 billion deal dating back to the 1990s. The project has long been a focus of attention because of global concern that Tehran’s nuclear programme could be aimed at developing weapons.
The plant near the Persian Gulf had been due to start producing electricity early this year after the process of loading nuclear fuel into the reactor core got under way last October.
But Russia and Iran said late in February that the fuel would have to be taken back out of the reactor because broken pumps had sent small pieces of metal into the cooling system, raising fears that fuel rods could be damaged.
Russia’s state-run company Atomstroyexport, which builds nuclear power plants abroad, said fuel was being loaded again after it finished examining and cleansing the pipes and fuel assemblies.
“On April 8, 2011, loading of fuel rod arrays began at Bushehr,” Atoms… >>>