Loading fuel into the Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant located outside the southern city of Bushehr, Iran
"This phase is the most important operational work of the
plant," said Atomic Energy Organization of Iran Director Ali Akbar Salehi.
On October 26, 163 fuel rods, each weighing 82 tons, were loaded into the core of the reactor, Salehi stated.
He expressed hope that the plant would be connected to the national power grid by February 19, 2011.
When it is first connected to the national grid, the reactor will be producing 400 megawatts of electricity and within three months it will reach 100 percent of its capacity and produce 1000 megawatts of electricity, Salehi explained.
He went on to say that when the 1000-megawatt plant reaches its optimal capacity, it will generate one-fortieth of the electricity output of the country.
The Bushehr power plant will operate under a Russian guarantee for a year, he added.
Over the next 20 years, Iran plans to build enough nuclear power plants to generate 20,000 megawatts of electricity.
The launch of Iran's first nuclear reactor will probably be a disappointment for the United States and Israel, which claim the Islamic Republic is using its civilian nuclear energy program as a cover for a nuclear weapons program.
However, the International Atomic Energy Agency has conducted numerous inspections of Iran's nuclear facilities and has never found evidence of diversion.
Russia completed the Bushehr plant despite pressure from the United States and Israel. The plant will be operated by Russian and Iranian technicians for several years.
... Payvand News - 12/01/10 ... --