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Iran's Bushehr Reactor Ready By April

Source: Press TV

Iran's Atomic Energy Organization (AEOI) says the nuclear plant in the southern city of Bushehr will join the country's power grid in early April. In an interview with ISNA, head of Iran's nuclear body Ali Akbar Salehi insisted that having a safe facility is more important than rushing to the production stage.

View of Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant in Southern Iran

"We have repeatedly announced that for us launching a safe Bushehr plant is more significant than launching it quickly," Salehi was quoted as saying in a report published on Thursday.

He explained that the AEOI is constantly testing and modifying the system at different phases.

Salehi expressed hope that they would have the plant go "critical" with the presence of Russian officials within a month.

"Criticality means the beginning of reactions within the reactor and the gradual warming of the water in the reactor. But it will take the water some time to turn into steam to reach the quality to enter turbines," he explained.

Salehi, who is also Iran's caretaker foreign minister, said under the timetable announced by the AEOI, the country has a month and half to connect the reactor to the electricity network, which will be after the reactor goes critical and starts producing electricity.

"Therefore, we hope when the steam has reached 40 percent and we have made sure and the necessary tests are conducted on the turbines, we will be able to witness the connection of the plant to the national power grid by April 9."

Salehi, however, highlighted that the reactor in question has already become operational. He said the process took Iranian experts no more than five months, which outscores the global average ranging between nine months to a year.

He said the facility is set to move to the next phase which is going critical by the end of the Iranian month -- February 19. There might be delays regarding timetables previously announced but it is a matter of weeks, he assured.

Salehi also rejected reports that the computer systems in Bushehr had been affected by the Stuxnet, saying the computer worm was not able to go beyond personal computers and enter the facility's main systems.

Commenting on reports that the US and Israel were behind the cyber attack on Iranian computer installations, Salehi condemned the perpetrator's disregard for human life and their health.

"Westerners are not seeking people's health and security and will do anything to gain their aims even if it poses danger to human society," he said.

"If anything happens to a nuclear plant its repercussions will not be confined to one border and they should know better that such moves could affect them, too," he warned.

... Payvand News - 01/28/11 ... --

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