Iran's Bushehr nuclear power plant will be connected to the national grid late August, Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi said on Sunday.
View of Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant in Southern Iran
"This reactor will reach its 40% of its power in mid Ramadan (mid August) and will be connected to the grid but the celebration of this connection will be held at the end of Ramadan," Salehi said during a televised interview.
"This process, from the beginning to the time it (the plant) can produce electricity, will take 9 months or one year," he noted.
He went on to say that "the last problem which caused a two-month delay, was one of the pumps of the power plant. Although we could continue the work, we decided to open the reactor's core and take out fuel (rods) because of the security priority."
Salehi previously said 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.
Control room of Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant
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.
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