Source: Mehr News Agency
BUSHEHR, IRAN - In a special ceremony on Monday, the Bushehr nuclear power plant was temporarily connected to the national grid, the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) announced.
Russian Energy Minister Sergei Shmatko, Russian State Atomic Energy Corporation (Rosatom) Director General Sergei Kirienko, AEOI Director Fereydoun Abbasi, Iranian Energy Minister Majid Namjou, and a number of MPs attended the ceremony held to celebrate the initial launch of the Bushehr nuclear plant.
Reportedly, the power plant has reached 40 percent it power generation capacity.
According to an official at the Bushehr power plant, after the initial launch, the power plant will be disconnected from the national grid and will undergo some technical tests.
The AEOI has announced that the power plant will reach its full capacity in November.
The plant, which is located near the port city of Bushehr on the coast of the Persian Gulf, will generate 1000 megawatts of electricity once it becomes fully operational.
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, and the AEOI announced that the power plant will be connected to the national grid by February 20.
But in February, Iran unloaded fuel from the reactor due to safety concerns. Later, Iranian engineers in cooperation with Russian experts completed the reloading of the reactor.
Iranian and Russian experts have given permission for the initial launch of the power plant after carrying out rigorous safety tests and inspections.
Source: ISNA, Tehran
Russian Energy Minister Sergei Shmatko said the country is proud of Bushehr nuclear power plant's project and is interested in boosting cooperation with Iranian corporations on oil and gas fields.
He praised Iran's Bushehr power plant project and added, "Iran's Bushehr power plant built by Russian cooperation will be accomplished Monday."
"We experienced different problems on the project as Iranians did. Today we are proud of the project as well which has drawn the attention of the whole world," he told a press conference with Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi in Tehran.
Russian Energy Minister added, "I assure you we will continue our cooperation with Iran on launching Bushehr power plant and developing atomic energy in Iran's other projects."
As to Persian Gulf neighboring states' concern on the security of Bushehr power plant, Shmatko said, "Bushehr power plant is built based on all international standards. We perceive the concern of the countries, but all tests conducted in the nuclear facility were approved by all international processes and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). There is no deviation from international standards."
He noted, "We believe there is a great transparency in launching Bushehr power plant due to respecting the experts' work and the presence of international bodies."
Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi on his part said, "The official ceremony for pre-launching Bushehr power plant will be held on Monday and then the power plant will be connected to the national grid."
"Bushehr power plant has achieved 35 to 40 percent of its nominal power reaching 350-400 megawatt. We hope the plant reach its outmost power of 900 to 1000 megawatt," he added.
Salehi continued, "The power plant will be disconnected for different tests some time after the connection. The tests might take several weeks. The power plant will regain the power and will obtain its 100 percent power of 900-1000 megawatt."
Salehi expressed hope all the projects would be accomplished over the next two or three months to be handed to Iranian engineers and technicians in charge of the power plant.
He added, "At the moment, Iranian engineers work on the power plant, but Russian engineers are observing the process."
Source: ISNA, Tehran
Russian Rosatom Chief Sergei Kiriyenko said Monday launch of Bushehr nuclear power plant is a symbol of Iran-Russia cooperation in hard political circumstances.
"Today is the day of an important celebration and we are witnessing an event we had waited for long time and we must offer congratulation for it," he said in the launch ceremony of the nuclear facility.
"The project is one of the most unique one which is unprecedented in the world. We installed another structure on the foundation of the plant, whereas nobody had accepted to do it. Iranian and Russian experts accepted the decisive and impossible job and managed to accomplish it successfully," he added.
The ceremony was also attended by Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi, Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Chief Fereydoon Abbasi, Energy Minister Majid Namjou and Russian Energy Minister Sergei Shmatko.
He highlighted the plant has been under tight international controls and received equipment from over 10 countries. "The power plant has been under observation of the IAEA and Iranian and Russian organizations. No power plant has been under monitoring of such internal and external organs."
The Russian official also highlighted the plant's safety and added Moscow would continue cooperation with Tehran.
Also Abbasi speaking in the ceremony said, "I tell our Persian Gulf neighbors that Iran's nuclear know-how and knowledge is a good opportunity for cooperation. The plant enjoys high safety and Bushehr facility is a good example."
Iran is under 4 rounds of the UN Security Council sanctions over its refusal to halt peaceful nuclear work.
Iran's first nuclear power plant has been hooked up to the national grid supplying 60 megawatts of its 1,000 megawatt capacity.
Construction of the plant started in the 1970s with the help of German company Siemens, which quit the project after the 1979 Islamic revolution.
In 1994, Russia agreed to complete the plant and provide fuel for it. Western governments claim Iran may seek atomic weapons, but Iran denies the allegation.
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