Iran Nuclear NewsIran to "pre-commission" Bushehr nuclear power plant

Iran to “pre-commission” Bushehr nuclear power plant

-

ImageReuters: Iran plans to "pre-commission" its Bushehr nuclear power plant at a ceremony this week to be attended by a senior Russian official, an important step towards its launch, officials and media said on Sunday.

ImageTEHRAN, Feb 22 (Reuters) – Iran plans to "pre-commission" its Bushehr nuclear power plant at a ceremony this week to be attended by a senior Russian official, an important step towards its launch, officials and media said on Sunday.

The West, which suspects Tehran of seeking to produce its own nuclear bomb, has been critical of Russia's involvement in building Iran's first nuclear power plant. Russia says it is purely civilian and cannot be used for any weapons programme.

The head of Russia's state nuclear company, Sergei Kiriyenko, said this month Russia aimed to start up a nuclear reactor at Bushehr by the end of the year. The plant is located on the Gulf cost in Iran's southwest.

Iranian media said Kiriyenko and the head of Iran's Atomic Energy Organisation, Gholamreza Aghazadeh, would attend Wednesday's pre-commissioning at the site.

Mohammad Saeedi, Aghazadeh's deputy, described it as a "preliminary phase" for starting the plant and told Reuters it would be followed by its commissioning and launch, without giving a timetable.

State radio said it would include testing of all of Bushehr's activities with computer software.

"Pre-commissioning is an important step before the actual commissioning of the power plant," the radio quoted Mohsen Delaviz, a spokesman for Iran's Atomic Energy Organisation, as saying.

The launch of the Bushehr plant's nuclear reactor has been delayed frequently, though Russia last year completed delivery of nuclear fuel to the station under a total contract estimated to be worth about $1 billion.

Iran's official IRNA news agency said the plant "is in the final stages of its construction" and the Russian side had boosted the number of staff to "increase the speed of work".

Analysts say Iran could become a central issue in relations between Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and new U.S. President Barack Obama, who has said that the United States was prepared to talk to Tehran.

They say Russia has used Bushehr as a lever in relations with Tehran, which is suspected by the United States and some European countries of seeking to build nuclear weapons.

Iran, the world's fourth-largest crude producer, rejects such allegations and says its nuclear programme is aimed at generating electricity so that it can export more oil and gas.

Russia started deliveries of nuclear fuel for the plant in late 2007, a step both Washington and Moscow said removed any need for Iran to have its own uranium enrichment programme.

Switching on the Bushehr plant could dismay some in the United States, Israel and Europe who are deeply suspicious of Iran's intentions.

Moscow says the plant poses no proliferation risk as Iran will return all spent fuel rods to Russia. (Reporting by Hashem Kalantari and Parisa Hafezi; Writing by Fredrik Dahl; Editing by Alison Williams)

Latest news

Iran, the Resurrection of the Concept of ‘Revolution’

These days, Iran’s political and social environment has witnessed massive storms, which have changed the meaning of all concepts....

Iran Regime’s Response to Protests Censorship and Violence

The Iranian regime’s leadership has reacted to the ongoing wave of protests over the death of Mahsa Amini, the...

Iran’s New Generation Seeks Nothing but Regime Change

In a silly and desperate statement, the Iranian regime’s foreign minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian claimed that nothing special is going...

Iran’s Youths Broke the Spell of Fear

One of the main characteristics of the recent protests in Iran is the courage and fearlessness of the people,...

Iran Is on the Brink of a Revolution

The wall of fear has been broken. In many cities across Iran, women are taking to the streets, leading...

Iran’s Regime Claims To Fill Global Energy Gap Despite Crippled Petroleum Sector

In recent weeks, the Iranian regime’s officials have been constantly exaggerating their huge capacity in oil and gas reserves...

Must read

Ali Safavi: Stop appeasing Iranian mullahs

Clarion Project: Ali Safavi is the U.S. spokesperson for...

Iran retakes top spot in money-laundering risk ranking index

Wall Street Journal: Iran is once again the country posing...

You might also likeRELATED
Recommended to you