Iranian nuclear power plant operational within weeks: Russian diplomat

08:10, May 13, 2011      

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Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov on Thursday said that Iran's Bushehr nuclear power plant will be operational within weeks, according to the Itar-Tass news agency.

"We are keeping up with the schedule, which was adjusted by request of Iranian partners. I can confirm that it (the full operation) is a matter of few weeks," Ryabkov was quoted as saying.

Meanwhile, Russia's Atomic Energy Agency Rosatom confirmed that Russian nuclear fuel manufacturer TVEL has supplied 30 tons of fuel for refueling the reactor at the Bushehr plant.

Citing a Rosatom spokesman, Interfax said the fuel was to be loaded into the reactors within a year.

Russian contractor Atomstroyexport confirmed April 8 it had resumed loading fuel into the reactor at the Bushehr nuclear power plant.

In February, upon Russia's request, the Iranian side temporarily removed the fuel from the reactor core in order to conduct a number of tests and carry out technical work.

Construction of the Bushehr plant was started in 1975 by several German companies. However, work halted when the United States imposed an embargo on hi-tech supplies to Iran after the 1979 revolution. Russia signed a contract with Iran to complete the construction in 1998.

Completion of the plant's construction was postponed several times by mounting technical and financial challenges and pressure from the United States.

Source: Xinhua
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