Iran to investigate delay in nuclear power plant launch

08:40, April 07, 2011      

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An Iranian lawmaker said Wednesday Iran's Majlis (Parliament) will set up a committee to investigate the delay in the launch of the country's first nuclear power plant, Mehr news agency reported.

Nuclear expert Mohammad Hassan Ghafourifard will chair the special committee, Hamid Reza Katouzian, a member of the Majlis Energy Committee, was quoted as saying.

The special committee will investigate the technical problems and financial issues related to the contract signed with Russia before it submits a report to the Majlis speaker and the energy committee, said Mehr.

The investigation will be finished in two months, according to the report.

Iran's Atomic Energy Organization said early January that the Bushehr nuclear power plant was to join the national power grid around mid-February, but it later announced to postpone the launch to early April while insisting "everything with Bushehr nuclear power plant is progressing well."

Iran's envoy to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said on February 26 that the fuel placed inside the reactor of Bushehr nuclear power plant would be temporarily removed to run a number of tests, and some analysts said the plant's computer system was infected by a virus called Stuxnet, which Iran denied.

The Bushehr project has been delayed for several times. Its construction was started in the 1970s by a German company, but was shelved shortly after the Islamic Revolution in Iran in 1979 as the German side pulled out of the deal.

Russia signed an agreement worth 1 billion U.S. dollars with Iran in 1995 to take over the project. Its completion, initially scheduled in 1999, was postponed several times by mounting technological and financial challenges and interruptions under pressures from the United States.

Source: Xinhua
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