Fuel loading set to begin at Bushehr

13 August 2010

Russia and Iran say they will begin transferring fuel into Iran’s Bushehr nuclear power plant on 21 August. Head of the Iranian Atomic Energy Organization Ali Akbar Salehi told the Fars news agency that fuel will be loaded into the core from 5 September, and it would take a further two weeks for the reactor to reach 50% power and be connected to the grid.

Iran's Bushehr plant
The Bushehr nuclear power plant

Head of Bushehr nuclear power plant Mahmoud Jafari confirmed that testing work at the reactor is complete and that the plant is prepared for launch. "The test pressure of 250 bar was successfully held at the Bushehr nuclear power plant, ensuring that the system is in working order,” he said.

Iran says it has invited inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency, to attend Bushehr’s launch ceremony on 21 August. Russian deputy foreign minister Alexei Borodavkin also announced that head of Russia's state atomic energy commission Sergei Kirienko is scheduled to attend the ceremony.

Bushehr is expected to start up in mid-September. It will take the unit six to seven months to react full power, Salehi told Fars news agency.

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