Fuel to be injected into Iran's nuclear reactor core
Oct 25, 2010, 21:42 GMT
Tehran - Fuel will finally be injected into the core of the first Iranian nuclear reactor in the southern port of Bushehr, the head of Iran's parliamentary foreign policy commission said Monday.
Alaeddin Boroujerdi told official news agency IRNA that the fuel would be loaded on Tuesday into the core.
After 35 years, Iran's first nuclear power plant was opened in August by Iranian and Russian nuclear officials in the Persian Gulf port Bushehr.
With the opening of the Russian-built plant, 82 tons of nuclear fuel that were already delivered to Iran by Russia were unsealed by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and kept in an outdoor 'fuel pool' near the reactor.
A total of 163 fuel rods were initially supposed to be injected into the reactor by September under IAEA supervision, and the plant was expected to go online in November and be connected to the national electrical grid.
Due to the heat in Bushehr and reportedly also some technical problems with the site's computers, the loading was delayed for almost two months.
The plant was scheduled to reach its maximum capacity of 1,000 megawatts by March 2011, but this step is likewise expected to be delayed.
Iran and Russia would have equal shares in a joint venture operating the Bushehr plant, but gradually all shares would be transferred to the Iranian side, and within the next three years, Russia would hand over the facility completely to Iranian hands.
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