TEHRAN (Fars News Agency)- Iran expects its first nuclear power plant will produce electricity at full capacity in around a year after passing a “critical stage” with the delivery of fuel from Russia, a top official said.
The 1,000 megawatt plant in the southern city of Bushehr could come online within three months at up to 200 megawatts before being raised to full capacity nine months later, said Mohammad Saeedi, the deputy head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization.
“We have passed a key and critical stage now” with the delivery of the fuel on December 17 from Russia, he was quoted as saying by IRNA agency.
“We could see the start-up in a two or three months’ time. We’re waiting for the final agreement which is due within a month from now,” he said.
“As of Farvardin, [the Iranian month beginning end-March], we will run some equipment. In the start-up stage, we will begin at a low capacity of 100 or 200 megawatts and in about nine months we will reach the full capacity of 1,000 megawatts.”
Saeedi said that all the main equipment at Bushehr had been installed by the Russian contractor Atomstroiexport and the plant was “95-percent finished”.
“The reactor, turbine, generators and pumps have been tested. The remaining five percent includes a series of secondary equipment… like ventilation systems or some cables. There is no barrier in the way of operations in Bushehr.”
The United States and Russia said that Moscow’s delivery of the nuclear fuel for the plant showed that Tehran did not need to use the sensitive process of uranium enrichment to make its own fuel.
But Saeedi said Iran wanted to use a mix of fuel produced abroad and at home. “We should adopt a policy that enables us to produce a part of the (needed) fuel”.
Tehran also announced last Monday that it was working on a new 360-megawatt nuclear power plant, revealing for the first time that it would be located in the western Khuzestan Province.
“We have decided the location and site for Darkhoweyn and its design has been defined”, said Saeedi, adding that Iran would seek to build more medium-sized nuclear power plants in the future.