Iran to remove fuel from its first nuclear power plant

Saturday, February 26, 2011

TEHRAN - Iran’s envoy to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has said the fuel placed inside the reactor of the country’s first nuclear power plant will be temporarily removed to run a number of tests, a media report said.

Upon Russia’s request, the fuel will be removed from the reactor core of the Bushehr nuclear power plant to conduct a number of tests and carry out technical work, envoy Ali Asghar Soltanieh said Saturday.

He said the nuclear fuel would be placed in the core of the reactor again after the tests were conducted, ISNA news agency reported.

Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi earlier said the Bushehr nuclear power plant would join the national power grid in April.

“Everything with Bushehr nuclear power plant is progressing well,” he said.

Russia signed an agreement worth $1 billion 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 US.

Salehi rejected reports that the computer system in Bushehr was infected by a virus called Stuxnet, saying the computer worm could not go beyond personal computers and enter the facility’s main system.

Some analysts believe it was Stuxnet that caused the delays of the plant’s joining the national grid.

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