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TEHRAN, September 13 (Itar-Tass) — Putting into operation of the Bushehr nuclear power plant does not mean that Iran must halt its nuclear program, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said at a briefing in Tehran on Tuesday.
“Iran’s peaceful nuclear activities will not be stopped. Those who insist on it thus show their ignorance in nuclear issues. Iran must satisfy its demands for fuel for nuclear power plants and therefore will continue uranium enrichment activities,” the diplomat stressed.
This statement was a reaction to a statement made by the US State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland. The United States believes that Iran does not need its own uranium enrichment facilities as it can get fuel from the international community, as in the case with Bushehr, she said.
The fuel for the Bushehr NPP was delivered to Iran by Russia. However, head of the Iranian Atomic Energy Organisation Fereydoon Abbasi-Davani said at a news conference in Bushehr on Monday, according to the long-term program of the national atomic energy development, the Iranian authorities plan to build other power units with the total capacity of 20,000 MW. The design capacity of the Bushehr NPP is 1,000 megawatts.
On Sunday, Iran’s Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi told a news conference that the Bushehr nuclear power plant will reach its full projected capacity of 1,000 megawatts in two-three months’ time. Before December of past year he chaired Iran’s nuclear organisation. “Presently, the reactor is working at 35-40 percent of its capacity, and we hope that it will go fully operational within 2-3 months,” he said. “The power unit is connected to Iran’s energy system; however, as we said earlier, it may be shut down for inspection of equipment and additional tests.” “After that, the reactor will be started again and will reach its full capacity, which will take 2-3 months,” he added. “Following it, Russian specialists will provide warranty maintenance of the plant for one year, and then the nuclear power plant will be serviced fully by Iranian engineers,” Salehi said.
On Monday, co-chairs of the intergovernmental commission Sergei Shmatko and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic Ali Akbar Salehi, as well as chief of Rosatom State Corporation Sergei Kiriyenko took part in the ceremony of putting into operation the first power unit of the Bushehr NPP that has been built by Russia’s Atomstroiexport.