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Bushehr NPP No. 1 reaches full capacity after fuel reload

A total of 54 fuel assemblies were reloaded after 300 effective power days

MOSCOW, July 08. /ITAR-TASS/. Reactor No. 1 of the Bushehr nuclear power plant has reached its full capacity after a scheduled fuel reload and planned maintenance, NIAEP-ASE, a joint company formed by the Nizhny Novgorod Engineering Company Atomenergoproekt and Atomstroyexport, said on Tuesday, July 8.

A total of 54 fuel assemblies were reloaded after 300 effective power days.

Iranian Ambassador to Russia Mehdi Sanaei told the Rossiya 24 TV channel that a contract to build two new units at the Bushehr nuclear power plant might be signed soon.

“There is a preliminary agreement to build a second station at Bushehr. Our nuclear energy organizations are engaged in negotiations. I think they will soon come to agreement and sign a contract,” the diplomat said.


Expansion of the plant

Russia and Iran have been negotiating a possible expansion of the plant. Rosatom Head Sergei Kiriyenko said a contract to build two new units could be signed before the end of the year.

In September 2013, Russia handed over the plant to Iran under temporary control for a two-year trial period, during which it will operate under the supervision of Russian specialists. After the end of this period, Iran will have full control of the plant.

Under the handover protocol, Russia’s guarantees will apply to the Bushehr nuclear power plant for two years, and a certain number of Russian specialists will remain at the power plant to advise the Iranian personnel and provide technical assistance.

The plant generated about 7 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity since its launch in September 2011 until February 2914.


Significane of Bushehr NPP

Bushehr NPP is the first nuclear power plant not only in Iran, but also in the Middle East. With a capacity of 1,000 MW, the plant is located 18 km from the city of Busher on the Persian Gulf.

The construction of the first Iranian nuclear power plant in Bushehr was started by the German company Siemens’s branch Kraftwerk Union. However, the work was halted, and the contract was abrogated after the Islamic revolution in Iran in February 1979 and the following beginning of the Iranian-Iraqi armed conflict.

A Russian-Iranian contract was signed on January 8, 1995 to complete the construction of the first power unit in Bushehr, and an addendum to the contract was signed in 1998 for the Russian party to complete the construction of the facilities to be ready to operate.

On December 16, 2007, the first portion of Russian nuclear fuel was delivered to the special storage depot in the power plant territory. The last shipment was delivered on January 28, 2008.

Preparations for the physical launch of the power plant began in August 2010. The first reactor began operating in late November 2010.

In the autumn of last year, a protocol on the transfer of the Bushehr nuclear power plant to Iranian specialists was signed in Iran.