Bushehr Plant to Become Operational Soon

Tehran announced Monday that its first nuclear power plant in the southern city of Bushehr will become fully operational after completing one final test. Russia took over construction of the plant in 1995, and was set to complete the project in 2007. Now, however, Iran says the plant is close to being operational.
Ali Akbar Salehi, the head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, told Fars News, “There remains just one test named ‘Warm Water Test’ before we can launch the power plant …. We will inject fuel to the heart of the reactor after that (final test),” adding that the plant had completed several extensive tests including the Metal Core Test.
Last month, Russian nuclear reactor builder Atomstroyexport announced it had successfully tested the second circuit equipment of the Bushehr plant—a significant step in completing the plant.
The announcement follows Ahmadinejad’s weekend call for Iran to begin enriching its own uranium up to the 20 percent level, essentially ending the need for Iran to sent shipments of its LEU abroad to Russia and France for reprocessing.
To be able to increase enrichment levels, Iran’s atomic energy chief Ali Akbar Salehi has announced the country plans on building 10 new uranium enrichment facilities during the next Iranian year.

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