Iran’s Bushehr nuclear power plant – PHOTO GALLERY

Posted on February 27, 2012

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bushehr nuclear plantThis is a photo gallery of Iran’s Bushehr nuclear power plant. The 1,000-megawatt plant is located southeast of the city of Bushehr along the Persian Gulf. Bushehr seems be Iran’s most famous nuclear plant.

The facility was the idea of the Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi. He wanted a national electrical grid powered by nuclear power plants. Bushehr would be the first plant, and would supply energy to the inland city of Shiraz.

Construction of the plant was started in 1975 by German companies, but the work was stopped in 1979 after the Islamic revolution of Iran. A contract for finishing the plant was signed between Iran and the Russian Ministry for Atomic Energy in 1995, with Russia’s Atomstroyexport named as the main contractor.

The work was delayed several years by technical and financial challenges as well as by political pressure from the West. After construction was again in danger of being stopped in 2007, a renewed agreement was reached in which the Iranians promised to compensate for rising costs and inflation after completion of the plant. Delivery of nuclear fuel started the same year.

The plant started adding electricity to the national grid on 3 September 2011, and was officially opened in a ceremony on September 12. It reached the capacity of 190 MW on September 27, and a day later it improved its capacity to 300 MW. The plant gained 50 percent of its nominal power on October 7 as it reached the capacity of 420 MW.

There have been widespread safety concerns about the plant, associated with construction of the plant itself, aging equipment at the plant, and understaffing. The International Atomic Energy Agency says that Iran “does not follow some important safety protocols” and there have been concerns about a Chernobyl-like nuclear accident occurring, which could spread radiation throughout the region.

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