Bushehr’s nuclear reactor to be commissioned next September

Iran's Vice President and Russia's top atomic power official are set to discuss a date for the opening of a jointly built nuclear plant during talks in Moscow. Golam Reza Agazade will hold 2 days of talks with Sergey Kiriyenko on the construction of th

The plant is expected to be commissioned next September and begin generating power by November 2007. Terms for the delivery of nuclear fuel from Russia will also be discussed.

The nuclear reactor being built in Bushehr is the same model currently in operation in the Russian city of Novovoronezh. Next the nuclear power plant is the small town of Novovoronezh. The town is known because of the nuclear station. A recent study of the environment of this area showed it is one of the cleanest places in the region. Even close to the nuclear power reactor the radioactivity level here has been measured at 8 micro roentgens per hour. In comparison, in the center of Moscow, where there no nuclear power plants, the level is twice as high.   

Even so – the radiology lab at the station constantly takes probes of the air. Maxim Dolgov, station engineer says: “It is another security step. Even if something occurs, special sensors installed all around the station will immediately detect the change of radioactivity and the reactor will be stopped automatically”.

The station is also regularly visited by international observers. The plant’s output, technologies in use and security level are the areas of highest interest.

Talks between the Iranian vice president and Sergey Kiriyenko come as concerns remain in the international community over Iran's nuclear ambitions.

The United States in particular fears nuclear fuel from the Bushehr power plant could be diverted for military use.

But Georgy Engelhardt, a Middle East analyst based in Moscow, says appropriate safeguards have been implemented to prevent this from happening.

Georgy Engelhardt, Middle East analyst at the Slavistics Institute, comments on the Bushehr power station:

“The most important part of this condition is the process of fuel returning back to Russia. It is done so, to avoid possible production of the enriched uranium in Iran for military use, because some critics are aware of possible military use of atomic industry in Iran. But according to Russian specialists in the nuclear field, this particular contract cannot be conversed into something for military use.”