Connect to share and comment

Iran nuclear power plant at Bushehr reaches full capacity

Bushehr nuclear power plant in Iran now producing 1,000 megawatts.

Bushehr nuclear reactorEnlarge
A picture shows the inside of the reactor at the Russian-built Bushehr nuclear power plant in southern Iran. (AFP/AFP/Getty Images)

More than 40 years after it was first envisioned, the only reactor at Iran’s Bushehr nuclear power plant is operating at full capacity.

The reactor reached 1,000 megawatts on Aug. 30, according to a news release from the Islamic Republic.

A Russian company completed the power plant when German company Siemens backed out after the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

“Huge work to assess conditions and applicability of the German equipment, buildings and structures was done,” Atomstroyexport’s construction chief, Igor Mezeninhe, said in the release. “The architects had to develop and apply a number of smart engineering solutions and know-how to adapt the Russian technologies to already available capacities on the site.”

More from GlobalPost: IAEA: Iran doubled production capacity at Fordo nuclear site

Iran’s pursuit of nuclear power worries the US and its allies, who accuse Iran of attempting to build nuclear weapons.

Iran denies the claim and says it’s only striving to become a technology leader in the Middle East.

It says nuclear power plants will deliver energy and medical isotopes.

The plant came online with minimum power in September 2011, RT.com reported.

The Russian news agency said Bushehr doesn’t present a nuclear weapons threat because the spent uranium used there is returned to Russia.

Iran had announced plans to build a second reactor at Bushehr, although RT.com said the country has yet to approach the Russian government about building it.

The plant was to open in 1999, but delays related to technical and funding issues pushed back construction, The Associated Press reported.

Russia and Iran signed a $1-billion deal in 1992, and work began three years later, the AP said.

More from GlobalPost: Iran might be ramping up nuclear weapons work: New York Times

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/middle-east/iran/120901/iran-nuclear-power-plant-at-bushehr-reaches-full-capac