AEOI Chief: Threats, Pressures Fail to Hamper Iranian Progress
TEHRAN (Tasnim) - Head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Ali Akbar Salehi said on Monday that threats and pressure can not hinder the Iranian nation’s move towards progress.
No threat and pressure can block the progress of the Iranian nation, said Salehi, who had attended a ceremony to take over operation of Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant from the Russian contractor.
“After the Islamic Revolution (of 1979) the Iranian nation’s efforts yielded results, and today we are witnessing the outcome of all the efforts of the Iranian nation,” Salehi pointed out.
On Monday, head of Russia’s Atomstroyexport contractors Valeri Limarenko and Salehi, head of the AEOI, signed a protocol to transfer operation of the 1,000 megawatt power plant to the Iranian side for a two-year trial period.
The Iranian control of the plant will become full and permanent after 7,000 hours of operation or two years, during which the power station will be under Russian guarantee and a number of Russian experts will remain in place to give advice and technical assistance.
The hand over comes into effect at midnight local time.
Russia has agreed to provide the power plant’s fuel for 10 years, with the supply deal committing Tehran to returning the spent fuel.
Salehi had earlier said he expected work to start soon on a second nuclear power plant on completion of talks with Moscow. "Negotiations are continuing and are well-advanced," he said. "Work will start soon," he added.
The Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant became officially operational and was connected to Iran’s national grid in September 2011.
Construction of the Bushehr facility began in the 1975 with the help of German company Siemens, which withdrew from the project after the victory of the Islamic Revolution in 1979. The Iraqi imposed war on Iran (1980-1988) further hampered work on the project. In 1994 Russia signed a contract with Iran to finish the project in 1999.
Bushehr was finally finished more than a decade later and inaugurated in 2010, but it did not come into service until 2011 because of technical problems.