Russia: At least one year needed to complete Iran nuclear power plant
Iran's first nuclear power plant, which is being built by Russia, will not come online until late 2008, Russian news reports said Thursday. "I can say with certainty that the plant won't be launched before late 2008," Sergei Shmatko, the head of the Atomstroiexport company building the nuclear plant, said while visiting China, according to the ITAR-Tass, RIA Novosti and Interfax news agencies.
Russia on Monday made its first shipment of nuclear fuel to the Bushehr plant. Russian officials have said that fuel deliveries would begin about a half year before Bushehr was expected to go into service.
"We can predict that the Bushehr station will be launched no earlier than the end of 2008 due to the current situation," Atomstroiexport spokeswoman, Irina Yesipova told AFP. She added the timeframe was not a question of delays, but of the amount of time needed to deliver fuel and carry out tests on the station.
These Russian comments contrasted with a statement on Tuesday by a top Iranian nuclear official, Mohammad Saeedi, that the station should be producing electricity at full capacity in around a year.