Iran will need two additional weeks to complete the process of loading fuel into its Russian-built first nuclear power plant, nuclear chief Ali Akbar Salehi said. The process of loading 163 fuel rods into the nuclear power plant located in the southern port city of Bushehr started earlier this month and was to be completed by September 5.
Thereafter the rods were to be transferred to the reactor.
But state news agency IRNA reported late on Monday that Salehi said it will take another two weeks to shift the rods into the plant. "From now on, it will take 10 to 15 days for the 163 fuel rods to be moved into the main building of the Bushehr nuclear power plant and then we have to transfer the fuel rods into the reactor," Salehi said.
Salehi blamed Bushehr's "severe hot weather" for the delay in moving the rods into the plant and said that this work was being done during the night.
Iranian officials had earlier said the Bushehr plant's commissioning is expected in October or November when the electricity it generates is connected to the national grid.
Russian officials said the start of the process of loading fuel into the plant marked the physical launch of the facility, which had been under construction ever since the 1970s under the rule of the late shah.