27 Jul 2010 15:04

First stage of preparations for Bushehr NPP launch to end in late summer

MOSCOW. July 27 (Interfax) - Preparations for the launch of the Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant are proceeding according to schedule, with the first stage to be finished by the end of August, head of the Rosatom state nuclear energy corporation Sergei Kiriyenko said.

The construction of the Bushehr Nuclear Power plant does not fall under UN sanctions against Iran, he said.

"The project is being built according to schedule. Questions regarding the exact dates should be referred to the Iranian side. The oversight services' is well underway there, and they are negotiating the final dates with the Iranian customer. The preparations are continuing according to plan, plus or minus a few days, which will not make any serious difference," Kiriyenko told journalists on Monday.

The preparations for the launch of the Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant fall into three stages, Kiriyenko said. "The preparatory work for the first stage must be finished in late August as planned, as the first stage involved the placing of nuclear fuel in the reactor compartment, the second, the start of loading fuel directly into the reactor, and the third, bringing the capacity to the minimal controllable level."

Bushehr has never come under sanctions, "Bushehr being off sanctions is a very good signal. The world community is thus saying that no one is obstructing the development of Iran's peaceful nuclear program," Kiriyenko said, making a point that the project's peaceful nature does not arouse any doubts.

He also said that Russia would participate in all tenders to build nuclear power plants abroad, "where the terms are acceptable for Russia."

"We are taking part in a tender in the Czech Republic, and we have been selected by the Vietnamese government - they decided not to hold a tender, although we were ready to participate. Hungary has not announced a tender, but the parliament and government are preparing a relevant decision. If it is announced we will participate, of course," Kiriyenko said.

"You may be sure we will always participate where tenders are held on acceptable terms," the Rosatom chief said.