Press TV 
Tuesday, Oct 14, 2008
A senior Iranian nuclear official says the nuclear power plant in Bushehr will become operational this year as previously planned.
Deputy Head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization (AEO), Ahmad Fayaz-Bakhsh said Tuesday that Iranian experts have been more actively engaged in the start-up process of the Bushehr nuclear plant over the past 18 months.
In the past decade, Russia has helped Iran build its first nuclear power plant, capable of annually generating some 1,000 megawatts of electricity, in the nation’s southern city of Bushehr.
According to the Russian envoy to Tehran, Alexander Sadovnikov, the construction of the power station has been delayed for about a decade due to the ‘sanctions imposed by Western powers’.
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Fayyaz-Bakhsh described the Bushehr power plant’s recent development as ‘satisfactory’ following the delivery of nuclear fuel from Russia, last year.
Atomstroiexport which is the company working on the Bushehr nuclear plant also trains Iranian specialists and delivers nuclear fuel to the plant’s reactor. The company has so far delivered eight fuel shipments to Bushehr.
The Iranian official’s announcement comes after the head of Atomstroiexport, Leonid Reznikov declared in September that, “Between December 2008 and February 2009, various technical measures will be carried out… that will make the physical start-up process of the first Bushehr reactor irreversible.”
Suffering from electricity shortage, Iran has been forced to adopt a rationing program by scheduling power outages – of up to two hours a day – across both urban and rural areas in the country.