Bushehr NPP: what delayed the start of commercial power generation? Bushehr NPP: wha

Discussion in 'Iran' started by Casper, Jul 28, 2011.

  1. Casper

    Casper Member

    Sep 6, 2010
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    After years of delays, Iran's first nuclear power plant at Bushehr has reached first criticality on May 8, 2011. Commercial power generation is now expected to begin by August 2011. The agreement between the Iranian and Russian governments to build the plant was signed in Moscow on August 25, 1992. On January 8, 1995, the two sides signed a contract. Why did it take 187 months for the Bushehr NPP to start producing electricity?

    Russian specialists who worked on the first reactor unit of the Bushehr NPP faced a host of technical, engineering, political and financial challenges. In order to cut costs, Iran insisted on making full use of the existing structures and equipment supplied by German company Siemens in the second half of 1970s before abandoning the project in 1979 due to the financial crisis and political unrest that was roiling Iran. This left the first reactor unit 80%-85% finished, and the second 50%-70% finished.

    The main problem in the first stage of the project was the complexity of integrating the Russian reactor design into the existing German-built frame. Russian specialists also needed to ascertain whether the German equipment – mothballed and left in storage at the site – was still in good working order. That work took several years to complete. Some 47,000 pieces of equipment were vetted; another 11,000 seemed to be in working order but their specifications and manuals were missing and needed to be recovered. Meanwhile, over the years since the Germans started the NPP, nuclear safety requirements in Russia and internationally had become more stringent.

    Full version of this article was originally published on www.valdaiclub.com

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