The start of operations at Bushehr was first scheduled for Sept. 2, with
the installation of nuclear fuel rods provided by Russia. But over the last
month, Bushehr was reported to have sustained a series of setbacks,
including an attack by the Stuxnet computer virus.
"I hope that the Bushehr nuclear power plant can generate [electricity]
with full nominal power next spring," Atomic Energy Organization director
Ali Akhbar Salehi said.
In a briefing on Oct. 5, Salehi reported the latest revision of
Bushehr's operational timetable. He said nuclear fuel rods would be
installed in Bushehr by mid-November 2010 and a month later the reactor
would reach 40 percent capacity.
The full operation of Bushehr, Salehi said, would begin no earlier than
April 2011. He again did not rule out the prospect of another delay in
In late September, Salehi said Bushehr would begin operations within
weeks and link with the national grid by November. The pool leak marked the
first time that Iran explained any of the recent delays in the reactor.
Salehi's timetable of Bushehr's operations differed significantly from
the reactor's Russian prime contractor, the state-owned Atomstroyexport. On
Oct. 6, Atomstroyexport said the nuclear fuel rods would be loaded into
Bushehr in October 2010.
"The entire load of fuel has been delivered to the rector repository,"
an Atomstroyexport spokeswoman told the Russian news agency RIA Novosti.
"The loading of the fuel into the reactor is scheduled for October 2010."