Russian engineers have reported success in some pre-operation tests at Iran’s forthcoming Bushehr nuclear power plant.
AtomStroyExport is building the plant, a unique implementation of its VVER pressurized water reactor technology that re-uses buildings and components of a Siemens unit abandoned during construction in the 1970s. The company said today that it has brought the reactor to 40% of its thermal power and turned the turbine generator system at operational speeds of 3000 rpm.
Bushehr’s commissioning was delayed in February by the detection of some metal fragments in the primary coolant circuit, which AtomStroyExport said came from one of the re-used components. The circuit had to be flushed through, with the nuclear fuel unloaded for careful inspection and cleaning. This took several weeks, and Bushehr went on to achieve criticality in early May.
According to the latest reported statements from the country, Bushehr is expected to enter commercial operation in January 2012. It will generate 915 MWe, about 3% of Iran’s total electricity generating capacity.
Researched and written by World Nuclear News