Iran’s acting foreign minister and atomic energy chief said in Tehran on Thursday that the Bushehr nuclear reactor will go online on 9 April.
”We hope that on Farvardin 20 (April 9) we will witness the connection of the plant to the national grid,” Salehi said. “We have said before that due to some tests, we may have face delays but these delays are around a week or two,” he added.
Salehi again reiterated that the computer worm Stuxnet had not entered the “main systems” at Bushehr and that Iranian engineers are “pursing work with the Russians while observing all the safety issues.”
Salehi’s comments on safety issues and cooperation with the Russians was apparently in response to a strong warning by Russia that Stuxnet attack on Bushehr could have triggered a nuclear disaster on the scale of Chernobyl.
"This virus, which is very toxic, very dangerous, could have very serious implications," said Dmitry Rogozin, Russia's ambassador to NATO on Thursday [AFP, 27 January].
Rogozin described the virus's impact as being like explosive mines. “These 'mines' could lead to a new Chernobyl,” he added.
Iranian officials have confirmed the Stuxnet virus hit staff computers at the Bushehr plant but have said it had not affected major systems.