Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad discussed the timetable for the startup of Bushehr nuclear power plant with his Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev on Monday. The two spoke on the phone reportedly for nearly an hour. Ahmadinejad emphasized that starting Bushehr in timely manner would serve the interests of both countries, the official Iranian news agency IRNA reported.
Last August, the Iranian officials “opened” the plant in an elaborate ceremony, but a host of safety related issues has delayed its actual operations. In September, the plant manager told IRNA that the facility was infected by Stuxnet worm but no significant harm had been done. The Russian officials later raised issues surrounding the safety of the plant and its builder, Rosatom, removed the fuel core in February and began a thorough inspection of the reactor after metal shards were found in the plant’s fuel assemblies. Now in light of the nuclear disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi reactors in Japan, concerns for safety at Bushehr have found new meanings.