Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad assured the Iranian public today that the country’s Bushehr nuclear reactor scheduled to go online soon is safe and relies on “more modern technology” than Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi reactors. Bushehr’s project started some forty years ago, during the Shah’s government, and its older design has been a source of concern. Now the catastrophic events surrounding Fukushima Daiichi reactors have elevated concerns over Bushehr’s safety.
"We have observed all security measures at the Bushehr nuclear plant," Ahmadinejad said. "I don't think there will be any serious problem," he added. "The security standards there are the standards of today. We have to take into account that the Japanese nuclear plants were built 40 years ago with the standards of yesterday" [TVE, 15 March].
Yesterday, Ahmadinejad had pressed his Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev to push the plant’s Russian builders to startup the reactor, this amid the builder’s concern over the reactor’s safety after metal shards were found in the plant’s fuel assemblies. The builder, Rosatom, had to removed the fuel core in February for a thorough inspection of the reactor.