Iran’s Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi said today in Tehran that Bushehr nuclear power plant, the first in the country, will start work in the first week of May. The Russian builder of the plant, Rosatom, reloaded the fuel inside the core of the reactor, one of the last steps to start a nuclear reactor. The fuel was removed in February after Rosatom had found metal shards in the plant’s fuel assembly.
"We hope that the Bushehr power plant reaches critical phase between May 5 and 10," Salehi said. “(The fuel) was removed from the reactor's core, was washed, and as of yesterday it was reloaded, he added [IRNA, 9 April].
The Russian builders have blamed the delay caused by fuel removal on internal wear-and-tear at the plant, whose construction had initially started in the early 1970s with the help of Germany's Siemens. They have also blamed Iran for forcing its engineers to work with outdated parts in the plant.