According to Iran’s state-run Fars news agency, the Russian-made Bushehr nuclear power plant is back online.
Behrouz Kamalvandi, spokesman for Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization, told state media, “The power plant which had been turned off for two and a half months for recharging one third of its fuel and doing first periodic maintenance and repairs came back into operation again [on May 31].”
Iran struck a deal with Russia in 1995 for the Kremlin to build them a nuclear power source. The reactor finally became capable of delivering widespread energy in August 2012. An Iranian diplomat announced in March that the two nations are working towards maximizing the further potential of the Bushehr nuclear plant. The diplomat said, “Negotiations are underway between Iranian and Russian officials, including the officials of Rosatom company, on the construction of new phases for the Bushehr nuclear power plant.”
The new phases for advancing the reactor’s capabilities were marked to begin in the first half of 2014.
The Bushehr nuclear power plant sits along the Persian gulf. Many worry it is located at the junction of as many as three tectonic plates. The AP reported last year that a May 2013 earthquake caused a major crack in a wall of at least one of the buildings of the reactor site.
Some reported that the nuclear plant has been shut down so often because of safety concerns. Experts said the concerns stem from the plant’s inability to contain high levels of radiation, likely due to shoddy Russian technology and lax safety standards.