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20 fuel assemblies loaded into Bushehr

Twenty nuclear fuel assemblies have been loaded into the core of the Bushehr power plant’s reactor since fueling began on October 26.

“Twenty nuclear fuel assemblies have been loaded into the core of the reactor until today, [that is] Saturday,” Mohammad Ahmadian, the CEO of an Iranian company charged with running the project, was quoted by IRNA as saying.

The Islamic Republic began loading fuel into the Bushehr facility’s reactor last Tuesday, October 26.

163 nuclear fuel assemblies will be loaded into the core of the reactor over a period of roughly two months, said Ali-Akbar Salehi, the head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI), in a press conference hours after fueling began on Tuesday.

Salehi underscored that loading of fuel into the reactor was a “milestone” since it was considered the most sensitive phase in the plant’s launch process.

He noted that the Bushehr nuclear power station is expected to join the national grid in 2011 to meet part of the nation’s electricity needs.

“We hope nuclear electricity will enter the national grid through the Bushehr nuclear power plant within the next three months,” the AEOI chief added.

Salehi also gave assurances that the facility is an “exceptional” one when it comes to safety.

He further pointed out that Iran, Russia and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) have all contributed to the facility’s safety regime.

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