Iran’s Residing Representative to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Ali Asqar Soltaniyeh dismissed the possibility of any Fukushima-like crisis in Iran’s first nuclear power plant in Bushehr, saying that the plant enjoys the highest safety standards possible.
Basically, occurrence of an accident in Bushehr similar to the explosion in Fukushima power plant is impossible,” Soltaniyeh said Saturday evening.
The Bushehr power plant enjoys the highest safety levels among the world nuclear facilities, Soltaniyeh added.
He further pointed to the activity of 300 nuclear reactors in 444 nuclear power plants in 30 world countries, and reminded that there have only been three incidents in all these power plants during the last 50 years of which the incident in Fukushima was the latest.
Also earlier, an official of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) assured the world that Bushehr power plant complies with the latest safety rules and standards and is fully resistant to earthquakes.
AEOI Deputy Director Nasser Rastkhah explained on Wednesday that the safety systems used in the Fukushima site belonged to the 1960s and the 1970s, and added that the safety systems used in Bushehr meet the latest international standards.
The Iranian official dismissed foreign media reports about potential vulnerability of the Bushehr plant to natural disasters such as earthquakes.
“The Russians have taken the existence of tectonic plates into consideration in designing the Bushehr nuclear plant,” Rastkhah said.
On March 11, a 9.0-magnitude earthquake, off the northeast coast of Japan’s main island, unleashed a 23-foot (7-meter) tsunami and was followed by more than 50 aftershocks.
The earthquake set off a nuclear crisis by knocking out power to the cooling systems at the Fukushima plant. Since then, most of the plant’s six reactor units have been damaged by fires, explosions or partial meltdowns.
“What happened in Fukushima is bad, it is a crisis and the current situation is not good but there has been no nuclear catastrophe,” Rastkhah concluded.
Despite the propaganda campaign launched by the US-led West against the safety of Iran’s nuclear facilities, the UN nuclear watchdog agency as the sole specialized world body has repeatedly approved the high quality of Iran’s nuclear safety standards.
The Nuclear Safety and Security Department of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) had also in a visit to Iran in March 2010 approved the standard safety levels of all Iranian nuclear sites and installations, and lauded the country’s measures and special efforts in this regard.
“We realized that Iran’s safety system responsible for inspecting Iranian nuclear facilities and installations acts very well and is strong,” Head of the IAEA’s Nuclear Safety and Security Department Olena Mykolaichuk said at the time.
“I, as the head of the (inspection) team, assure the Iranian society that Iran’s installations are safe…,” Mykolaichuk added.
She also stressed that her team has visited the Bushehr nuclear power plant in Southern Iran and inspected the safety and security control system at the installations.