The head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) said the Islamic Republic’s first civilian nuclear power plant, Bushehr, is the safest in the world.
“The Bushehr nuclear plant is the world’s safest,” Ali Akbar Salehi said Monday in an address to a ceremony marking Iran’s official taking over of the first unit of the plant from Russia.
He reassured Iran’s neighbors over the safety of the plant and said Tehran is ready to answer any questions in this regard.
The Iranian nuclear chief said Iran is the only country among 57 Islamic states, which enjoys civilian nuclear technology, adding that the achievement was attained despite the country being under pressure and sanctions.
“Thirty-four years of hardship, threats, restrictions and sanctions have failed to bring down this nation and today we are witness to another source of great pride for this nation.”
“Few countries could have made so many achievements under so much pressure,” he said.
The initial construction of the Bushehr nuclear power plant began in 1975 by German companies, but the work was halted following the 1979 Islamic Revolution.
In 1995, Iran and Russia reached an agreement to complete the project, but power generation was delayed several times due to a number of technical and financial problems.
The plant became officially operational and was connected to Iran’s national grid in September 2011, generating electricity at 40 percent capacity.
Iran assured the facility is fully compliant with high level safety standards and the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, and is also operating under the full supervision of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).