Today's Coming Crisis Movie

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Iran's first nuclear power plant 'goes operational', state radio claims - 19th May 2011

Iran faced global condemnation today after it defied safety warnings and launched the country's first nuclear power plant.

Western countries including the United Kingdom and the U.S. have for years feared the controversial plant could be used to develop nuclear weapons.

The country has in recent times been locked in a tense stand-off over its nuclear intentions, with its leaders refusing reveal its plans.

But they have now been branded 'troubling' after they defied calls to join safety programs and instead continue with the launch of the Bushehr nuclear plant.

Iranian Foreign Minister Ali-Akbar Salehi confirmed yesterday that the country's only nuclear plant had become operational.

'As we have previously announced, Bushehr power plant has reached the criticality stage (and) it has been successfully launched,' Salehi said according Iran FM.

The criticality stage, or fission process, allows the atoms to split by themselves in a chain reaction without interference from operators.

The process is expected to last some two months, during which period the plant will generate around 40 per cent of its power capacity.

'We assure the (Iranian) nation that safety has the final say in Bushehr power plant,' Salehi added.

He said that modern technologies that were used in the construction of the plant have ensured that it is 'amongst one of the safest in the world'.

'We assure the (Iranian) nation that safety has the final say in Bushehr power plant,' he added.

Construction of the Bushehr plant began in 1975 by several German companies.

But work was halted when the U.S. imposed an embargo on hi-tech supplies to Iran after the 1979 Islamic revolution. Russia signed a contract with Iran to complete the construction in 1998.

However, building work was postponed several times amid technical and financial challenges and pressure from the United States. Read More