posted on Mar, 3 2011 @ 12:03 PM
Here's something in reference to Iran's ability to run the plant safely, and concerns about that.
March 03, 2011
By Robert Tait
Repeated delays in the opening of a showpiece Iranian nuclear reactor are triggering concerns over Tehran's ability to safely run a civilian
nuclear-power plant without the risk of a catastrophic accident, analysts say.
The worries have been provoked by latest setback to hit the Bushehr plant where -- according to a report published last week on Iran's nuclear
activities by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) -- engineers are being forced to remove 163 fuel rods. Russia's state nuclear energy
corporation, Rosatom -- whose scientists have helped to build the plant -- said this week that the action was needed after damage was discovered at
one of the reactor's main cooling pumps.
It is the latest in a series of setbacks to hit the reactor, whose construction has cost more than $1 billion.
Analysts have largely ruled out sabotage -- in contrast to problems at Iran's uranium-enrichment facility at Natanz. That complex is widely thought
to have been deliberately targeted by a computer virus, Stuxnet, which some experts believe to have been conceived by the United States or Israel in
an effort to slow down parts of Iran's nuclear program with the potential to produce a bomb.
Instead, they believe it highlights deficiencies in Iran's capacity to competently operate a plant like Bushehr on its own. Unlike Tehran's
uranium-enrichment program, which has been subject to a series of sanctions by the United Nations, the United States, and the European Union,
Washington and its Western allies dropped opposition to the Bushehr project after Russia agreed to take back the plant's spent nuclear fuel for
reprocessing. That move allayed concerns that Iran might be able to reprocess the material itself into weapons-grade plutonium -- a different route to
a bomb from enriching uranium.
Read the rest at www.rferl.org...