"Bushehr not looking good"
Iran says nuclear reactor is weeks from operating at full capacity
Sat January 7, 2012 Iran's Bushehr nuclear power plant is just weeks from operating at full capacity, the country's top nuclear official said Saturday.Iran's Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant Raises ConcernsNo Monitoring-
The IAEA warned Iran’s nuclear regulatory agency had “a shortage of staff” and the existing workers who were under-trained and under-funded.
The cooling-system pumps were “supplied to Bushehr in the 1970’s and, under the current contract, Russia was obliged to integrate them into the project,”.
“To cut costs the Russians had to agree to use certain parts supplied by the Germans,” said Bill Horak, who studies Soviet and Russian-built reactors.
Bushehr also sits at the junction of three tectonic plates, raising concerns that an earthquake could damage the plant and crack its containment dome, or disrupt the electrical supply needed to keep it safe, said Dr. Jassem al-Awadi, a geologist at the University of Kuwait. Bushehr was hit with a 4.6 magnitude temblor in 2002.
Three Russian nuclear scientists who planned, designed, built and put into operation Iran's first nuclear reactor at Bushehr this year, died Tuesday night, June 20 2011, when a Rusaero flight from Moscow to Petrozavodsk in northwest Russia crashed. The three Russian scientists spent February and March 2011 at Bushehr after the Russian Nuclear Energy Commission insisted that the nuclear fuel rods be removed until they were sure the plant would not explode. The rods have since been reloaded and the reactor went online last month.
The Bushehr plant overlooks the Persian Gulf and is visible from several miles away with its cream-colored dome dominating the green landscape. Soldiers maintain a 24-hour watch on roads leading up to the plant, manning anti-aircraft guns and supported by numerous radar stations.
Bushehr began in 1975 when the shah of Iran awarded the contract to Kraftwerk Union of Germany.
When the German company pulled out after the 1979 Islamic revolution the two reactors were far from finished, and they were damaged during the Iran-Iraq war of 1980-88.
Airstrikes left the containment vessel with 1700 holes, letting in hundreds of tonnes of rainwater.
The regime revived the project in the 1990s, but with one reactor only. It wanted a prestige project to show that the Islamic Republic could match the scientific achievements of the West.
This time, Iran used Russian engineers, who had not built a foreign reactor since the Soviet Union collapsed in 1989. Russia's experts wanted to start from scratch. The Iranians, having already spent more than $1 billion, insisted they built on the German foundations.
This involved adapting a structure built for a vertical German reactor to take a horizontal Russian reactor - an unprecedented operation. Of the 80,000 pieces of German equipment, many were corroded or lacked manuals.
Moscow's Centre for Energy and Security Studies, an independent think tank, identified a "shortage of skilled Russian engineering and construction specialists with suitable experience". It spoke of "frequent problems with quality and deadlines" as "every (Russian) subcontractor tried to milk the Bushehr project for all it's worth". In February a 30-year-old German cooling pump broke, sending metal debris into the system.
The Earthquakes are ramping up along Iran's coast,
where Bushehr sits-
Mid-Point - March 21st 2013God Blessgail