Fuel loading begins again at Bushehr

08 April 2011

The reloading of fuel assemblies into Iran's Bushehr nuclear power plant has begun, Russia's AtomStroyExport has announced. The fuel was unloaded earlier this year after debris from damaged coolant pumps was discovered. The reactor internals and main circulation pipeline station have now been flushed through and inspected, AtomStroyExport says. Construction of a German-designed plant began in 1974 but was suspended in 1980. Russian state nuclear company Rosatom was subsequently appointed to complete it in a modified form, using most of the existing infrastructure but with refabricated main reactor components. It appears that the root of the problem was a design fault in the pump, part of the equipment delivered to the site in the 1970s. Similar problems in other pumping units have now been addressed according to AtomStroyExport.