Iran’s nuclear plant back online after shutdown

TEHRAN (Agencies): Iran’s sole nuclear power plant has been brought back online after an emergency shutdown two weeks ago, its manager told state media early on July 5.

The ISNA news agency quoted Mahmud Jafari as saying that the “technical fault” that shut down the Bushehr plant and its 1,000-megawatt reactor had been “fixed,” allowing the plant to resume power generation and be reconnected.

Jafari, who is also deputy head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI), said power generation had resumed on July 4.

He also urged Iranians to “help” the country’s overburdened grid by minimizing power consumption as weather forecasts predicted rising temperatures in the coming days.

On June 20, the AEOI blamed “a technical fault” for the plant’s shutdown and said it had given the Energy Ministry one day’s notice before going offline.

Last week, Iranian officials said engineers were working to repair the plant’s broken generator.

The United Nations’ International Atomic Energy Agency acknowledged being aware of reports about the plant, but declined to comment.

Bushehr, located on the coast of the northern reaches of the Persian Gulf, is fueled by uranium produced in Russia, not Iran, and is monitored by the IAEA.

Construction on Bushehr began under Iran’s shah in the mid-1970s. But it was abandoned after the 1979 Islamic Revolution until the mid-1990s, when Russia reached a billion-dollar deal with Iran to complete it.

Russia completed construction of the facility and officially handed it over in September 2013.

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