Iran’s only nuclear power plant will be shut down in an emergency | Nuclear Energy News

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Officials said the temporary shutdown for repairs began on Saturday and could last up to four days, potentially causing power outages.

Iran’s only nuclear power plant was temporarily shut down due to a “technical overhaul,” said Iranian state television.

An official from the state-owned electricity company Gholamali Rakhshanimehr said on a talk show that the shutdown of the Bushehr plant began on Saturday and will take “three to four days”.

He added that there could be power outages. He did not elaborate on it, but this is the first time Iran has reported an emergency shutdown of the plant in the southern port city of Bushehr.

It went online in 2011 with the help of Russia. Iran is required to return spent fuel rods from the reactor to Russia as a non-proliferation measure.

In March, nuclear official Mahmoud Jafari said the facility could shut down because Iran cannot source parts and equipment for it from Russia due to banking sanctions imposed by the US in 2018.

Bushehr runs on uranium produced in Russia, not Iran, and is overseen by the United Nations International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

The UN agency did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the reported shutdown.

Abas Aslani, a senior researcher at the Middle East Center for Strategic Studies in Tehran, told Al Jazeera that the shutdown could be a blow to an Iranian power supply already strained by cryptocurrency mining.

“These [shutdown] is more important than the nuclear aspect of the facility in terms of the blackout, ”said Aslani.

“Because these days we see cryptocurrency mining in the country using electricity, and this has resulted in quite a few blackouts in the past.”

Construction work on Bushehr, on the coast of the northern Persian Gulf, began in the mid-1970s under the Iranian Shah.

After the Islamic Revolution in 1979, the facility was repeatedly targeted in the Iran-Iraq war. Russia later completed the construction of the facility.

The facility, which is located near active fault lines and was built for strong earthquakes, has been regularly shaken by earthquakes. No major earthquakes have been reported in the region in recent days.



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