Iran has restarted its Bushehr nuclear power plant after an unscheduled shutdown and reconnected it to the grid. Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) head Fereidun Abbasi told reporters on 9 January that the plant “is functioning at 100% capacity and is sending electricity to the network. After a two-month shutdown needed to check the fuel and the reactor, the Bushehr power plant was linked to the grid and has reached its full capacity of 1.0gw.”

News that Iran had shut down Bushehr in October emerged when the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) reported in November that the plant’s fuel assemblies had been removed. Atomstroyexport, the Russian state firm that built the plant, later said it had been shut down after the discovery of debris in the reactor housing (MEES, 14 December 2012). Iran has denied reports of technical problems, saying the shutdown was part of a normal procedure during the transfer of operations from Russian to Iranian engineers. (CONTINUED - 267 WORDS)