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MENA governments are pushing ahead with nuclear power programs aimed at installing almost 60GW of capacity by 2032. Iran is already operating the region’s first nuclear plant, while the UAE and Turkey aim to start up plants in the medium term and Jordan has committed to building two plants.
Iran’s nuclear program has been blighted with a series of delays and setbacks. The 1GW capacity Bushehr plant started up on 3 September 2011 after a long and controversial stop-start development program. Plant manager Hossein Darakshande announced on 8 October that the plant had delivered 8.7TWh of electricity since start-up.
This total – equivalent to an average generating rate of 320MW – reflects the plant’s intermittent performance. There have been three prolonged shutdowns at Bushehr: for repairs after debris was found in the reactor housing; for turbine generator repairs; and most recently for scheduled replacement of fuel rods.
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