Reports keep coming out about nuclear radiation problems in Iran. First reports indicated a problem with the Bushehr plant. but the latest reports focus on an underground uranium enrichment facility at Fordow…
Update; “Dr Ali Reza Nourizadeh a senior researcher and director of the Centre for Arab and Iranian Studies in London confirmed during a telephone interview with Missing Peace that an explosion has occurred in the underground uranium enrichment facility in Fordow Iran…..Nourizadeh, who is a commentator for Deutsche Welle and the Voice of America and has an extensive network of contacts in Iran, told us that the explosion has caused relative little damage to the uranium enrichment facility itself but that the blast has blocked the entrance to Fordow. He confirmed that more than 200 personnel are trapped in the plant and that there is a unknown number of casualties.”
“…. WND’s source claims that 16 North Koreans, including 14 technicians and two high-ranking military officers, are sealed underground with the Iranian staff……WND’s source claims that an entourage of North Korean nuclear technicians and military officers were sent to Tehran on January 15 and 17 and visited two enrichment sites – one unknown to the West to be revealed by WND, and the other, Fordow, where the North Koreans were to witness the activation of 174 newer, high-tech centrifuges….”
Older reports indicate that the Bushehr nuclear plant has been plagued by problems ever since plans were made to build it. Older news reports surfaced that the nuclear plant in Bushehr, Iran, may have experienced an explosion.
Then the nuclear plant allegedly developed a radiation leak that resulted in several fatalities. As a result of this mysterious explosion and damage to the plant, BBC news reported that a nearby city of 1.5 million people has received instructions to evacuate.
Whether these news reports are true or not, a nuclear reactor or uranium processing facility near a major city poses severe risks that threaten the health and lives of millions of people. Millions of people cannot realistically be evacuated in case of a nuclear accident, sabotage, bombing or natural disaster. Here is one example of what can happen in case a natural disaster happens.
According to Wikipedia, “Isfahan, the third largest city in Iran, produces fine carpets, textiles, steel, and handicrafts. Isfahan also has nuclear experimental reactors as well as facilities for producing nuclear fuel (UCF).” en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isfahan
According to Freebeacon and the video above; “Iranian officials have instructed residents of Isfahan to leave the city, renewing concerns that a nearby nuclear site could be leaking radioactive material.
An edict issued Wednesday by Iranian authorities orders Isfahan’s one-and-a-half million people to leave the city “because pollution has now reached emergency levels,” the BBC reported.
However, outside observers suspect that the evacuation order may corroborate previous reports indicating that a uranium enrichment facility near Isfahan had been leaking radioactive material.”
Soon after the reactor’s September 12 unveiling, Russian engineer Alexander Bolgarov already revealed the reactor’s malfunctions, construction errors, and other flaws during its testing and construction phases. The Bushehr reactor is essentially built from some new Russian parts attached to the old damaged remains of an incomplete German power plant from 1974.
News reports have frequently discussed how unhappy Israel is with Iran. The threat by Israel is around bombing the Iranian nuclear reactor and/or nuclear research facilities in Iran. What would the result of such an action be?
Here is a short clip that show how unhappy Israel is around Iran’s nuclear program, which it calls ‘illegal’.
However, Israel has nuclear, biological and chemical weapons, all illegal. None of them have been inspected by the IAEA. Plus, the US illegally sent plutonium to Japan and helped Pakistan start nuclear programs.
United States Circumvented Laws To Help Japan Accumulate Tons of Plutonium
It seems strange for the US to talk about bombing Iranian nuclear facilities, when it was the US that got Iran started on it’s nuclear program under the Shah of Iran, back in 1967. What changed from then to now? In the video below, Kevin Blanch talks about the wider corruption and scandals involving crimes against humanity, around the nuclear industry…Forget Iran and their nuclear program. The real elephant in the room is the nuclear industry itself.
The Shah approved plans to construct, with U.S. help, up to 23 nuclear power stations by 2000. In March 1974, the Shah envisioned a time when the world’s oil supply would run out, and declared, “Petroleum is a noble material, much too valuable to burn … We envision producing, as soon as possible, 23,000 megawatts of electricity using nuclear plants.”
Advertisement from the 1970s by American nuclear-energy companies, using Iran’s nuclear program as a marketing ploy
Iran had deep pockets and close ties to the West. U.S. and European companies scrambled to do business in Iran.Bushehr would be the first plant, and would supply energy to the inland city of Shiraz. In 1975, the Erlangen/Frankfurt firm Kraftwerk Union AG, a joint venture of Siemens AG and AEG, signed a contract worth $4 to$6 billion to build the pressurized water reactor nuclear power plant. Construction of the two 1,196 MWe, and was to have been completed in 1981.
The joint stock companyEurodif operating a uranium enrichment plant in France was formed in 1973 by France, Belgium, Spain and Sweden. In 1975 Sweden’s 10% share in Eurodif went to Iran as a result of an arrangement between France and Iran. The French government subsidiary company Cogéma and the Iranian Government established the Sofidif (Société franco–iranienne pour l’enrichissement de l’uranium par diffusion gazeuse) enterprise with 60% and 40% shares, respectively. In turn, Sofidif acquired a 25% share in Eurodif, which gave Iran its 10% share of Eurodif. Mohammed Reza Shah Pahlavi lent 1 billion dollars (and another 180 million dollars in 1977) for the construction of the Eurodif factory, to have the right of buying 10% of the production of the site.
“President Gerald Ford signed a directive in 1976 offering Tehran the chance to buy and operate a U.S.-built reprocessing facility for extracting plutonium from nuclear reactor fuel. The deal was for a complete ‘nuclear fuel cycle’.” At the time, Richard Cheney was the White House Chief of Staff, and Donald Rumsfeld was the Secretary of Defense. The Ford strategy paper said the “introduction of nuclear power will both provide for the growing needs of Iran’s economy and free remaining oil reserves for export or conversion to petrochemicals.”
Then–United States Secretary of StateHenry Kissinger recalled in 2005, “I don’t think the issue of proliferation came up.” However, a 1974 CIA proliferation assessment stated “If [the Shah] is alive in the mid-1980s … and if other countries [particularly India] have proceeded with weapons development we have no doubt Iran will follow suit.”
The Shah also signed a nuclear cooperation agreement with South Africa under which Iranian oil money financed the development of South African fuel enrichment technology using a novel “jet nozzle” process, in return for assured supplies of South African (and Namibian) enriched uranium.“
According to Wikipedia; “the Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant (Persian: نیروگاه اتمی بوشهر) is a nuclear power plant in Iran 17 kilometres (11 mi) southeast of the city of Bushehr, between the fishing villages of Halileh and Bandargeh along the Persian Gulf.
Construction of the plant was started in 1975 by German companies, but the work was stopped in 1979 after the Islamic revolution of Iran. A contract for finishing the plant was signed between Iran and the RussianMinistry for Atomic Energy in 1995, with Russia’s Atomstroyexport named as the main contractor. The work was delayed several years by technical and financial challenges as well as by political pressure from the West. After construction was again in danger of being stopped in 2007, a renewed agreement was reached in which the Iranians promised to compensate for rising costs and inflation after completion of the plant. Delivery of nuclear fuel started the same year. The plant started adding electricity to the national grid on 3 September 2011, and was officially opened in a ceremony on 12 September 2011, attended by Russian Energy MinisterSergei Shmatko and head of theRosatomSergei Kiriyenko.
The project is considered unique in terms of its technology, the political environment and the challenging physical climate. It is considered the first civilian nuclear power plant built in the Middle East, and the forth nuclear installation after an American one supplied directly to Iran in 1959  and labeled “research” like the Negev Nuclear Research Center near Dimona delivered a year earlier to Israel from France and allegedly used for Uranium production and enrichment. A veritable research nuclear reactor is Israel’s Soreq Nuclear Research Center near Soreq – also built in 1958.
There have been safety concerns about the Bushehr plant, associated with construction of the plant itself, aging equipment at the plant, and understaffing.
The facility was the idea of the ShahMohammad Reza Pahlavi. He wanted a national electrical grid powered by nuclear power plants. Bushehr would be the first plant, and would supply energy to the inland city of Shiraz. In August 1974, the Shah said, “Petroleum is a noble material, much too valuable to burn… We envision producing, as soon as possible, 23,000 megawatts (MW) of electricity using nuclear plants”.
Construction by German companies
Constructing of Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant, 1970s.
Kraftwerk Union was eager to work with the Iranian government because, as its spokesman said in 1976, “To fully exploit our nuclear power plant capacity, we have to land at least three contracts a year for delivery abroad. The market here is about saturated, and the United States has cornered most of the rest of Europe, so we have to concentrate on the third world.”
Kraftwerk Union fully withdrew from the Bushehr nuclear project in July 1979, after work stopped in January 1979, with one reactor 50% complete, and the other reactor 85% complete. They said they based their action on Iran’s non-payment of $450 million in overdue payments. The company had received $2.5 billion of the total contract. Their cancellation came after certainty that the Iranian government would unilaterally terminate the contract themselves, following the 1979 Iranian Revolution, which led to a crisis in Iran’s relations with the West. Shortly afterwards, Iraq invaded Iran and the nuclear program was stopped until the end of the war.
In 1984, Kraftwerk Union did a preliminary assessment to see if it could resume work on the project, but declined to do so while the Iran–Iraq War continued. In April of that year, the U.S. State Department said, “We believe it would take at least two to three years to complete construction of the reactors at Bushehr.” The spokesperson also said that the light water power reactors at Bushehr “are not particularly well-suited for a weapons program.” The spokesman went on to say, “In addition, we have no evidence of Iranian construction of other facilities that would be necessary to separate plutonium from spent reactor fuel.”The reactors were then damaged by multiple Iraqi air strikes from 1984 to 1988, during the Iran–Iraq War.
Continuation of work by Russia’s Atomstroyexport
In 1990, Iran began to look outwards towards partners for its nuclear program; however, due to a radically different political climate and punitive U.S. economic sanctions, few candidates existed.
A Russian–Iranian intergovernmental outline for construction and operation of two reactor units at Bushehr was signed on 25 August 1992. Two years later, Russian specialists toured the site for the first time to assess the damage done to the partially complete plant by the passage of time and by air raids during the Iran–Iraq War. The final contract between Iran and Russia’sMinistry for Atomic Energy (Minatom) was signed on 8 January 1995. Russia’s main contractor for the project, Atomstroyexport, would install a V-320 915 MWeVVER-1000 pressurized water reactor into the existing Bushehr I building, with commissioning originally expected in 2001.
The Bushehr Nuclear Plant project is considered unique in terms of technology, the political environment and the challenging physical climate. Financial problems, inflation, and the need to integrate German and Russian technology have made the project difficult for the participants.
After the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the Russian government ended its subsidies to contractors building power plants for foreign customers, putting Atomstroyexport in financial difficulties. Another obstacle was the shortage of Russian engineers and technicians with suitable experience. The last nuclear plant built in the Soviet Union was the No. 6 reactor at Zaporizhzhya in Ukraine, which is why Ukrainian specialists were invited to work in Iran after they had finished the work at Zaporizhzhya.
The 1995 contract with Iran stipulated that a share of construction and installation jobs would be reserved for Iranian subcontractors. These companies were inexperienced and had been only minimally involved in the German project, which resulted in what should have been a one-year task taking over three years (1995–1997). Due to these difficulties, in 1998 Minatompushed through an agreement that Atomstroyexport would finish the first reactor on its own. The agreement was signed on 29 August 1998 as an addendum to the main contract.
The extremely hot and humid climate of the Bushehr area, with significant amounts of brine in the air due to the proximity of the ocean, represented a special challenge for the construction. In such conditions, even stainless steel can rust, and a special painting technology had to be developed to protect the station’s structural elements. In the summer the temperatures can reach 50 °C (122 °F). While the German companies worked at the site, the workers had a special clause in their contracts to allow them to stop working during the summer heat waves.
German engineers had left behind a total of 80,000 pieces of equipment and structural elements, with little technical documentation. The Iranian side insisted that the German hardware must be integrated in the Russian VVER-1000 design. Germany refused to help in the construction, mostly for political reasons, as Iran was under an embargo for nuclear plant components. Therefore, it was decided to take stock of the existing equipment using only Russian expertise.
The 1998 addendum to the construction contract put the final value of the project at just over $1 billion. After that, the sum was not adjusted for inflation, resulting in funding shortages which almost again halted work.
In 2001, several items for the NPP – in particular, the footing for the reactor and four 82-ton water tanks – were manufactured on Atommash, Russia’s nuclear engineering flagship.
In response to American and European pressure on Russia, a new revised agreement was reached in September 2006, under which fuel deliveries to Bushehr were scheduled to start in March 2007 and the plant was due to come on stream in September 2007 after years of delays. In February 2007, the work on the site faltered due to funding shortages, and Atomstroyexport reduced the number of employees working on the site from 3,000 to just 800. During subsequent negotiations, Atomstroyexport even contemplated pulling out of the project. In the end, an agreement was reached, under which the Iranians would compensate for the growing cost of equipment and engineering works once the reactor went live. A top Iranian nuclear official claimed that the Russians were deliberately delaying and politicising the project under European and American pressure.
Prior to the contract revision, the price was about a third that of a contemporary reactor, at just over $1 billion, reflecting the year of the original contract and that it was the first post-Soviet nuclear export order. Increased material costs and currency fluctuations had made completion at that price difficult.
According to Moscow Defense Brief, until 2005 Washington exerted considerable diplomatic pressure on Russia to stop the project, as the US administrations viewed it as evidence of Russia’s indirect support for the alleged Iranian nuclear arms program. The United States also tried to persuade other countries to ban their companies from taking part. For example, Ukraine’s Turboatom was to supply a turbine, but cancelled the deal after the US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright‘s visit to Kiev on 6 March 1998. The United States lifted its opposition to the project in 2005, partly due to the deal signed by Moscow and Tehran, under which spent fuel from the plant would be sent back to Russia.
Finishing the plant
In 2007, according to Moscow Defense Brief, Russia made a strategic decision to finish the plant, and in December 2007 started to deliver nuclear fuel to the site. On 20 January 2008 a fourth Russian shipment of nuclear fuel arrived. Russia has pledged to sell 85 tons of nuclear fuel to the plant.
In March 2009, the head of Russia’s state nuclear power corporation Rosatom, Sergei Kiriyenko, announced that Russia had completed the construction of the plant. A series of pre-launch tests were conducted after the announcement.
On 22 September 2009, it was reported that the first reactor was 96% complete and final testing would begin in the near future. In early October final testing was started. In January 2010, Kiriyenko announced to the public that the Bushehr reactor would be opening in the near-future, declaring 2010 the “year of Bushehr.”
Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant model.
August 2010 fuel loading
On 13 August 2010, Russia announced that fuel would be loaded into the plant beginning on 21 August, which would mark the beginning of the plant being considered an active nuclear facility. Within six months after the fuel loading, the plant was planned to be fully operational.
An official launch ceremony was held on 21 August 2010 as Iran began loading the plant with fuel. At the ceremony, Iranian nuclear chief Alki Akbar Salahei said:”Despite all pressure, sanctions and hardships imposed by western nations, we are now witnessing the startup of the largest symbol of Iran’s peaceful nuclear activities.”
Although they have opposed the project in the past, Western governments now stress that they have no objection to the demonstrably peaceful aspects of Iran’s nuclear programmesuch as Bushehr, according to the BBC. Spokesman of the United States State Department, Darby Holladay, stated that the United States believes the reactor is designed to produce civilian nuclear power and does not view it as a proliferation risk.
On 27 November 2010 the head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran declared that “All fuel assemblies have been loaded into the core of the reactor” and they were hoping that the facility “will hook up with the national grid in one or two months”.
The plant is to be operated by Russian specialists. Russia also provides the nuclear fuel for the plant, and spent fuel is sent back to Russia. The Bushehr plant will satisfy about 2% of Iran’s projected electricity consumption.
The former head of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence hailed Iran’s launch as a positive move in the Muslim world, and he also said that an anti-Iran campaigns by the US and Israel stems from Iran’s Islamic status. “Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant is a victory for Iran and indicates that Iranians do their best to achieve their peaceful objectives but the US and Israel are not ready to accept this achievement.”
May 2011 sustained nuclear reaction
In February 2011, Rosatom announced that one of the reactor’s four main cooling pumps, from the original German reactor, had suffered damage. Thoroughly cleaning the reactor of metal particles required the removal of the fuel core, resulting in a startup delay. The reactor achieved a sustained nuclear reaction at 11:12 on 8 May 2011 and ran at a minimum power level for final commissioning tests.
Under the terms of Russia–Iran agreement, approved by the International Atomic Energy Agency, Russia will be responsible for operating the plant, supplying the nuclear fuel and managing the spent fuel for the next two or three years before passing full control to Iran.Before the plant will reach full capacity in November, it will be disconnected from the grid for several weeks to make a number of tests.
February 2012 almost full capacity
Director Fereydoun Abbasi announced on 15 February that the Bushehr nuclear power plant had reached 75 percent of its power generation capacity. Abbasi was quoted “that hopefully the Bushehr plant will be connected to the national grid at its full capacity in late April.”
August 2012 full capacity
On 30 August at 18:47 local time the power unit 1 was brought to 100 percent of its power generation capacity. 
The total cost of the project is estimated to be over €3 billion including the payments to both Russia and Germany. The original 1995 contract with the 1998 addendum was worth $1 billion and was not adjusted for inflation. Although in 2007 Iran agreed to compensate for the rising costs after the construction is finished, it is regarded that the possibility of the project turning a profit are remote. However, the project allowed the nuclear industry of Russia to preserve its expertise in times when funding was scarce, and until the sector started to receive orders from China and India.
According to Moscow Defense Brief, completion of the plant could become an indicator of Russia’s credibility in large international high technology projects, and the successful integration of German and Russian technology could help the Russian nuclear industry in its ambitions to partner with foreign companies in building nuclear power plants in Russia and abroad.
Since Bushehr’s nuclear reactor has been under construction by different firms and consultants, the constituent parts have also different origins. 24% of the parts are German in origin, 36% are Iranian-made while 40% are Russian-made.
Tehran and Moscow have established a joint venture to operate Bushehr because Iran has not yet had enough experience in maintaining such installations. However, Iran may begin almost all operational control of the reactor within two or three years.
A further two reactors of the same type are planned. The fourth unit was canceled.
An Iranian parliament member proposed paying the Russian women working in Bushehr to cover their heads.
Center for Energy and Security Studies, a Moscow-based independent think tank, explained the construction delays of the plant as partly due to a “shortage of skilled Russian engineering and construction specialists with suitable experience”. It also spoke of “frequent problems with quality and deadlines”. Aging equipment at the plant has also been a problem and, in February 2011, a 30-year-old German cooling pump broke, sending metal debris into the system. In 2010, the IAEA noted that the facility was understaffed.
Leaders from Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries have expressed fears that a serious nuclear accident at the Bushehr plant would spread radiation throughout the region. Bushehr is closer to six Arab capitals (Kuwait City, Riyadh, Manama, Doha, Abu Dhabi, and Muscat) than it is to Tehran.
A 2011 Natural Resources Defense Council report that evaluated the seismic hazard to reactors worldwide, as determined by the Global Seismic Hazard Assessment Program data, placed Busheher within the second group of 36 reactors within high seismic hazard areas, at lower risk than 12 reactors within very high seismic hazard areas in Japan and Taiwan.
Iran is with Israel one of the two countries in the world with significant nuclear activities not to ratify the 1994 Convention on Nuclear Safety, a system of peer review and mutual oversight, and it has been suggested that nuclear safety in Iran could benefit from Iran signing the convention.
In October 2012 the plant had to be shut down to limit damage after stray bolts were found beneath the fuel cells, contradicted Iran’s earlier assurances that nothing unexpected had happened and that removing nuclear fuel from the plant was just routine.
Meanwhile, the REAL radiation contamination issues, such as the contamination of vast regions with millions of people exposed to deadly depleted uranium radiation is ignored. Both Israel, the US and other NATO countries are waging a low level nuclear war around the world with depleted uranium weapons, but this is totally ignored and the dangers denied in the corporate mass media.