TEHRAN — Iran’s sole nuclear power plant is back online following an emergency shutdown two weeks ago, state TV reported Saturday.
The report quoted Mostafa Rajabi Mashahdi, spokesperson for the country’s energy ministry, as saying the Bushehr plant “returned to production energy” after the completion of needed maintenance.
Mashahdi did not elaborate but last week, Iran’s nuclear department said engineers were working to repair the plant’s broken generator.
Authorities earlier this year had warned of Bushehr’s possible closure because of American sanctions barring Iran from procuring equipment for repairs.
Bushehr is fueled by uranium produced in Russia, not Iran, and is monitored by the United Nations’ International Atomic Energy Agency. The IAEA acknowledged being aware of reports about the plant, but declined to comment.
Construction on Bushehr, on the coast of the northern reaches of the Persian Gulf, began under Iran’s shah in the mid-1970s. After the 1979 Islamic Revolution, the plant was repeatedly targeted in the Iran-Iraq war. Russia later completed construction of the facility.
The 1,000-megwatt plant feeds the grid with enough energy for a tiny part of Iran’s nationwide 64,000-megawatt consumption.
Iran’s Gulf Arab neighbors have often raised concerns about the reliability of the Bushehr facility and the risk of radioactive leaks in the event of a major earthquake.
In April, Bushehr province was shaken by a 5.9-magnitude earthquake, leaving five people injured but causing “no damage” to the nuclear complex, according to authorities. There have been no significant earthquakes reported in the area in recent days.