Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Iran's Bushehr Plant Won't Start until 2011

Iran pushed back it's planned start up of the Bushehr nuclear plant yet again.  Haaretz reported fuel will begin to be loaded into the central core next week.  The plant will generate electricity for the public in early 2011.

The delay may be the result of the Stuxnet worm.

Diplomats and security sources say Western governments and Israel view sabotage as one way of slowing Iran's nuclear work. Little information is available on how much damage, if any, Iran's nuclear and wider infrastructure has suffered from Stuxnet and Tehran will probably never disclose full details.

Some analysts believe Iran may be suffering wider sabotage aimed at slowing its nuclear advances, pointing to a series of unexplained technical glitches that have cut the number of working centrifuge machines at the Natanz enrichment plant.

Will the saboteurs disclose full details?  Doubtful.

Despite the escalating rhetoric from both sides, the UN has monitors in the Bushehr plant.

Russia designed and built the plant and will supply the fuel. To ease nuclear proliferation concerns, it will take back spent fuel rods that could otherwise be used to make weapons-grade plutonium. Bushehr is also being monitored by inspectors of the UN nuclear watchdog.

Washington has criticized Moscow for pushing ahead with Bushehr despite Iranian defiance over its nuclear program.
Israeli President Netanyahu said he'd never let Iran become nuclear.  U.S. President Barack Obama used similar language in the past. Do their reluctant peace efforts imply another war?

Until then, sanctions and war framing grow.

Update 7-17-11:  An ex-CIA official predicts Israel will attack Iran in September.