Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant in the southern namesake city generated 7.4 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity in the past fiscal that ended on March 20, the head of the power plant said.
Of this figure, 6.8 billion kWh have been added to the national power grid," Hossein Ghaffari was also quoted as saying by IRNA on Tuesday. The Energy Ministry has forecast electricity demand to reach 56,000 megawatts this summer, up from a record high of 52,000 MW in the previous fiscal that ended in March.
Noting that during this period, the plant has only been disconnected from the national grid for 10.5 hours, Ghaffari said the plant's utilization factor has been registered at 85.3% in the past fiscal, indicating a 9% improvement compared with the year before.
The utilization factor or use factor is the ratio of the time that a piece of equipment is in use compared to the total time that it could be in use.
The official also announced that the complex's load factor last year stood at 85%. The plant has had a record of 102% load factor last May, which shows the high productivity of the facility.
The country's sole nuclear reactor has generated over 30 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity since it went on stream in 2011.
The production capacity of the complex stands at 1 gigawatt and 220,000 tons of water are directed toward the plant from the Persian Gulf per hour to cool the reactor. High-tech installations in the nuclear power plant comply with international standards and there is no concern regarding security issues.
Previous reports quoting Ghaffari revealed that "liquid fuels worth $2 billion would be needed to generate the said volume of electricity in fossil fuel-fired power plants".
Shutdown for Technical Overhaul
Ghaffari referred to the "scheduled temporary shutdown" of the plant, which is aimed at conducting a technical overhaul.
He added that the complex' activity has been suspended for 78 days and is due to resume by May.
"One-third of the power plants' apparatus must be revamped after generating 7 million kilowatt-hours of electricity."
Since electricity consumption peaks in June, the Bushehr plant needed to be put off stream sooner to prepare it for the summer consumption peak.
This is meant to refuel the power plant to help meet Iran’s electricity consumption for the peak period.
According to Ghaffari, the plant's generated power constitutes 2% share of the country's total electricity demand.
Total electricity production capacity stands at 77,000 MW, of which almost 62,000 MW, or 80%, are generated from thermal plants that burn fossil fuels. In addition, 12,000 MW are derived from hydroelectric plants. The Bushehr plant is the first civilian nuclear power project in the Middle East and operates under the full supervision of the International Atomic Energy Agency.
The country's sole nuclear reactor was built by Russian assistance. The two countries signed a deal to build two more nuclear power stations in Bushehr that straddles the Persian Gulf coast.