According to an official, the temporary shutdown for repairs began on Saturday and could last up to four days, possibly causing power outages.
Iran’s only nuclear power plant has been temporarily closed for a “technical overhaul,” Iranian state television said.
An official of the national electric power company, Gholamali Rakhshanimehr, said on a talk show that the closure of the Bushehr plant began on Saturday and would last “from three to four days”.
He added that power outages could result. He didn’t give more details, but this is the first time Iran has reported an emergency shutdown of the plant, located in the southern port city of Bushehr.
It was put online in 2011 with the help of Russia. Iran is required to return spent reactor fuel rods to Russia as a nuclear non-proliferation measure.
In March, nuclear chief Mahmoud Jafari said the plant could go out of business because Iran cannot buy it parts and equipment from Russia due to banking sanctions imposed by the United States in 2018.
Bushehr is powered by uranium produced in Russia, not Iran, and is monitored by the United Nations International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
The United Nations agency did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the reported closure.
Abas Aslani, senior researcher at the Tehran-based Center for Strategic Studies of the Middle East, told Al Jazeera the shutdown could be a blow to an already Iranian power supply. severely tested by cryptocurrency mining.
“This [shutdown] is more important in terms of power failure than the nuclear aspect of the facility, ”said Aslani.
“Because these days we are seeing cryptocurrency mining consuming electricity in the country and this has caused blackouts in the past.”
Construction in Bushehr on the northern Persian Gulf coast began under the Shah of Iran in the mid-1970s.
After the Islamic Revolution of 1979, the plant was repeatedly targeted during the Iran-Iraq War. Russia then completed construction of the facility.
The factory, which sits near active fault lines and was built to withstand powerful earthquakes, has been periodically rocked by tremors. No major earthquakes have been reported in the region in recent days.