The only nuclear power plant in Iran has been mysteriously shutdown with it set to last up to four days and cause mass blackouts across the country.
This is the first time the plant, located in the port city of Bushehr, has ever suffered a shutdown.
An official from the state electric company Tavanir, Gholamali Rakhshanimehr, told a talk show that the Bushehr plant shutdown began on Saturday and would last ‘for three to four days.’
The plant was set up in 2011 with help from Russia and has an ongoing agreement with the country to send spent fuel rods from the reactor as a nuclear non-proliferation measure.
In March, a nuclear official, Mahmoud Jafari said that the plant could stop working due to Iran struggling to procure parts and equipment from Russia due to banking restrictions issued by the US in 2018.
The Bushehr plant is fuelled by uranium made in Russia and is continuously monitored by the United Nations’ International Atomic Energy Agency.
The IAEA is yet to release a statement following the shutdown.
The plant, based on the coast of the northern reaches of the Parisian Gulf, was started under Iran’s shah in the mid 1970s.
Following the Islamic Revolution in 1979, the plant was targeted numerous times in he Iran-Iraq war. It was then Russia that finished building the facility.
Iran’s nuclear capabilities have been the cause of much alarm in recent years, with the nation seemingly coming close to threatening an all-out nuclear war with its enemies — including the USA — at time.
The plant, which is situated close to active fault lines and was built with the ability to withstand powerful earthquakes, is shaken by quakes regularly.
There have not been any significant earthquakes reported in the area in recent days before or after the mysterious shutdown of the nuclear plant.
The news of the shutdown began filtering through state-run TV before being confirmed by officials as the plant is set for a technical overhaul in the coming days.