Shutdown of Iranian reactor raises some questions

PressTV, the online service of Iran’s English-language national television network, reported today:

Following the successful connection of the Bushehr nuclear power plant to the national grid, the facility has been shut down for the inspection of its equipment and systems.

Questions aside about whether the shutdown reflects some problem encountered in operation of the plant, I’m curious about something reported later in the article:

Bushehr nuclear power plant has generated 70,100 MW of electricity so far, out which 56,089 has been supplied to the national grid and the rest has been consumed by the facility itself.

That’s 20 per cent of the produced electricity being used to run the plant. Some questions occur:

1. Is it an industry standard that 20 per cent of output goes to plant operations?

2. What sort of electricity consumption does a nuclear power plant require to operate safety equipment and keep the lights on when the reactors are shut down? And does that electricity come from offsite power?

3. When a U.S. reactor says that it is producing 1,300 megawatts of power, is that actual ouput sent to the grid, or do we need to subtract 20 per cent for plant operations?

Just the kinds of things I worry about on a slow Sunday morning….

Here’s a link to the article:



About Robert Singleton

By day, I work for a call center. In my spare time, I try to save my hometown (and planet) from a nearly constant onslaught of greedheads, lunatics and land developers. I live in a fictional town called Austin, Texas, where I go to way too many meetings.
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