Iran’s Russian-built nuclear power plant was not affected by a deadly earthquake in the south of the country on Thursday and continues to operate at full capacity, Russia’s state nuclear corporation said on Friday.
The tremor, followed by several aftershocks, damaged buildings and disrupted electricity supplies in the provincial capital Borazjan.
“Despite the earthquake, the plant continues to operate at 100 percent of capacity, the [seismic] event has no impact on its work. There were no shutdowns or capacity loss,” a spokesman for the Rosatom nuclear corporation told RIA Novosti.
Construction of the Bushehr power plant began in the 1970s but was plagued by delays. Russia signed a billion-dollar deal with Tehran to complete the plant in 1998.
The plant was connected to Iran's power grid in September 2011 and the Unit 1 reactor was brought to 100 percent capacity a year later. Russia handed over operational control of the plant to Iran in September.
According to the US Geological Survey, the 5.6-magnitude quake’s epicenter was about 63 kilometers (39 miles) northeast of the Persian Gulf city of Bushehr, where the plant is located. The quake was especially destructive due to its relatively shallow epicenter depth of 16.4 kilometers (10.2 miles).
At least eight people were killed and about 60 were injured, 12 of them critically, Iran’s FARS news agency said.