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Iran, Russia will start construction of Bushehr NPP 2nd power unit by March 20 — official

January 21, 11:43 UTC+3 TEHRAN
The construction of the third power unit will be launched in two-three years
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TEHRAN, January 21. /TASS/. Construction of the second power unit at the Bushehr nuclear power plant (NPP) will start by March 20, head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization Ali Akbar Salehi told IRINN TV channel on Thursday.

Infographics Iran’s first nuclear power plant in Bushehr Iran’s first nuclear power plant in Bushehr
Iran’s first nuclear power plant in Bushehr. Infographics by TASS

"Construction of the second power unit at Bushehr will start until the end of this year [the year ends on March 20 on Iranian calendar - TASS]. In two-three years we will launch construction of the third power unit. In 8-10 years they will be connected to common power systems," Salehi said.

"All steps necessary to start construction have already been made. The capacity of each new Bushehr power unit will stand at 1050 MW. We want to use as much as possible cutting-edge technologies and achievements in the sphere in the construction," he stressed.

The second and third power units at the Bushehr NPP will be constructed together with Russia’s Rosatom State Nuclear Energy Corporation in accordance with the contract signed in Moscow in November 2014. Salehi earlier said that the total sum of the contract on two power units stands at $11 billion.

The first power unit at Bushehr was built by Russian organizations in accordance with the 1995 contract with Iran. The power plant was put into operation in 2011 and connected to Iranian power networks in 2013.

Tehran to grant privileges to Russia in nuclear cooperation

According to the official, Iran will grant special privileges to Russia in peaceful nuclear energy cooperation.

"The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) provides us with broad opportunities for technical cooperation in the field of peaceful nuclear energy, which we were deprived of over the past 12 years. I must say that Russia was the only country that expressed readiness for such cooperation," the TV network quotes him as saying. "However, other countries that have accumulated a wealth of experience in this area did not agree to cooperate with Iran because of the sanctions. Since the beginning of the implementation of the JCPOA we have received numerous offers from countries in South-East Asia and the EU. Now we have a great deal of choice, and this is an excellent opportunity."

"At this point I must mention that the first nuclear power plant in Bushehr was built by none other than Russia. And it was Russia that agreed to build two more power-generating units there. We will grant special privileges to our friends who supported us in difficult times, even considering the fact that many countries, from which are now receiving proposals (on the construction of new nuclear power plants), are at times offering even better financial conditions," Salehi said.

On January 16 international sanctions were lifted from Iran after the International Atomic Energy (IAEA) verified Tehran’s compliance with the nuclear deal.

On 14 July 2015, the P5+1 group of international mediators (five permanent members of UN Security Council - US, UK, Russia, China, France - and Germany) and Iran signed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action on Tehran’s nuclear program. Iran will not produce weapons-grade plutonium and limit its stockpile of uranium enriched to 3.67% to 300 kilograms for the next 15 years. Tehran also agreed to modernize its nuclear facilities and use them for exclusively peaceful purposes.

Sanctions will be gradually removed from Iran. The arms embargo imposed by UN Security Council will be kept in place for five years, ban for supplying ballistic missile technologies to Iran - for eight years. Experts from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) will monitor nuclear facilities in Iran for the next 25 years. If any points of the agreement are violated by Iran, sanctions against the country will be renewed.

On July 20 last year, the corresponding resolution on Iran’s nuclear program agreement was adopted by UN Security Council.

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