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Russia and Iran consider option of constructing 2nd Bushehr NPP unit

February 06, 2014, 12:11 UTC+3 VIENNA
Iranian officials estimate that works on construction of the new NPP unit with Russia’s assistance may start already this year
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© ITAR-TASS/EPA/ABEDIN TAHERKENAREH

VIENNA, February 6. /ITAR-TASS/. Russia and Iran are on the working stage of discussing the possible construction of second NPP unit in Iran’s Bushehr, the first unit having been launched in 2013. This told journalists deputy head of Russia’s state Rosatom corporation Nikolai Spassky, who is currently on a working visit in Vienna.

Infographics Agreement on Iranian nuclear programme Agreement on Iranian nuclear programme
Details of the agreement signed by Iran and world powers concerning Tehran’s nuclear programme, map of Iran, main nuclear facilities. ITAR-TASS infographics
“We are holding a dialog with the Iranian side on the option of prolonging our cooperation regarding the Bushehr NPP,” he said. “To date, we are on the working stage of discussing the option of a new unit’s construction”. Spassky stressed that, in case such accords are reached, “they would conform to Russia’s international liabilities and be economically efficient”.

In late 2013, Iranian president Hassan Rouhani stated that the republic “in the coming years plans to produce more electricity through nuclear plants,” and “it can be achieved by building the second NPP unit in Bushehr”. Ali Akbar Salehi, head of Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, also repeatedly noted that his country reckons upon active cooperation with Russia in this field.

Iran’s officials repeatedly stated that by 2020, the country’s demand of electricity produced on NPPs would reach some 20,000 MW. Other states of the Persian Gulf also need electric power that Iran will be able to export if the generating capacity would be increased. Iranian officials estimate that works on construction of the new NPP unit with Russia’s assistance may start already this year.

 

Construction of nuclear power plants in Iran

The construction of the first nuclear power plant in Iran and the whole Middle East region began in 1975 in Bushehr by Germany’s Siemens branch Kraftwerk Union AG. However, due to the Islamic revolution that took place in February 1979 and the following armed conflict between Iran and Iraq, construction was suspended and the contract was canceled.

In 1992, the governments of Russia and Iran concluded an agreement on NPP construction, and in 1995, a contract on construction of the first NPP unit has been signed. In 2001, supplies of basic equipment began. The physical start-up of the Bushehr NPP was made under supervision of IAEA inspectors August 21, 2010, when fresh fuel was delivered to the reactor compartment of the plant. In June 2013, the first power unit reached 100% power capacity.

September 23, 2013, a protocol on transferring the Bushehr NPP to Iranian specialists has been signed in Iran.

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