Iran to Build 4 New Nuclear Power Plants
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Iran is planning to construct four new nuclear power plants as part of its broader effort to meet the country's energy needs, Head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Ali Akbar Salehi announced.
Speaking in a TV interview on Saturday evening, Salehi said Iran has drawn up plans to construct the new nuclear facilities with the help of Russia.
He said negotiations between Tehran and Moscow over the new plants are underway.
In relevant remarks on November 30, Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani said in addition to the Bushehr Nuclear power plant, Iran would soon start construction work on another nuclear power plant in the province of Bushehr.
“The first nuclear power plant is in operation in Bushehr province, and the construction of the second one will soon kick off; development of new atomic power plants in the country will start in earnest and there will be nuclear reactors in most parts of Bushehr province,” said Rouhani at the time.
And earlier on September 23, Salehi had announced that technical negotiations between Iranian and Russian experts were well underway for construction of a new nuclear power plant in Bushehr.
“We are negotiating with Russians for construction of the next power plant. Negotiations have made good progress,” he said in September.
Elsewhere in his last night interview, the AEOI chief said the Bushehr nuclear power plant will be temporarily brought to a halt for refueling purposes.
He said the temporary shutdown of the plant would last for two months, during which the fuel rods at the core of the facility will be replaced.
On September 23, Iran took temporary control of its Bushehr nuclear power plant for a two-year trial period, after which the country will be in overall charge of the power plant.
A protocol about temporary handover of the power plant to Iran was signed between Iranian and Russian officials at the venue of Bushehr nuclear plant in southern Iran.
Salehi had announced earlier that during the two-year trial period the power plant will be under Russian guarantee and a number of Russian experts will remain in place to give advice and technical assistance.
Russia has agreed to provide the power plant’s fuel for 10 years, with the supply deal committing Tehran to returning the spent fuel.
The Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant became officially operational and was connected to Iran’s national grid in September 2011.
Iran and Russia have assured the international community that the plant is fully compliant with high-level safety standards and the IAEA safeguards. Construction of the Bushehr facility began in the 1975 with the help of German company Siemens, which withdrew from the project after the victory of the Islamic Revolution in 1979. The Iraqi imposed war on Iran (1980-1988) further hampered work on the project. In 1994 Russia signed a contract with Iran to finish the project in 1999.
Bushehr was finally finished more than a decade later and inaugurated in 2010, but it did not come into service until 2011 because of technical problems.