Russia and Iran increase nuclear co-operation

24 January 2017

Russian state nuclear corporation Rosatom and the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) have signed a road map on the expansion of cooperation in the nuclear power industry. The roadmap for implementation of the memorandum signed in November 2014 was signed during a visit to Moscow by AEOI spokesman Behrouz Kamalvandi on 19 January.

In addition, a contract was signed for pre-design work on the modification of two cascades of gas centrifuges at the Fordow enrichment plant to enable Iran to produce stable isotopes at the facility as agreed in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) signed with International community in July 2014.

Kamalvandi said that at the talks in Moscow also covered the possibility of increasing the participation of Iranian contractors in the construction of the two new power units (2 and 3) to be built at the Bushehr NPP with Russian assistance. He said, according to the agreement with Russian Federation, Iran would have a 10% participation in the construction of new units. In addition, Russia and Iran agreed that Iranian contractors would undertake any projects that they are able to perform. As a result, Iran's participation in all work overall would be up to 25%, he said. Construction of the two units is expected to take ten years and to cost about $10bn. The first unit is scheduled to start up in 2024 and the second in 2026. First concrete for Bushehr 2 is expected at the end of 2019.

 ushehr 1 was connected to the national grid in September 2011. The first foundation stone for Bushehr units 2 and 3 was laid  in September 2016 . Rosatom subsidiary ASE, which is the general contractor for the Bushehr project, and Nuclear Power Production and Development Company of Iran signed an EPC turnkey contract for construction of the units at Bushehr in November 2014. The two VVER-1000 units will be built with Generation III+ technology, including the latest safety features, and have a combined capacity of 2,100MWe, ASE has said.

Rosatom announced separately that two of its other subsidiaries - the Russian Research Institute for Nuclear Power Plant Operation (VNIIAES) and Rusatom Service - had started work on an "expert evaluation" of plans to establish a company to provide Russian technical support to the Bushehr NPP. The new body will provide methodological and technical assistance to Bushehr personnel in such areas as the handling of nuclear fuel, neutron-physics calculations, commissioning of mobile equipment, and creation of a plant maintenance strategy.

"Establishment of this specialised institute for engineering and technical support of the plant’s operation is intended to enhance the reliability, safety and efficiency of [its] operation," according to the statement. Work on the project is expected to take three years, it added. Before the end of the summer of this year, Russian nuclear specialists will conduct a peer review of the plant and provide "organisational and methodological support to their Iranian colleagues", it said.



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