First concrete for unit 2 of Iran’s Bushehr NPP was poured on 10 November. The ceremony was attended by the president of the Atomic Energy Organisation of Iran (AEOI), Ali Akbar Salehi, government officials and executives from Russian state nuclear corporation Rosatom, which is constructing the plant. Construction of the NPP began in 1975, originally using German technology, but work stopped after the 1979 Islamic revolution which saw stringent economic sanctions imposed on Iran by the USA. The project was revived in 1995 with Russian support, and unit 1 began operation in 2011. Unit 2 is scheduled to begin operation in 2024 and a third unit is planned for 2026.
“By 2027, we will have 3,000MW of nuclear electricity, which would prevent the emission of more than 21 million tonnes of pollutant gasses,” said Salehi adding that the Bushehr facility saves Iran $660 million annually. He stressed that most operations at Bushehr plant are done by Iranian experts. “More than 90% of contractors working here are Iranians,” he said. “All construction and infrastructural work is being done by Iranian contractors, and once these power stations become operational, we will be able to…save 25 million barrels of oil.”
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 Bushehr 2 and 3 in November 2014 and work started in December 2016. The two VVER-1000 units will be built with Generation III+ technology, including the latest safety features, and have a combined capacity of 2100 MWe. Russia provides fuel for Bushehr and the plant is closely monitored by the International Atomic Energy Agency.