Excavation work for Iran’s second nuclear plant, Bushehr 2, started on 31 October. The occasion was marked by a ceremony attended by Alexei Likhachev, director general of Rosatom and Ali Akbar Salehi, Vice President of Iran and president of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran.

Russia is building two additional VVER-1000 reactors with a combined capacity of 2100MW as part of Bushehr Phase II, under a contract signed in November 2014. The units will be constructed adjacent to the existing reactor, Bushehr 1, which started operation in 2011 and has generated 25TWh of electricity to date.

The first stone was laid at the Bushehr II construction site in September 2016, and preconstruction works followed. Excavation work for the foundations of Bushehr 2 is now underway, with the aim of first nuclear concrete in 2019. Work on the foundations for Bushehr 3 is planned for 2018

Speaking at the recent ceremony, Ali Akbar Salehi, head of the AEOI said: “We are on schedule, even somewhat ahead of the date due.”  The target is for Bushehr 2 to be put online within seven years, and for Bushehr 3 to be commissioned 30 months afterwards as part of Bushehr Phase II.

Rosatom said the VVER-1000 reactors for Bushehr 2&3 are the reference project for Generation III+ technology, which meets stringent post-Fukushima requirements.

Ceremony to mark start of excavation work at Bushehr 2 (Credit: Rosatom)