Iran plans to start construction of units 2 and 3 at the Bushehr NPP site (Bushehr II) on 8 September, Ali Akbar Salehi, Iran vice-president and head of Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI), told the IRNA news agency on 1 September. The construction would take 10 years and cost $10bn, he said. He added that Iran’s technical capabilities would be used to implement the project. The contract for construction of Bushehr II was signed by Russia’s ASE Group and the Iranian firm Nuclear Power Production and Development Company of Iran (NPPD) in November 2014.Work was planned to start by March 2016 but was delayed for “technical reasons”.

Bids have now been called for manufacture and supply of core catchers for the two units. The equipment customer is NIAEP (part of ASE). The core catcher will be the first long-lead equipment item ordered for the plants. Purchase of equipment is carried out as a single call of bids without the preliminary qualification of bidders. The initial (maximum) contract cost is set at RUB732m ($11.2m) (VAT inclusive), according to the procurement website os Russian state nuclear corporation Rosatom. The bids are due by 6 September for a decision by 6 October.  According to the procurement documents, the equipment is to be installed at unit 2 by 2024 and at unit 3 by April 2026.

Russian deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov arrived in Tehran on 31 August for talks with the Iranian deputy foreign minister for legal affairs, and chief nuclear negotiator, Abbas Araqchi, Iranian media reported. Talks centred on nuclear cooperation and developments in the implementation of the July 2014 Iran nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).