Rosatom Chief Says Bushehr 2 Construction Would Begin In Fall

Rosatom chief Sergey Kiriyenko said construction on a two-reactor project in Iran would begin this fall, announcing the start target in Moscow in a forum at the Atomexpo 2015 exhibition.

Kiriyenko said “full scale construction activities at Bushehr-2 will start in the fall,” referring to the Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant, near the city of Bushehr on the Persian Gulf.

Plans call for construction of four units VVER reactors in the Bushehr region and four at another site. In total, the new 1,000-megawatt reactor builds will triple the electricity in the country produced by nuclear power.

What is being called Bushehr Phase II is a two-reactor addition to the current nuclear power plant, which began commercial operations in September 2011 under Russian management. The plant, which reached maximum capacity in August 2012, was put under Iranian management in September 2013.

Overall, the work kicks off what is expected to be a fleet of 20 reactors in Iran, marking a turnaround from the region’s reliance on gas and oil.

It also puts another notch in Rosatom’s belt in the international nuclear power plant market. The company, officially the State Atomic Energy Corporation, is building 29 nuclear power plants abroad and nine in Russia.

Russia’s nuclear power reach includes build contracts or agreements in Hungary, Finland, China, India, Bangladesh, Turkey, Vietnam, Belarus, Egypt and Jordan.

There are currently 56 VVER reactors in operation and Russian influence in the market is growing. At the end of 2014, Rosatom had orders for new construction was valued at $101.4 billion, a 39 percent jump from 2013, Bernama reported.

Data coming out of the Atomexpo 2015 in Moscow on Monday noted that 40 out of 76 nuclear power plants under construction were in the so-called BRIC countries, which is an acronym for the emerging economies of Brazil, Russia, India and China.

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