Site Work Underway For Iran's New Nuclear Plants

With many Russian and Iranian officials on hand, site work has begun with a launch ceremony at the site of a joint construction project for two Russian-designed nuclear power plants in the province of Bushehr.

Bushehr NPP The ceremony in southern Iran took place just days after a visit by the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, the U.N. program that oversees international standards for safety with regards to nuclear materials and power plants. IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano's visit was highlighted by his confirmation that Iran was complying with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action struck with six major powers, including the United States and the European Union, as a path towards lifting economic embargoes against Iran.

Iran has agreed to construct the two new reactors under compliance with the IAEA standards and in line with Non-Proliferation Treaty guidelines.

The cooperative construction strategy was outlined at a press conference by Rosatom Director General Alexey Likhachev. “Twenty percent of the entire phase two and eighty percent of its building construction will be done by the Iranian side. We have signed an agreement to build eight power plant blocks and these blocks could be built in other parts of Iran,” PressTV quoted Likhachev as saying.

The project is expected to take 10 years to complete and save millions of barrels of oil that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and save the commodity for export.

Ali Akbar Salehi, head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, noted that “the first phase of Bushehr nuclear power plant is now operational and, as a result, some 11 million barrels of crude oil is saved annually. The production of electricity by a 1,000-megawatt plant will also help diminish up to seven million tons of gas emissions every year.”

Using 2014 statistics, Iran produces 275 TWh gross of electricity with 196 TWh produced by gas power plants, 59 TWh from oil-fired facilities, 14 TWh from hydro and 4.5 TWh from nuclear power at its one large reactor, according to the World Nuclear Association.

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