Iran, Russia ink final deal on building new nuclear plants

By Sara Rajabova Tehran and Moscow continue nuclear cooperation as the sides have signed final protocol on building new nuclear facilities. Iran announced on April 22 that it has signed a final protocol with Russia on building two new nuclear power plants. Deputy Head of Iran's Atomic Energy Organization (AEOI), Behrouz Kamalvandi said the protocol has been signed last month, IRIB news agency reported. He went on to say Iran is also negotiating with some European and Asian countries on building new nuclear power plants, without unveiling any further details. The head of the AEOI, Ali Akbar Salehi, earlier said Iran has a contract with Russia which was signed in 1992 and it obligates Moscow to build four other nuclear power plants for Tehran. Salehi said Iran will start construction of its second nuclear plant this year. "Two years from now, we will start the construction operation of the third plant," he explained, adding that the country will continue building the next ones every two years. Earlier this month, Russia's Rosatom State Nuclear Energy Corporation said Tehran and Moscow were negotiating on the construction of a second unit at the Bushehr nuclear power plant. The two sides have signed a preliminary agreement to build at least two more nuclear power plants in the Iranian port city of Bushehr in south of the country. The Bushehr power plant - a 1,000-megawatt facility, which is operating under the full supervision of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), reached its maximum power generation capacity in August 2012. After signing a deal on the construction of nuclear plants in 1992, Tehran and Moscow reached an agreement in 1995 to complete Iran's Bushehr nuclear power plant, but the project was delayed several times due to a number of technical and financial problems. Iran officially took over the first unit of the plant from Russia for two years in September 2013, the final acceptance and submission for industrial operation is scheduled for 2015.The Bushehr NPP became officially operational and connected to Iran's national grid in September 2011. Construction of the NPP in Bushehr started in 1974 by the German Kraftwerk Union AG (Siemens / KWU), but came to a start during the 1979 Islamic Revolution in Iran.
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