Russia and Iran have signed a package of agreements in Moscow to build eight nuclear power units in Iran, TASS reported from the scene.
Russia will also produce nuclear fuel for Iranian nuclear power plants during the whole service life of the eight new power units. Spent nuclear fuel will be also returned to Russia for reprocessing and storage.
In particular, a contract signed to build the second line of nuclear power plant Bushehr, envisages the construction of two nuclear power units with possible expansion to four power units.
The two countries plan in the just-signed agreements to build four more nuclear power units at other sites which are not determined yet. Head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Ali Akbar Salehi has left for Moscow to sign a memorandum on mutual understanding with chief of Russia’s state-run nuclear corporation Rosatom, Sergey Kiriyenko, as reported.
The media said the memorandum envisioned cooperation in building two new units with the capacity of 1000 MWt and two desalination systems at the platform of Bushehr nuclear power plant.
AEOI and Rosatom reached a principled agreement on the construction of two new units in March 2014. The construction of new nuclear power plants are planned to start till March 2015. The Bushehr first unit was put into operation in 2011. This was one of the most difficult projects in the history because the construction had started in 1974 and ended in 1980.
Twelve years later Russia and Iran agreed to resume the activities. It took 14 years to build the plant. The Bushehr nuclear power has never been targeted by any international sanctions. The plant is being built under the control of the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency). In compliance with the supplements to the 1992 agreement, Iran was obliged to return spent nuclear fuel back to Russia.
Iran sits astride several major fault lines and is prone to frequent earthquakes, some of which have been devastating. On April 9, a 6.1-magnitude quake rocked the south, with an epicenter around 100 kilometers (60 miles) from Bushehr.
Western concerns also include Iranian engineers’ abilitiy to run a power plant constructed of component from three different sources — German, Russian and domestic.
Iran has said it wants to produce 20,000 megawatts of electricity from nuclear power, which would necessitate building 20 1,000-megawatt reactors.