Iran’s Nuclear Chief to Visit Moscow on Building 2 New N. Power Plants

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Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Chief Ali Akbar Salehi is due to visit Moscow in the coming months to ink a cooperation protocol with the Russians on the construction of two new nuclear power plants for Iran, AEOI Spokesman Behrouz Kamalvandi announced on Tuesday.

“Mr. Salehi will travel to Moscow somewhere between late August and early September to sign a cooperation protocol on the construction of new nuclear power plants,” Kamalvandi told FNA on Tuesday.

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AEOI Spokesman Behrouz Kamalvandi

He referred to the results of the two-day talks between Iranian officials and Nikolai Spassky, the deputy director general for international affairs at Russia’s Rosatom State Atomic Energy Corporation, in Tehran on Monday and Tuesday, and said, “After two days of negotiations with Spassky and his accompanying team, we came into terms with each other over general legal, technical and trade issues pertaining to the construction of two nuclear power plants with minimum 1,000MW of power generation capacity and equipped with desalination systems.”

Kamalvandi said construction of the two new nuclear power plants would start in the current Iranian year (which will end on March 20, 2015).

In earlier remarks on Monday, Kamalvandi had said that the two power plants would be built beside the country’s current nuclear power plant in Bushehr, Southern Iran.

Kamalvandi also dismissed alleged concerns voiced by certain regional states about the safety of Iran’s nuclear power plant construction, and said many regional countries either have already started or have plans to build similar facilities, including the UAE which has 4 nuclear power plants under-construction, Saudi Arabia which has earlier announced willingness to build nuclear power plants and Turkey which has plans for construction of 8 nuclear power plants, “and this shows the region’s need to this type of energy”.

In March, Rosatom and the AEOI reached an agreement to construct at least two more nuclear power plants in Bushehr, Southern Iran.

According to Kamalvandi, the agreement is part of a 1992 deal between the two countries on further nuclear cooperation.

Under the agreement, the new facilities will be built next to the first unit of the Bushehr nuclear power plant and each will have the capacity to produce at least 1,000 megawatts of electricity, Kamalvandi said, adding that the deal also includes the construction of two desalination units.

Salehi has on different occasions announced that Iran is ready to continue its mutual cooperation with Russia in peaceful nuclear energy.

On February 3, Salehi said that Iran is in talks with Russia on the construction of new nuclear power plants to produce 4,000 megawatts of electricity.

On January 16, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said he had exchanged views with senior Russian officials on the construction of new nuclear power plants in Iran during his visit to Moscow.

The Islamic Republic signed the Bushehr contract with Russia in 1995 and the nuclear power plant reached its full capacity by August 2012. It is located about 18 kilometers South of the provincial capital.

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