Iran to Break Ground on New Nuclear Plants: AEOI Chief

Head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Ali Akbar Salehi
Head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Ali Akbar Salehi

Head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Ali Akbar Salehi said Tehran is set to break ground on the construction of two more nuclear power plants in the southern city of Bushehr on September 10.

In an interview with IRIB on Wednesday, Salehi said, “(Construction) of the Bushehr-1 and 2 nuclear power plants will be launched on September 10″.

He added that Iran’s First Vice-President Eshaq Jahangiri and the head of Russia’s nuclear agency Rosatom, Sergey Kirienko, will be present at the ceremony.

Salehi further said a credit worth more than $10 billion will be allocated to construction of these two plants, which he described as one of the country’s key nuclear projects.

With the two power plants becoming operational, 22 million barrels of crude will be saved annually in the country, he said, adding that 14 million tons of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions will be also stopped from getting into the atmosphere per year.

Russia has already built a power plant in the city of Bushehr. The agreement for Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant was finalized in 1995, but the project was delayed several times due to a number of technical and financial issues.

Elsewhere in his remarks, the AEOI chief said Iran has the capacity to produce 20 tons of heavy water a year.

Saying that European countries have expressed willingness to purchase Iran’s heavy water, Salehi said Iran produces and offers to the world high quality heavy water and enriched uranium as two strategic commodities.

Back in April, the US government completed an $8.6-million deal to buy 32 metric tons of heavy water from Iran.

Later, US lawmakers voted for a bill that would prohibit such purchases next year. The measure is yet to be approved by the US Senate.

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