Excavation work starts for Bushehr 2
Excavation work has started at the site of unit 2 of the Bushehr nuclear power plant in southern Iran, Atomproekt, the reactor design subsidiary of Russian state nuclear corporation Rosatom, announced today. Construction and installation work formally started on the unit in March, World Nuclear News reported.
A ceremony to mark the start of excavation work on the foundation of the main buildings for the unit was opened today by Alexey Likhachov, Rosatom director-general, and Ali Akbar Salehi, president of the Atomic Energy Organisation of Iran.
Atomproekt said today that, before the ceremony, Likhachov and Salehi had visited Bushehr 1, "which has become a symbol of cooperation between Russia and Iran in the sphere of the peaceful atom".
Welcoming the participants of the ceremony, Likhachov said Russia and Iran had already accumulated experience in cooperation that would assist their nuclear industry specialists in the management of the Bushehr II project.
He said: "I'm confident that this, the largest of all Russian-Iranian projects, is a symbol of our cooperation, a symbol for both our generation and the generation of our children. To date, about 25 terawatt hours have already been produced at the first Bushehr unit, which is a real contribution to the Iranian economy that enables additional investment in the development of both the social sphere and the industry of the country."
Salehi said: "We are on schedule and even ahead of schedule. I hope that within seven years we will witness the commissioning of this unit, and two years after that the commissioning of the third unit as part of Bushehr II."
Nina Mamedova, head of the Iranian section of the Center for the Study of Countries at the Middle East of the Institute of Oriental Studies of the RAS, said in an interview with Vestnik Kavkaza that construction of the Bushehr nuclear power plant second unit is beneficial both for Russia and Iran and will undoubtedly be finished.
She recalled that negotiations on the second bloc were already underway after completion of the first block. "At that time, Iran was in a pretty difficult financial situation. So there were preliminary agreements, but financial capabilities were limited," she noted.
"Now, after the JCPOA was signed, after it was implemented, financial problems were solved. Moreover, Iranian banks have alredy re-entered the SWIFT system, so a contract on construction of the second unit has been signed thanks to that. I think that this project will undoubtedly be completed," she explained.