Construction of a nuclear power plant is now underway in the Iranian city of Bushehr.
The contract for the project, made between Iran and Russia, continues the expansion of the plant that was first launched in 1975, but halted in 1979, following the Islamic revolution against the ruling shah and subsequent US embargo on high-tech supplies to the country.
The US action caused the German manufacturers to withdraw from the project, which then lay dormant until Russia agreed to complete the Phase 1 work on the plant in 1998.
Phase 2 of the Bushehr plant comprises two VVEW-1000 1,000 MW reactors being added to the one already operating on the site.
The contract, with an estimated cost of US$ 10 billion, reportedly includes the option of a further six reactors, to be installed within the country over the next 10 years.
During the opening ceremony, Ali Akbar Salehi, head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, said, "We are opening a new page in the trend of our peaceful industrial nuclear activities."
At the same event, Sergey Kiriyenko, head of Russia’s state nuclear energy corporation, Rosatom, said, “The competition of Phase 1 has proven that Russia always delivers on its promises to foreign partners, regardless of the political climate in the world.”
He added, “Phase 2 is [Russia’s] practical contribution to fostering Russian-Iranian cooperation and a big step forward in strengthening Russia’s position in the world nuclear technology market.”