Russia agrees to build ‘two Iran nuclear plants’

The largely Russian-built Bushehr reactor in southern Iran

Russia has signed a preliminary agreement to build at least two more nuclear power plants in the Iranian port city of Bushehr, Iran’s official IRNA news agency reported on Wednesday.

The deal was reached during a visit to Tehran on Tuesday by a senior official of Russia’s state atomic energy agency Rosatom, IRNA said.

“Iran and Russia reached a preliminary agreement to build at least two new nuclear power plants,” Iranian Atomic Energy Organisation spokesman Behrouz Kamalvandi told the news agency.

The two new 1,000 megawatt plants will be built alongside the existing power station in Bushehr, which was also built by Russia, Kamalvandi said.

Further talks will be held on technical and financial aspects of the project but a final agreement is expected to be signed “very soon,” he added.

Iran, which still faces tight Western sanctions on its oil and banking sectors despite a landmark agreement reached with major powers in November on its controversial nuclear program, is expected to fund the project on a barter basis.

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Interesting timing. Not connected to the Ukraine crisis, I’m sure. Note that Bushehr is in active earthquake zone and in fact has already experienced one fairly large quake. This should make their Gulf neighbours feel even more paranoid than they already are.

And do not forget that reactors produce plutonium, that can be used to make nuclear bombs. Reactors are extremely expensive to build, and this decision makes no economic sense given that Iran is simply loaded with oil and natural gas.