UNITED24 - Make a charitable donation in support of Ukraine!

Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Iran to build new nuclear power plants

RIA Novosti

03/04/2007 13:23 TEHRAN, April 3 (RIA Novosti) -- Iran plans to build new nuclear power stations, Iran's First Vice President Parviz Davudi said Tuesday.

"We have serious intentions to build and develop nuclear power plants," Davudi said, adding that no UN Security Council resolution would prevent Iran from developing its nuclear program.

"In the next three or four months we will announce a tender for the construction of a nuclear power plant with a capacity of 2,000 MW," Mohammad Saeedi, Iran's deputy nuclear chief, said Tuesday.

In early March, Gholamreza Aghazadeh, head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, said Iran would build nuclear power plants on its own.

The budget for the next Iranian year, which began March 21, 2007, stipulates $1.3 billion for nuclear power plant projects. In the next 25 years, Iran plans to meet 10% of its energy needs through nuclear energy.

Early in 2005, Iran's parliament ratified a bill on the construction of nuclear power plants with an aggregate capacity of over 20,000 MW, and in December 2005 the government took a decision to build the first NPP with a capacity of 360 MW in Khuzestan within seven years.

Iran and Russia are currently finishing the Bushehr nuclear power plant project.

The $1-billion Bushehr project, which is being implemented under the supervision of the UN nuclear watchdog, was originally scheduled for commissioning at the end of 2006. But the date has been postponed five times.

The project was initially started by Germany's Siemens in 1975, but work stopped following the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

Aghazadeh said Tuesday that Iran's decision to enrich uranium on its own followed the shortage of Russian fuel supplies to the Bushehr NPP in March.

On March 26, the UN Security Council voted unanimously to impose new sanctions against Iran over its unwillingness to halt its uranium enrichment.

Late in March, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said that UN Security Council Resolution 1747 would not stop his country's nuclear program "for a second."

Aghazadeh said: "The Bushehr NPP project and nuclear energy supplies are rooted to political problems."

The Bushehr project was in jeopardy after Atomstroyexport, the Russian contractor for the nuclear power plant construction, said Tehran had not made any payments for the NPP construction since mid-January, and that by the fourth quarter of 2006 the project had only received 60% of the required funding.

The company warned that the launch of the NPP and nuclear fuel deliveries could be delayed as a result.

On March 26, Iran resumed financing of the Bushehr project.

Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list