MOSCOW, February 12 (RIA Novosti) – Tehran expects to start work on a second power unit at the Bushehr nuclear power plant together with Russia, Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi said on Tuesday.
“We hope to start building the second unit with our Russian colleagues,” he told journalists at a news conference.
Salehi said Russia is Tehran’s preferred partner in the construction of Iran’s second nuclear power plant, Press TV reported.
“Under a 1992 Iran-Russia agreement, we have agreed to build nuclear power plants with a capacity of up to 5,000 megawatts in cooperation with Russia,” he said.
Last summer Russian nuclear corporation Rosatom head Sergei Kiriyenko said Russia was not negotiating with Iran the joint construction of a second power unit at the Bushehr NPP.
The station began operating at full capacity on August 31, 2012, as the reactor of Bushehr’s Unit 1 was brought to 100 percent capacity.
Construction of Bushehr began in the 1970s, but has been plagued by delays. Russia signed a billion-dollar deal with Tehran to complete the plant in 1998.
The plant’s launch in August 2010 prompted Israel and other nations to express fear that the reactor could help Iran create an atomic bomb. Tehran has denied the allegations, saying the facility was used for peaceful power generation only.