The first stone of the second nuclear reactor of Iran’s Bushehr nuclear power plant has been laid.
The ceremony on Saturday marks the start of the launch of the Iran-Russia Bushehr 2 project.
What is the Bushehr 2 project?
Under the terms of the deal, the two countries agreed to build the second and third reactors at the site in southern Iran.
There is an option to build six more in the future.
Is this a new idea?
Iran’s deal with Russia on the first stage of the project, Bushehr 1, goes back to 1992.
The nuclear power plant with a single 1,000-megawatt light water reactor was connected to the national grid in 2011.
It reached full capacity the following year.
The cost of the Bushehr 2 project is estimated at 10 billion US dollars.
Implementation is expected to take ten years.
Agreement with world powers
This is the first project to get underway since Iran’s nuclear deal with world powers last year.
In 2015 in Vienna, Iran agreed a civilian nuclear programme with world powers in return for the lifting of international sanctions.
What they are saying
“There were many people who did not want this project to go ahead. From an engineering point of view, no one in the global nuclear industry has ever achieved anything like this,” said Sergei Kirienko, the Director General of Russia’s state nuclear energy corporation, Rosatom.
“This is is a good sign of Iran and Russia entering a new phase of strategic cooperation in peaceful nuclear energy and, in particular, co-production of fuel and isotopes is being considered,” said Ali Akbar Salehi, the head of Iran’s atomic energy agency.