Russia to Receive 1st Tranche for New Nuclear Power Plants

Russia to Receive 1st Tranche for New Nuclear Power Plants Russia to Receive 1st Tranche for New Nuclear Power Plants

Iran's nuclear chief said Tehran will make the first payment within two weeks for two new nuclear power plants to be built with Russian assistance in the southern Bushehr Province.

"The Central Bank of Iran will pay (Russia) the first tranche for the two new Bushehr nuclear reactors within two weeks," Ali Akbar Salehi, the head of Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, was quoted as saying by IRNA on Saturday.

The reactors will cost an estimated 300 trillion rials ($9 billion) he said,  but did not elaborate on the amount of the payment or the number of installments. Salehi said the Russians will also build a water desalination plant in Bushehr with a capacity to produce 200,000 cubic meters of water per day.

In September, Tehran and Moscow broke ground on two new nuclear reactors that will be built close to the Russian-made Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant, Iran's only nuclear reactor with production capacity of 1,000 megawatts. The second unit is slated to become operational in October 2024 and the third by April 2026, according to Russia's state nuclear agency Rosatom.

With a combined power production capacity of 1,057 megawatts, the new plants will boost Iran's total nuclear power output to 2,100 MW. Total installed power capacity is now around 75,000 MW. They units are estimated to help save domestic crude oil consumption by 22 million barrels annually and curb harmful emissions by 14 million tons a year.

Russia has been at the forefront of Iran's nuclear power industry in the past two decades. It took over the construction of Bushehr nuclear plant from the Germans in 1995 and commissioned the plant in September 2011 on the back of extended technical hurdles as well as international restrictions. The plant reached full production capacity in 2012. In April 2016, the unit was finally handed over to Iran, officially completing its construction stage. Tehran and Moscow signed an agreement in 2014 to build two more units in Bushehr with an option to extend the total number of nuclear plants to eight. Salehi also said that AEOI is involved in developing three major healthcare projects in Bushehr: a general hospital, a heart hospital and a specialized nuclear medicine hospital that is billed as an advanced facility to treat rare diseases using nuclear medicine.

Nuclear medicine is a medical specialty involving the application of radioactive substances in the diagnosis and treatment of disease.  Construction of a bigger nuclear hospital is underway in South Tehran which reportedly would become the biggest nuclear medical facility in the Middle East with 1,000 beds.


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