Deputy Director for Nuclear Power Plants
of the Iran Atomic Energy Organization (IAEO), Assadollah Sabouri says that
more than $1 billion have been spent on the construction of the Bushehr
Nuclear Power Plant in Southern Iran.
Talking to domestic and foreign
reporters, Sabouri said more than $3-4 billion must be spent before 2006 when
the project is to come on-stream.
Sabouri, Deputy Director for Nuclear Power Plants of the Iran Atomic
Energy Organization (IAEO)
Maintaining that the Bushehr Nuclear
Power Plant will produce 200 billion kilowatts of electricity, he said: “If we
consider the price of each kilowatt of electricity at only four cents, the
country would fetch $8 billion, which means $4 billion would go to the state
Asked if safety precautions have been
observed and if there was the likelihood of recurrence of a Chernobyl-like
incident, he said in nuclear engineering, people do not pass personal judgment
on whether this project is safe or not. Instead, he noted, there are
regulations for designing a project that should be observed.
Sabouri added that safety documents
should be produced before construction and also during the various stages of
construction. One of the main reasons that the construction of the Bushehr
Nuclear Power Plant Project has taken such a long time is Iran’s insistence on
observance of the nuclear criteria.
According to Sabouri, the safety report
of the Bushehr Power Plant has been probed into and substantiated by the
International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). The ecological report of the
project—which proves that the power plant poses no threat to its staff, people
and the environment—has been verified by the IAEA.
Sabouri stated that the Bushehr Power
Plant is acceptable at an international level from the technical and safety
point of view and it is under no question whatsoever.
In response to a question regarding
expansion of Iran’s nuclear projects, he said as Iran’s atomic energy council
has approved the nuclear energy share of the country to stand at 7,000
megawatts in the Iranian year 1400 (2021), the first unit of the Bushehr
Nuclear Power Plant would produce 1,000 megawatts. To supply the remaining
6,000 megawatts, new contracts should be signed, he said.
The Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant will produce 200
billion kilowatts of electricity, if we consider the price of each
kilowatt of electricity at only four cents, the country would fetch $8
billion, which means $4 billion would go to the state treasury.
To this end, he said, technical and
economic studies have been carried out to construct a new unit at the Bushehr
Power Plant and talks about this unit are included in the agenda of future
discussions of Iranian and Russian officials.
Sabouri added that the Iran-Russia
agreement on construction of the power plant is not limited to one unit and
comprises more than one case.
Turning to the infrastructure of the
Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant, he said it has the capacity for the construction
of four nuclear units. He added that the deadline for receiving fuel for the
Bushehr nuclear power station from Russia is late 2005. He went on to say that
there is no indication that the project would not be completed and therefore
“we are not concerned about this issue.”
He stated that at present the contract
on return and transfer of spent fuel has been finalized and that the two sides
were only discussing the costs. Since the return and transfer to Russia of the
spent fuel would be carried out about eight to nine years later, it is
difficult to get the transfer costs for that time, he said. Sabouri stressed
that high-level Iranian officials had decided that the spent fuel should be
returned to Russia. An issue that is still in the process of completion, he
noted, is the talks on the executive contract for the return of the fuel.
“This issue is very complicated.”
Asked if there was any laxity on the
part of the Russians regarding implementation of the project, he said the
completion of the Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant is very complicated and the case
Recalling that the project had been
started by the Germans, he said it has been unprecedented in the world for a
nuclear project to be abandoned and for a new contractor to resume the work.
At present, he said, both the Russians and Iranians equally realize how
difficult the job is.
Sabouri added that after completion of
the project the instances of authorized and unauthorized delay would be
determined. On this case, he said, neither the Russians nor the Iranians have
ever accused each other.
In regards to the cooperation of other
countries in construction of the nuclear power plants in Iran, Sabouri said
there are few countries in the world capable of doing this. However, Iran has
been informed of the desire of certain European countries for cooperation in
“Of course we should leave behind the
initial stage of correspondence and desire on the part of these countries and
should enter an executive framework which would bring about commitments.”
He declined to name the countries
willing to cooperate with Iran in the field of construction of power plants
but said at least two European countries have voiced readiness in this
On the extent of participation of
Iranians in construction of the Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant, he said Iranian
companies have carried out all the construction activities including
rehabilitation and completion. Moreover, Iranian manufacturers have supplied
about 25% of the equipment needed for the project. Among other aspects of
participation of Iranians in the construction of Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant,
he said the viewpoints of Iranian university professors have been taken into
account and as well as that of nuclear energy experts trained by the Sharif
Industrial University and Amir Kabir University.