Iran and Russia increase co-operation

2 August 2017

Iran and Russia plan to increase their cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy.

Behrouz Kamalvandi, deputy head of the Atomic Energy Organisation of Iran (AEOI), held talks on 24-25 July with Russian state nuclear corporation Rosatom’s director-general, Alexey Likhachov, and deputy director-general for international relations, Nikolay Spasskiy on the construction of units 2 and 3 at the Bushehr NPP. Kamalvandi told the Islamic Republic News Agency the project could be completed ahead of schedule. Rosatom said they also discussed "opening of the Caspian Sea route for the transport of nuclear materials and interaction under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA)" agreed between Iran and the E3/EU+3 countries in July 2015.

Unit 1 at Bushehr, completed with Russian assistance, was connected to the grid in September 2011 and was finally transferred to Iran for operation in April 2016.  However, Rosatom continues to service the unit and provide it with nuclear fuel.

In January, Rosatom and the AEOI signed a roadmap on expanding cooperation in the nuclear power industry including the possibility of building eight new nuclear reactors of Russian design, including four at  Bushehr. As for the international agreements within the framework of the JCPOA, the uranium enrichment plant in Iran's Fordo facility will be rebuilt to produce stable (non-radioactive) isotopes.

In January Russian fuel company TVEL and the AEOI signed a contract for pre-design work to modify two cascades of gas centrifuges at this plant. Alexei Karpov, Deputy Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the international organisations in Vienna, told reporters that the production of stable isotopes at Fordo is scheduled to begin in the summer of 2018.

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