News ID: 109725
Publish Date : 03 December 2022 - 21:51

Construction Begins on New Nuclear Power Plant

TEHRAN -- Iran on Saturday
began construction on a new nuclear power plant in the country’s southwest, national TV announced, a day after the international nuclear agency said Tehran had tripled its capacity to enrich uranium to 60 percent purity.
The new 300-megawatt plant, known as Karun, will take eight years to build and cost around $2 billion, the national television and radio agency reported.
The plant will be located in Iran’s oil-rich Khuzestan province, near its western border with Iraq, it said.
The construction site’s inauguration ceremony in Darkhovin was attended by Muhammad Eslami, head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI), who first unveiled construction plans for Karun in April.
“The government is moving towards the production of low-cost energy and fuel; therefore the development of nuclear power plants is on the agenda of this organization,” he said on Saturday.
According to reports, the power plant is of a pressurized water reactor (PWR) type and is to be built on a land of approximately 50 hectares near the Karun River.
During the inauguration ceremony, Eslami said the high-speed movement towards the development of nuclear power plants has begun across the country.
“The start of the construction operation of the Karun nuclear power plant has taken place in this regard to scale up the share of nuclear energy in the country’s electricity basket to about 20 percent,” which is considered a “big step in the 20-year horizon” of the AEOI, he added.
Iran has one nuclear power plant at its southern port of Bushehr that went online in 2011 with help from Russia, but also several underground nuclear facilities.
“We hope to build the Karun power plant as a first step of building small power plants in order to create a new chapter in the country’s industrial and technological capacity, and also to expand this technology at a general level as well,” Eslami said.
The announcement of Karun’s construction came less than two weeks after Iran announced it had begun producing enriched uranium at 60% purity at the country’s underground Fordo nuclear facility. The move is seen as a significant addition to the country’s nuclear energy program.
“Iran informed us they were tripling, not doubling, tripling their capacity to enrich uranium at 60%”, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency Rafael Grossi said at a press conference in Rome on Friday.
Iran said last month that the enrichment was being carried out at its underground Fordo plant using advanced IR-6 centrifuges.