Kamalvandi: Iran, Russia set to boost strategic nuclear cooperation

The file photo shows the reactor building of the Bushehr nuclear power plant just outside the southern city of Bushehr, Iran. (By AP)

As President Ebrahim Raeisi is visiting Russia, a senior Iranian atomic official says Tehran and Moscow are in talks over the construction of new units at the Bushehr nuclear power plant as part of their efforts to promote bilateral strategic cooperation in the fields of energy and nuclear technology.

In an interview with Press TV on Thursday, Behrouz Kamalvandi, spokesman of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) said nuclear cooperation was “one of the most strategic issues” on the agenda of the Wednesday meeting between Raeisi and his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin.

“The issue of nuclear industry can be divided into two sections of energy-related and non-energy-related activities. In both fields, the relation between the two countries is excellent. We are being supplied by … different types of radioisotopes which are used for medical purposes, industry, agriculture and other areas,” he said.

At their meeting, Raeisi and Putin explored ways to further elevate the already “excellent” relations Iran and Russia enjoy in the nuclear energy sector, Kamalvandi said.

He pointed out that the joint project to build additional units at the Bushehr plant were in line with Iran’s plan to generate at least 10,000 megawatts of electricity using nuclear energy. The process was continuing apace despite delayed payments to the Russians, he added.

“As you know Iran has a program of bringing the capacity of electricity in nuclear field to at least 10,000 megawatts… The Russians can contribute a very good part at this program. It has been discussed by the two presidents and we are expecting to exchange delegations in the very near future in order to implement the new projects,” Kamalvandi said.

The official further said that one of Iran’s planned nuclear projects with Russia values at about $5 billion.

“As you know, a power plant with the capacity of 1,000 megawatts is working.  The technology has been transferred to the Iranian expertise. It is operated by the Iranian engineers. We are already constructing two new units with the capacity of 1,000 megawatts, each of them.”

Kamlavandi also noted that despite payment difficulties between Iran and Russia, the construction work at Bushehr power plant “is ongoing. It has not stopped.”

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