Excavation work starts for Bushehr 2

31 October 2017

Excavation work has started at the site of unit 2 of the Bushehr nuclear power plant in southern Iran, Atomproekt, the reactor design subsidiary of Russian state nuclear corporation Rosatom, announced today. Construction and installation work formally started on the unit in March.

Russian-built Bushehr 1 was connected to the national grid on 3 September 2011 and became the first nuclear power plant in the Middle East. Bushehr units 2 and 3 are to be completed in 2024 and 2026, respectively.

A ceremony to mark the start of excavation work on the foundation of the main buildings for the unit was opened today by Alexey Likhachov, Rosatom director-general, and Ali Akbar Salehi, president of the Atomic Energy Organisation of Iran.

Atomproekt said today that, before the ceremony, Likhachov and Salehi had visited Bushehr 1, "which has become a symbol of cooperation between Russia and Iran in the sphere of the peaceful atom".

AtomStroyExport (ASE) - another Rosatom subsidiary and the general contractor for the Bushehr project - and Nuclear Power Production and Development Company of Iran signed an EPC turnkey contract for the project to build units 2 and 3, known as Bushehr II, in November 2014. The first foundation stone for the units - VVER-1000 reactors with a combined capacity of 2100 MWe - was laid in a ceremony held in September 2016. Atomproekt said today the start of excavation work marked the launch of the practical implementation of Bushehr II.

German constructor Siemens KWU began work on two pressurised water reactors at Bushehr in 1975, but work came to a halt in 1979. Russian contractors resumed work on unit 1, this time as a VVER-1000 unit, in the late 1990s under a "turn-key" contract. Extensive use was made of the infrastructure that was already in place and the German-designed components that were in storage from the original project, integrated with main reactor components fabricated in Russia, making the finished plant unique amongst VVERs. NIAEP-ASE has been responsible for the project since the 2012 merger of reactor architect NIAEP with ASE. The plant has been constructed and is operating under full International Atomic Energy Agency safeguards.

Atomproekt said today: "The power unit, which Russian nuclear engineers actually developed for the previous contractor, using the original engineering know-how for the Russian VVER design and training Iranian operating personnel, was the first in the Middle East and unique in the global nuclear power industry. Since its launch in 2011, unit 1 has proven its operational reliability."

Welcoming the participants of the ceremony, Likhachov said Russia and Iran had already accumulated experience in cooperation that would assist their nuclear industry specialists in the management of the Bushehr II project. He said: "I'm confident that this, the largest of all Russian-Iranian projects, is a symbol of our cooperation, a symbol for both our generation and the generation of our children. To date, about 25 terawatt hours have already been produced at the first Bushehr unit, which is a real contribution to the Iranian economy that enables additional investment in the development of both the social sphere and the industry of the country."

Salehi said: "We are on schedule and even ahead of schedule. I hope that within seven years we will witness the commissioning of this unit, and two years after that the commissioning of the third unit as part of Bushehr II."

Atomproekt said work on the foundation of unit 3 will start next year and first concrete is to be poured for unit 2 in 2019. Iran is funding the Bushehr II project, it added.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News

Filed under: New build, Construction, Russia, Iran