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By Our Correspondent: A gala ceremony took place on October 31, 2017 in Bushehr Province (Iran) for the start of work on the pit for the main buildings of Bushehr NPP No. 2 (Bushehr-2 project). The ceremony was opened by Alexey Likhachev, Director General of the State Corporation Rosatom and Ali Akhbar Salehi, Vice-President of Iran and President of the Atomic Energy Organization of the country. The heads of industry companies of the two countries, Russian and Iranian nuclear specialists, representatives of the local authorities and residents of Bushehr also participated in the event. According to the contract for the NPP second phase signed in November, 2014, two units of Russian design with total capacity of 2,100 MW will be built on the site near the already operating power unit No. 1. Russian power units VVER-1000 are the benchmark design of generation “3+” that meet the strictest “post-Fukushima” safety requirements. The “first stone” in construction was laid in September, 2016, after which preparatory work was done at the site. The start of construction of the pit marks the entry into the practical implementation stage of the Bushehr-2 project. Before the start of the ceremony, Mr. Likhachev and Mr. Salehi visited the operating unit Bushehr NPP No. 1, which has become the symbol of cooperation between Russia and Iran in the sphere of the peaceful atom. The power unit, which the Russian nuclear engineers actually completed for the previous contractor by using original engineering know-how for the Russian VVER reactor and training the Iranian specialists in its operation, became the first in the Near East and unique for peaceful nuclear power. From its start-up in 2011, Unit No. 1 has really proven its operating reliability. In his greeting to the ceremony participants, the Head of Rosatom noted the experience in cooperation already gained will help the specialists of the two countries to effectively solve any tasks within the framework of the Bushehr-2 project. “I am confident that this major Russian-Iranian project is a symbol of our cooperation, a symbol both for our generation, and for the generation of our children. As of today, about 25 billion kW/h have already been generated at Bushehr NPP No. 1. This is a serious contribution to the economy of Iran, allowing it to direct additional funds to the development of both the social sphere and industry of the country,” Alexey Likhachev said. In his response, the Head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran Ali Akhbar Salehi noted: “Today we are witnessing the start of development of the ground for construction of the Bushehr NPP second power unit. We are on schedule and even ahead of the designated timeline. I hope that within 7 years we will witness the commissioning of this unit, and within another two years, the commissioning of the third NPP unit within the second phase of the plant.” The Bushehr NPP second phase is being financed by the Iranians. Rosatom JSC ASE (Atomstroyexport) is the general contractor for the project. It is planned to build the pit for power unit No. 3 in 2018 and the “first concrete” to be poured for power unit No. 2 in 2019.
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