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Iran, Russia, To Build Nuclear Plant

Iran and Russia have agreed to build a new nuclear power plant, Press TV reported on Monday.

The agreement was reached in a recent Iran-Russia Joint Economic Commission, the head of the Atomic Energy Organisation of Iran, Ali-Akbar Salehi, was quoted as saying.

Iran takes the control of the 1,000-megawatt Bushehr nuclear power plant for a temporary period of two years.

Salehi said on Sunday that Iranians will fully take over the plant after the temporary period, according to Press TV.

The power station became officially operational and was connected to Iran’s national grid in September 2011, generating electricity at 40 per cent capacity.

The plant reached its maximum power generation capacity in August 2012.

On Monday, Salehi expressed hope that the construction of the second unit of the Bushehr nuclear power plant would get underway in the near future.

Earlier in September, Russian Ambassador to Iran Levan Dzhagaryan said that Moscow was ready to increase its nuclear cooperation with Tehran even after the country takes full control of the Russian-built Bushehr nuclear power plant.

Also, Salehi had said earlier that Iran hoped Russia could participate in constructing the second unit of the Bushehr nuclear plant.

According to the Iranian official, the capacity of the second unit of the nuclear power plant will add another 4,000 megawatt to the current 1,000-megawatt capacity.

Russia’s state atomic agency Rosatom said that it was ready to help Iran build another unit at the Bushehr plant.

Construction of the Bushehr plant was started in 1975 by several German companies.

However, the work halted when the U.S. imposed an embargo on hi-tech supplies to Iran after the 1979 revolution.

Russia signed a contract with Iran to complete the construction in 1998.