AEOI head outlines Iranian nuclear energy targets

07 August 2023

Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) head Mohammad Eslami said the country is looking to increase its nuclear power generation capacity to 20 GWe. The country's first nuclear power plant, Bushehr, has now generated more than 60 billion kilowatt-hours, he told a parliamentary council.

Eslami (on the left) addresses the National Security and Foreign Policy Commission on 6 August (Image: AEOI)

Bushehr unit 1 - a Russian-designed VVER-1000 pressurised water reactor, which uses infrastructure that was already in place from a previous, uncompleted German-designed plant - began commercial operation in 2013.

Eslami told a meeting of the National Security and Foreign Policy Commission that the power generated to date by the 915 MWe (gross) plant has "saved" the equivalent of 90 million barrels of oil.

Iran has targeted 20 GWe nuclear capacity, Eslami said. Construction work has started at Karun nuclear power plant in Khuzestan, and the completion of the second and third units at Bushehr are "on the agenda" and need to be speeded up, he added.

Of those projects, only Bushehr 2 is currently listed as "under construction" in the International Atomic Energy Agency's Power Reactor Information System (PRIS) database. AEOI said in December 2022 that construction of a 300 MWe domestically designed pressurised water reactor had begun at Dharkovin, near the Karun river, but this reactor is not yet classed as "under construction" in PRIS, which defines the construction start date as the date of the first major placing of concrete for the base mat of the reactor.

In addition to Bushehr 2 and 3 and Darkhovin, Eslami said companies have been established and land selected - or is about to be allocated - for new nuclear capacity in provinces including as Khuzestan, Hormozgan, Sistan and Baluchistan, Golestan and Bushehr.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News