Iran resumes financing of Bushehr NPP construction

Publish date: March 28, 2007

According to the head of the Russian federal Atomic Energy Agency Rosatom Sergey Kirienko, Iran has resumed financing the new atomic power plant in Bushehr, which is going to be constructed by Russian experts, reported RIA Novosti on Monday.

Rosatom spokesman Sergey Novikov said that the Russian company Atomstroyexport received the first payment from Iran as soon as Russia had stopped financing construction at the Bushehr NPP site and a few hours after the UN Security Council had imposed new sanctions on Iran. Novikov said that Russia appreciates this first step by the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI), but that the payment would not be enough to cover Iran’s outstanding debt. Only half of one month’s expenditures has been paid so far.

Novikov further said that Atomstroyexport is continuing construction of the NPP in Bushehr. Currently more than 2,000 Russian experts are working at the site.

Problems concerning the new atomic power plant arose when Iran stopped meeting its contractual obligation regarding the financing of the ongoing construction project. According to Atomstroyexport, they had not received any payments since January and by the fourth quarter of 2006 they had received only 60% of the money.

Construction originally began in 1975 but was stopped with the 1979 Islamic revolution. In 1995 the Russian company Atomstroyexport, together with the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, took up construction of the plant. In February 1998 Russia and Iran agreed that Russia would not only assist in construction, but that Atomstroyexport would completely take over the project.