Iranian state media has reported that construction has begun on a new nuclear power plant in the country's south western province of Khuzestan. The 300-megawatt plant known as Karun will be situated along the river sharing the same name, the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) announced yesterday.
The head of the AEOI, Mohammad Eslami said during an inauguration ceremony: "The government is moving towards the production of low-cost energy and fuel; therefore the development of nuclear power plants is on the agenda of this organization."
"The start of the construction operation of the Karun nuclear power plant has taken place in this regard to scale up the share of nuclear energy in the country's electricity basket to about 20 percent," he added, noting that the development was a "big step in the 20-year horizon" of the AEOI.
#Iran's nuclear chief today launched the construction of a 300-megawatt #nuclear power plant of "Karoon" in Darkhovin, Khuzestan province. The power plant will operate with pressurized water reactor (PWR) and the construction is expected to take about 8 years. pic.twitter.com/U1ZK3sxXVu
— Abas Aslani (@AbasAslani) December 3, 2022
The power plant will operate with a pressurised water reactor (PWR) and will take eight years to construct, at a cost of around $2 billion, according to reports.
"The construction of this power plant is an old program that was stopped for years due to the bad faith of foreigners who abandoned the work, and today the first part of its operation including the preparation of the land for the construction of the site and the main building of the power plant began," Eslami said.
News on the project comes less than two weeks after Iran said it had begun producing enriched uranium at 60 per cent purity at the country's underground Fordo nuclear facility, which is one short, technical step away from weapons-grade levels of 90 per cent, reports AP.
Britain, France and Germany who are the three western European nations remaining in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), or so-called Iran nuclear deal condemned the move amid on-going attempts to revive the deal.