TEHRAN: Russia will start the construction of two nuclear reactors in Iran from next week, the spokesman for the Iranian atomic agency said on Tuesday.
It comes a year after Tehran signed a contract with Moscow to build two reactors at the existing Russian-built Bushehr power plant in southern Iran.
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Work on the two reactors “will commence next week”, the state television website quoted Behrouz Kamalvandi as saying.
A series of agreements signed between the two countries last year foresees eventually increasing the total number of Russian-built reactors in the country to nine.
The start of construction follows a historic deal between Iran and world powersin July that ends a decade-long standoff over Tehran’s nuclear programme.
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The accord does not limit Iran’s development of civilian nuclear sites.
Construction of the two reactors will be bankrolled by Iran, Sergei Kiriyenko, head of Russia’s state nuclear company Rosatom, said last year.
Iran plans to build 20 more nuclear plants in the future, including four in Bushehr, to decrease its dependence on oil and gas.
In November, President Vladimir Putin eased restrictions on Russian companies working on Iranian enrichment sites, enabling them to help modify centrifuges at the Fordo enrichment site and help Tehran redesign its Arak heavy water reactor.
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Under the Russian decree, companies can now also carry out activities linked to Iranian exports of enriched uranium of more than 300 kilograms in exchange for the supplies of natural uranium to Iran.
Russia backed Iran during two years of nuclear negotiations with six world powers.