The handover of the Bushehr nuclear power plant by Russian constructors to its Iranian customer has formally begun with a ceremony attended by the heads of NIAEP-ASE and the Atomic Energy Organisation of Iran (AEOI).

AEOI head Ali Akbar Salehi formally signed pre-acceptance papers at the ceremony, attended by NIAEP-ASE head Valery Limarenko, initiating a two-year handover process. The latest milestone in the long history of the 1000 MWe reactor comes a year after it reached 100% power and two years on from its grid connection in September 2011.

German constructor Siemens KWU began work on two pressurised water reactors at Bushehr in 1975, but work came to a halt in 1979. Russian contractors resumed work on unit 1, this time as a VVER-1000 unit, in the late 1990s under a "turn-key" contract. Extensive use was made of the infrastructure that was already in place and the German-designed components that were in storage from the original project, integrated with main reactor components fabricated in Russia, making the finished plant unique amongst VVERs. NIAEP-ASE has been responsible for the project since the 2012 merger of reactor architect NIAEP with Russian overseas reactor constructor Atomstroyexport. The plant has been constructed and is operating under full International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards.

According to Iranian news agency IRNA, Salehi said that Iran is negotiating with Russia for the construction of other power plants at Bushehr in the near future. He said that future plants would be used for water desalination.
Source: World Nuclear News