Can Iran’s Bushehr NPP operation be suspended?
Baku, Azerbaijan, Feb. 25
By Elnur Baghishov – Trend:
The activity of Iran’s Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant (BNPP) for the next year (started March 21, 2019) is unknown, Behrouz Kamalvandi, spokesman of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI), told ISNA, Trend reports.
Kamalvandi said that debts have not been paid yet to the contractors for last year’s (started March 21, 2017) repair works, adding that both the sum allocated for the plant in the budget and the condition of the plant for the next year remain ambiguous.
"Prior to the devaluation, the price of electricity produced at the Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant was 1,270 rials per kilowatt hour (app. $ 0.03). But after the rise in foreign currency prices, it will be about 500-600 rials (app. $ 0.01-0.014)," he said.
Kamalvandi said, however, that the price of electricity purchased by the Iranian Ministry of Energy at the BNPP is about 500 rials per kilowatt hour (app. $ 0.01).
Kamalvandi added that the 1st section of the BNPP can generate 7.2 million kilowatt hours of electricity a year, and has produced more than the said amount over the past 3 years, having so far produced 7.15 million kilowatt hours of electricity.
Kamalvandi noted that the station has generated 35 billion kilowatt hours of electricity and handed over to Iran's electricity grid.
“The Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant saves about 12 million barrels of crude oil in its annual production, thus preventing the emission of about 6 million tons of environmental pollutants," he said, adding that so far the station has also saved up to 55 million barrels of crude oil and prevented the emission of about 30 million tons of pollutants.
The spokesman said that at present the Thermal Power Stations receive free fuel. The BNPP, however, must purchase its own fuel - yet no serious support is shown.
"Chairman of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran Ali Akbar Salehi warned earlier that the power plant will stop operating if its budget is not met," he said.
BNPP is the first and only nuclear power plant in the Middle East. According to an agreement between Iran and Russia, Russia will supply the station with fuel for 10 years after commissioning.