BUSHEHR (Sputnik) – At the groundbreaking ceremony on Saturday, the director general of Russia's state nuclear energy corporation Rosatom, Sergei Kirienko, said:
"The construction of the first reactor proved that Russia always fulfills its obligations to foreign partners, regardless of the changes in the political climate."
The Bushehr 2 project was rolled out by Russian nuclear experts in Tehran two years ago. Russia and Iran signed a deal to build the second and third reactors at the site in southern Iran in November 2014, with an option of building six more in the future.
Kirienko said on Saturday that "the second phase of the project is a practical contribution of Rosatom to the expansion of Russian-Iranian cooperation and at the same time a significant step to strengthen Russia’s position on the world market of nuclear technologies in such a promising macro-region as the Middle East."
Bushehr is Iran’s first nuclear power plant. Ali Akbar Salehi, the chief of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization (AEOI), estimates that each reactor frees up about 11 million barrels of oil per year.
The cost of the Bushehr 2 project is estimated at $10 billion. Its implementation is planned to take 10 years.