EghtesadOnline: TVEL Fuel Company, a subsidiary of Russia's state-owned nuclear corporation Rosatom, has signed an agreement with the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) to deliver a reserve batch of nuclear fuel of Advanced Fuel Assemblies (AFA) type for the first unit of the Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant later this year.
The agreement was signed on Tuesday at the IX AtomExpo International Forum in Moscow – an annual exhibition and business platform that gathers global players in the nuclear power industry, Rosatom said in a statement on its website.
Tentative cost of the reserve fuel batch is around $30 million.
Mohammad Ahmadian, the AEOI deputy head and Oleg Grigoriev, senior vice-president for commerce and international business at TVEL, Rosatom's nuclear fuel manufacturer, signed the deal, according to Financial Tribune.
"The contract will enable Iran to enhance energy safety of the country as well as secure and guarantee the supply of Russian nuclear fuel. Furthermore, it will eliminate all risks connected with the transit of Russian nuclear fuel through the countries neighboring Iran," the statement said.
TVEL is to commence the production of the batch in the near future with the delivery slated for late November or early December, Rosatom added.
Russia is expanding its footprint in Iran's nuclear energy against a backdrop of growing political and economic cooperation between the two sides.
Iran's sole nuclear reactor in the southern city of Bushehr was built by Russian assistance. The two countries have signed a deal to build two more nuclear power stations in Bushehr that straddles the Persian Gulf coast.
Russia took over the construction of Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant from the Germans in 1995 and commissioned the plant in September 2011 in the face of technical hurdles as well as international restrictions.
The plant reportedly reached full production capacity in 2012. In April 2016, the unit was finally handed over to Iran.
Tehran and Moscow signed an agreement in 2014 to build two more units in Bushehr with an option to extend the number of nuclear plants to six.
The second and third Bushehr reactors, which are estimated to cost upwards of $10 billion, are scheduled for launch in 2024 and 2026 respectively.
In December 2016, Tehran transferred to Russia the first tranche to finance the building of the second Bushehr nuclear unit. According to Rosatom, construction and installation works for the Bushehr-2 project began in March.