Iran Nuclear NewsIran budgets $213 mln for two atomic power plants

Iran budgets $213 mln for two atomic power plants

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Reuters: Iran will put some $213 million of its national budget for the year to March 2007 into building two nuclear power stations, a senior government official was quoted as saying on Monday. TEHRAN (Reuters) – Iran will put some $213 million of its national budget for the year to March 2007 into building two nuclear power stations, a senior government official was quoted as saying on Monday.

Iran has been referred to the U.N. Security Council after failing to convince the international community its nuclear programme is not a smokescreen for developing warheads.

Tehran insists its atomic scientists are only working on an ambitious power station programme that should produce 20,000 megawatts (MW) of electricity by 2020.

The official Iran newspaper quoted Farhad Rahbar, head of the government’s management and planning organisation, saying 1.94 trillion rials would be directed towards two atomic power stations.

“Building and completing two nuclear power stations in order to produce cheap electricity is among the most important construction plans,” state television quoted him as saying.

The management and planning organisation was not immediately able to comment on whether the $213 million was being channelled into existing projects or new work.

Iran’s first power station, which cost just under $1 billion, is being built with Russian help at the Gulf port of Bushehr. It is due to come on stream late this year, producing 1,000 MW. A second power station is planned at Bushehr.

Iran said last year it would tender two 1,000 MW power stations, similar to the power station almost completed at Bushehr. Iran insists it welcomes foreign participation, particularly Russian, in its atomic programme.

However, the timeframe and investment required for these tenders is unclear.

Iran has also said it plans to build its own power stations with domestic technology, probably generating only 300 MW.

The first of these 300-MW reactors is planned in the southwestern oil province of Khuzestan, where violence intermittently flares between Iranian authorities and the restive Arab minority.

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