Iran has started work on four new nuclear reactors, which will generate a combined output of 5GW. 

The Atomic Energy Organisation of Iran (AEOI) announced that it had begun work on the site in Hormozgan province at a ceremony, which was attended virtually by Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi. 

Mohammed Eslami, the head of the AEOI, said $15bn will be invested in the “super project” to build the four 1.25GW units near the cities of Minab and Sirik. 

A Russian-designed VVER unit with a capacity of 915MW is already in operation at Bushehr on the Persian Gulf coast where a second VVER is under construction and a third unit is planned.  

Site work has also begun at a site at Dharkovin on the Karun River, Khuzestan. In December 2022, AEOI said that construction of a 300MWe domestically designed pressurised water reactor had begun. However, this reactor is not yet classed as “under construction” in the International Atomic Energy Agency’s Power Reactor Information System database, which defines the start of construction as the first major placing of concrete for the base mat of the reactor. 

In 2015, it was suggested that two Chinese-supplied 100MW units had been pencilled in for construction at a site on the Makran coast. 

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In a report, the Research Center of the Iranian Parliament pointed out that more than 80% of the nation’s energy in thermally produced with heavy reliance on gas and urged a diversification towards renewable energy sources. 

Iran has large uranium enrichment capabilities, but, in 2015, the Joint Comprehensive Plan was established under which Iran agreed to not enrich uranium above 3.67% over the next 15 years. However, the US withdrew from the deal in 2018, and by 2021, the International Atomic Energy Agency reported that Iran had resumed enriching uranium to 20% purity at its underground Fordow plant.