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Russian state nuclear firm Rosatom has begun building its second reactor at Bushehr on Iran’s Gulf coast under a 2014 agreement. Both parties appear motivated by more than just economics, with the Russian firm looking to expand its regional reach – and that of Russia – and Iran opting for a prestige project.
The plant is located where Rosatom completed the Mena region’s first and, so far only, nuclear plant in 2011, the 1GW Bushehr-1 plant. Rosatom has been working in Iran since 1995, and is now chasing projects in other Mena countries. It has signed deals to construct plants in Egypt and Jordan. While it has a cooperation agreement with Saudi Arabia, its involvement in Iran’s nuclear program may hamper efforts to secure lucrative contracts with Gulf Arab states.
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