Darkhovin Nuclear Power Plant

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Last Updated: January 1, 2011
Other Name: Darkhouin; Ahvaz; Esteghlal; and Karun
Location: South of Ahvaz, on the Karun River
Subordinate To: Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI)
Size: 360MW
Facility Status: In the planning stages

Historically, Darkhovin has been the proposed location for several reactor projects. Currently Iran is planning to construct a 360MW power generating reactor there. [1]

French companies, contracted by Iran in 1973 to construct two 950MW pressurized water reactors (PWRs) at Darkhovin, cancelled the deal following the 1979 Iranian revolution. [2] In 1993, Iran contracted with China to construct two 300MW Qinshan reactors under a project named Esteghlal ("Independence") at that location. [3] China cancelled construction of the reactors in 1995, possibly as a result of U.S. pressure to end nuclear cooperation with Iran.

In August 2008, Iran announced that plans to construct a 360MW light-water reactor at Darkhovin had entered the design stage. [4] Iran plans to build the reactor using the expertise it gained constructing the Arak IR-40 reactor, and to produce the required fuel domestically. [5] Despite repeated requests by the IAEA, Tehran has not submitted a design information questionnaire (DIQ) for the facility. [6]

[1] "Nuclear Energy in Iran," World Nuclear Association, www.world-nuclear.org.
[2] Tamra Orr, Iran and Nuclear Weapons (New York, NY: Rosen Publishing Group, 2010), p .27.
[3] Alireza Jafarzadeh, The Iran Threat: President Ahmadinejad and the Coming Nuclear Crisis (New York, NY: Palgrave MacMillan, 2008), p. 136.
[4] "Iran: 2nd Nuclear Power Plant in Design Stage," AP, 24 August 2008.
[5] "Iran Reports Receiving Nuclear Fuel from Russia," AP, 29 January 2008.
[6] "Implementation of the NPT Safeguards Agreement in the Islamic Republic of Iran," International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), 16 November 2009, www.iaea.org.

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