In 1992, the Governments of Iran and Russia signed an agreement on construction of the first nuclear power plant in the Middle East. This was not a greenfield project: to the contrary, the construction of the nuclear power station near the Persian Gulf was started as far back as in 1974 by Kraftwerk Union A.G. However, in 1980 this company terminated the agreement with Iran, and the construction was suspended for a long period of time. During the Iran–Iraq War the Bushehr plant site underwent several missile and bombing raids. These air attacks damaged buildings, structures, equipment, and cables. Reinforced concrete and steel containments were pierced by two air-to-surface missiles.
When Rosatom entered the project, the plant was in poor condition. Many foreign experts doubted that Russia would manage to complete the construction, as the global nuclear power history has not witnessed such examples yet. However, Rosatom assumed the challenging obligation of completing the Bushehr nuclear power plant. Tremendous efforts were made to assess the state and suitability of German equipment, buildings and structures. Lacking any design and engineering documents for German-made equipment, Russian experts had to redevelop some of them on their own and to constantly adjust detailed design documents due to differences between the designed and actual of building configurations.
Design engineers had to think up, develop and implement a number of creative technical ideas and know-how so as to adapt Russian technologies to the buildings and structures already available at the site. For example, they had to introduce alterations to the reactor compartment in order to install the Russian-made VVER-1000 reactor and to change the Russian turbine’s design so as to perform equipment installation works in the German-constructed turbine hall.
Despite technical and production challenges, Rosatom experts managed to integrate Russian equipment into German-designed buildings and to utilize around 12 thousand tons of German equipment in the construction process.
By 2010, the Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant was completed. Rosatom fulfilled its obligations to the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran in full.
On August 21, 2010, the Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant was officially launched under the supervision of IAEA inspectors.