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. Iran's first home-built nuclear plant ready in 9 years: MP
TEHRAN, Dec 24 (AFP) Dec 24, 2007
Iran's first home-built nuclear power plant is scheduled to come online in around nine years, a top MP said on Monday, citing a report by the Iranian atomic energy organisation.

A Russian contractor is building Iran's first atomic power plant in the southern city of Bushehr but the 360 megawatt plant in Darkhoyen in the western Khuzestan province would be its first using domestic technology.

Alaeddin Boroujerdi, the head of parliament's foreign affairs and security commission, said the conceptual design of the plant was finished last year and now the technical design had started which would finish next year.

"According to the report, the plant will come on line by the (Iranian year) 1395 (2016-2017)," he was quoted as saying by the student ISNA news agency. The current Iranian year is 1386.

Like the 1,000 megawatt Bushehr, Darkhoyen is a project dating back to before the 1979 Islamic revolution that is now being revived by the Iranian authorities.

Iranian officials this year revealed their plan to build the plant and announced its location earlier this month.

Meanwhile, the commission's spokesman Kazem Jalali said Iran would soon launch an international tender for the construction of 19 new 1,000-megawatt nuclear power plants, the official IRNA news agency reported.

He said that the measure would be taken in line with parliament's approval for generating 20,000 megawatts of electricity to meet domestic demands.

Western countries fear Iran could use nuclear technology to make atomic weapons but Tehran insists it only wants to generate electricity for a growing population.

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