On November 10th 2019 Iran began pouring concrete for a second nuclear reactor at its Bushehr power plant, a facility Tehran points to as its reason to break the enrichment limit set by its unravelling 2015 nuclear deal with world powers.

Trucks with spinning concrete mixers poured their slurry into the prepared base of the second reactor as journalists watched in Bushehr, some 700 kilometres (440 miles) south from Iran’s capital, Tehran.

Bushehr’s working reactor stood behind it.

Officials say the new reactor, and a third planned to be built, will each add over 1,000 megawatts to Iran’s power grid.

It is being built with the help of Russia, which helped finally put Bushehr’s first reactor online in 2011 after decades of delays.

Ali Akbar Salehi, Iran’s Vice President and Head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organisation, speaking to reporters, praised the plant’s operations.

“The nuclear industry can potentially be a source of power, and it might be one of the main reasons that we are facing a serious challenge with the enemies of our revolution, that they want to take this source of power away from us”, he said.

Bushehr is fuelled by uranium produced in Russia, not Iran, and is monitored by the United Nations’ International Atomic Energy Agency.

However, Iran began 4.5% enrichment in part to supply Bushehr despite the deal limiting it to 3.67%.

While that’s still nowhere near weapons-grade levels of 90%, non-proliferation experts warn Iran’s growing stockpile and increasing enrichment will begin to shave off time from the estimated year Tehran would need to gather enough material for an atomic bomb.

Iran long has maintained its program is for peaceful purposes, though the deal was designed to limit its enrichment programme in exchange for the lifting of international sanctions.

Those limits blocked its path to being able to have enough material for a bomb.

Source » ap