Bushehr nuclear power plant: the great Russian ripoff

Model of the Bushehr nuclear power plant in southern Iran

Hamid Chitchian, Iran’s ministry of energy presented some interesting figures today.

$2 billion dollars – Thats how much Iran expects to save in fossil fuel costs by producing 1000 Megawatts of energy per year from nuclear energy at the Bushehr nuclear power plant. Fossil fuel is used as one of the sources of energy production in Iran (note: others have disputed this figures saying that its far higher).

$24 billion dollars – This is the opportunity cost of Russia being 12 years behind schedule with the delivery of the Bushehr nuclear power plant.  (12 years multiplied by $2 billion).

Some other interesting figures from the same article

$800 million – $1.2 billion: thats how much completing Bushehr was supposed to cost when the contract was initially signed with the Russians.

$5 billion dollars – This is believed to be the actual figure of the total cost of completing Bushehr. So the Russians have run at least 400% over budget.

My 2 cents:

This is yet another reason why the Russians are in no hurry to help Iran out of its current diplomatic quagmire. The better relations Iran has with the West = the bigger the competition for Iran’s energy market = the harder Russian companies will have to work.

Who wants to work hard when Iran’s current isolation allows Moscow to continue ripping Iran off?