Iran to start building first homemade nuke plant

Iran said Monday it would begin construction on its first indigenous nuclear power plant within six months in order to meet energy demands, the official news agency reported. Energy Minister Parviz Fattah said Iran's fuel resources would not be able to meet an expected doubling of electricity consumption in the next 10 years and so nuclear power was a necessity. "We are not talking about a political issue but a technical one. That is why we declared the ministry is ready to build indigenous power plants on the basis of domestic capacities," Fattah was quoted as saying by the Islamic Republic News Agency. He said a feasibility study had been done and that operations would begin in three to six months. The Atomic Energy Organization of Iran had signed a contract to provide fuel for the plant. Iran's first nuclear reactor has been built at Bushehr with Russian assistance and is due to come on stream this year. In January, Iran announced plans for its second and third nuclear power plants and said the projects would be open to international bidding.