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Darkhovin Nuclear Power Plant

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Title: Darkhovin Nuclear Power Plant  
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Subject: List of power stations in Iran, Energy in Iran, Nuclear facilities in Iran, IR-40, Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant
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Darkhovin Nuclear Power Plant

Darkhovin Nuclear Power Plant
Darkhovin Nuclear Power Plant is located in Iran
Darkhovin Nuclear Power Plant
Location of Darkhovin Nuclear Power Plant
Country Iran
Location Darkhovin
Construction began 2008
Owner(s) Nuclear Power Production & Development Co. of Iran
Operator(s) Nuclear Power Production & Development Co. of Iran
Power generation
Units under const. 1 x 360 MW
Units planned 1 x 360 MW

The Darkhovin Nuclear Power Plant (also known as Estehlal Nuclear Power Plant) is a planned nuclear power plant located about 70 kilometers south of Ahvaz, Iran at the Karun river. One reactor is firmly planned. Some other projects on this site were cancelled.


Before the Iranian Revolution, Iran had signed a 2 billion dollar contract with French company Framatome to build two 910 MW pressurized water reactors, at Darkhovin. After the Revolution, France withdrew from the project and the engineering components of the plant were withheld in France. The Iranian components were then used to build the units 5 and 6 of Gravelines Nuclear Power Station in France which went online in 1985.[1] Construction of the power station was halted during Iran-Iraq war. In 1992, Iran signed an agreement with China to build two 300 MW reactors at the site, which were to be completed within ten years and would have been similar to Chashma Nuclear Power Complex in Pakistan which is built by China.[2] But later on China withdrew from the project under United States pressure.[3][4]

The project was subsequently taken up by Iran itself, as no other country was ready to cooperate in its construction.[5] Iran started to indigenously design the reactor for Darkhovin Nuclear Power Plant basing the design on IR-40 reactor using heavy water. The Iranian nuclear reactor design has a capacity of 360 MW. The plant was announced in 2008, originally scheduled to come online in 2016,[6] but construction has been delayed. [7] There is currently no public information on how many reactors the power station is planned to house. The plant is going to be Iran's first indigenously designed and built nuclear power plant besides the research reactor of IR-40.[8][9][10]

In fiction

In 1976 novel of Paul Erdman, Crash of '79, Darkhovin Nuclear Power Plant is mentioned to have been completed by France and Mohammed Reza Pahlavi the then Shah of Iran uses the plant with the help from Israel and Switzerland to manufacture a dozen salted bombs. Mohammed Reza Pahlavi, who is fictionalized to be a psychotic, then uses the bombs and attempts to make an empire, albeit unsuccessfully as United States Air Force bombs his command compound, killing him in the process. Strangely he predicted the end of Pahlavi dynasty exactly in 1979 but contrary to his depiction it was as a result of Iranian Revolution.

Reactor data

Plans for the site are not clear

Reactor unit[11] Reactor type Net
Construction started
Darkhovin [12] Pressurized Water Reactor 330 MW 360 MW 2008 [13] - - -
Estehlal-1 [14] Pressurized Water Reactor 280 MW 300 MW Cancelled Plan
Estehlel-2 [15] Pressurized Water Reactor 280 MW 300 MW Cancelled Plan

See also


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^ Darkhovain on the PRIS of the IAEA
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^,english/
  11. ^ Power Reactor Information System from the IAEA: „Iran, Islamic Republic of: Nuclear Power Reactors“
  12. ^ Darkhovain on the PRIS of the IAEA
  13. ^ Iran starts second atomic power plant: report, Reuters, Feb 8, 2008.
  14. ^ Estehlal 1 on the PRIS of the IAEA
  15. ^ Estehlalr 2 on the PRIS of the IAEA

External links

  • Documentary: Nuclear confrontation with Iran
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