(Updated 2018)


This report provides information on the status and development of nuclear power programmes in the Islamic Republic of Iran, including factors related to the effective planning, decision making and implementation of the nuclear power programme that together lead to safe and economical operations of nuclear power plants.

The CNPP summarizes organizational and industrial aspects of nuclear power programmes and provides information about the relevant legislative, regulatory and international framework in the Islamic Republic of Iran.

The Islamic Republic of Iran has one operating nuclear power reactor, which can produce about 7 TWh of electricity per year. Iran plans to install new nuclear power plants over a long term period. Accordingly, the construction of two units was started in order to increase the share of nuclear energy in electricity generation.



1.1.1. Energy policy

The Islamic Republic of Iran is a resource rich country with large oil and gas reserves. According to reports published by the British Petroleum Statistical Review of World Energy 2017, Iran has the largest proved natural gas reserves and the fourth largest total proved oil reserves in the world. According to the Global Energy Statistical Yearbook 2017, the country was among the world’s top five natural gas producers and top ten crude oil producers in 2016.

Since 2004, Iran’s overall energy consumption has increased by more than 50%. The investment in energy intensive industries such as oil refineries, petrochemicals, iron, steel, and cement is a driving force of economic growth. Moreover, an expanding demand for transportation and greater use of electricity all contributed to high growth in energy consumption.

Electricity generation in Iran relies mainly on fossil fuel power plants, with a total share of 98.9% of electricity production in 2015. Fossil resources and exports are also the main source of the country’s foreign revenue. Due to its rapid and increasing development, the Islamic Republic of Iran faces some challenges in the energy sector.

Problems occurring by using fossil fuels on the one hand and increasing energy demand on the other hand forces policy makers to consider new sources and creative approaches to effectively manage energy demand. Iran has given priority to hydropower projects in the first and second national 5 year development plans. This policy will continue in future development plans. However, due to the current limitations of hydropower potentials, other options are also required to be considered to meet the growing energy demand and diversify the generation mix.

Characteristics such as no contribution to carbon emission, stability and cost-effectiveness propound nuclear energy as the best alternative to fossil energy. The government plans to increase nuclear power generation capacity over the next decades. In this regard, the construction of two new units with a capacity of around 2 100 MW(e) has been started. The operation of these new facilities may annually save a fossil fuel consumption of 22 million barrels of oil equivalent (MBOE) and can avoid potential emissions of 14 million tonnes of pollutant gases per year.

In recent decades, the Islamic Republic of Iran has supported international efforts to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions and to adapt to the impacts of climate change, on the basis of the principle of “common but differentiated responsibilities”. In this regard, Iran became a Non-Annex I Party to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change on 18 July 1996 and ratified the Kyoto Protocol on 22 August 2005.

The energy policy of the Islamic Republic of Iran is contained in the National Energy Strategy Document, which sets out policies through 2041. The document was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers on July 2017, outlining a comprehensive set of challenges, long term goals and strategies in Iran’s energy sector. This document is in accordance with Iran’s 20 year vision, sixth 5 year national development plan, article 44 of the Constitution, and macro policies related to energy, resistive economy and the environment.

1.1.2. Estimated available energy

The estimated available energy resources of the Islamic Republic of Iran in 2016 are presented in Table 1.


 Fossil fuels Nuclear  Renewables
Solid Liquid Gas Uranium Hydro Other
Total amount in specific units*  1 080.3  155.63  32.81  1 390** n.d. *** n.d. ***

*Solid: mMillion tonnes; liquid: billion barrels; gas: trillion m3; uranium: tonnes; hydro, renewable: TW.

**Reasonably assured conventional resources (RAR).

***n.d.: Not determined.

Source: In the case of fossil fuels, the data were derived from the national energy balance, Ministry of Energy (MOE). In the case of uranium, the value was derived from Red Book 2016.

1.1.3. Energy statistics

The general energy balance (energy statistics) is shown in Table 2.


1980 1990 2000 2010 2016* Compound annual growth rate (%)
Total final consumption [EJ]**
- Total 1.22 2.02 3.72 6.36 7.10 4.12
- Solids*** 0.02 0.02 0.02 0.03 0.05 5.89
- Liquids 1.00 1.60 2.20 2.40 2.30 0.28
- Gases 0.10 0.20 1.20 3.20 3.90 7.64
- Nuclear
- Hydro
- Electricity 0.10 0.20 0.30 0.70 0.80 6.32
- Other renewables
Energy production
- Total 3.44 8.15 11.34 15.36 14.82 1.69
- Solids*** 0.02 0.03 0.03 0.03 0.04 1.81
- Liquids 3.20 7.30 9.00 9.80 7.50 –1.13
- Gases 0.20 0.80 2.30 5.50 7.20 7.39
- Nuclear 0.03
- Hydro 0.02 0.02 0.01 0.03 0.05 10.58
- Other renewables 0.0001 0.001 0.001 15.48
Net import (Import–Export) [EJ]
- Total –2.00 –5.20 –5.80 –5.80 –3.70 –2.77

*Latest available data.

**Energy consumption = Primary energy consumption + Net import (Import-Export) of secondary energy.

***Solid fuels include coal.

—: Data not available.

Source: National energy balance, MOE.


1.2.1. Electricity system and decision making process

The Ministry of Energy (MOE) is the main organ of the Government responsible for managing the supply and demand of water, electricity, energy and wastewater services, and promoting training, research and technology development in the industries of water and electricity as well as advancing the power sector based on the 5 year development plans. It also plays a major role in preserving natural resources, environmental protection, public health promotion, welfare and self-sufficiency for sustainable development of the country.

Trends such as utilizing renewable and nuclear energies, privatization, quantitative and qualitative development of the electricity market and efficiency improvement are among the important policies and activities in the electric power industry.

1.2.2. Structure of electric power sector

In 1962, the Iranian organization for electric power affairs was established. Rapid development of the electric power industry in Iran brought the idea of establishing a ministry in charge of supplying the water and electric power needed by the country. Based on this idea, the Ministry of Water and Power was established in 1963. The Ministry was authorized to divide the country into several regions, regardless of provincial divisions to accelerate the development of electric networks. Such a division then necessitated the establishment of regional electric companies in Iran. In 1974, the responsibility for comprehensive energy planning and coordination of energy affairs in the country was given to the Ministry of Water and Power. Following this, the Ministry was renamed the Minsitry of Energy.

In 1979, the Tavanir Company was established to undertake the responsibility for development of electric power generation, transmission facilities and bulk transaction of electricity with the regional electric companies and large industries. After the Islamic Revolution of Iran, due to quantitative and qualitative changes of the electric power industry, Tavanir Company was restructured. In 2001, the company underwent another restructuring process and its organizational mandate experienced some alteration to promote it to the present organizational level, known as a specialized holding company. The specialized Tavanir holding company, together with regional electric companies, distribution companies, generation management companies, Iran grid management company, Renewable Energy Organization of Iran (SANA), Iran Energy Efficiency Organization (SABA) and Iran power plant maintenance company as its subsidiary companies, are responsible for protection and development of national assets in the electric power industry and carry out their duties in the fields of planning, coordination, supervision and evaluation of this industry.

Regional electric companies are involved in the generation and transmission of reliable electricity throughout the country. The maintenance and operation of thermal power plants are carried out by generation management companies. Development of renewable power units is carried out by SANA through local or foreign contractors. The maintenance, operation and development of the distribution network are carried out by distribution companies (affiliated to regional electric companies). SABA puts forward practical solutions in order to provide optimal operation and efficiency of using energy sources, especially in electricity form. Supporting technical and non-technical services are carried out by Iran Power Plant Maintenance Company and other non-governmental companies.

1.2.3. Main indicators

At the end of 2016, by installing 14 new power plants with a total capacity of 2 325 GW(e), the total nominal capacity of the Iran’s power plants reached 76 429 GW(e), of which 20.7% is generated by steam, 36.5% by gas, 25.5% by combined cycles, 15.1% by hydro, 1.3% by nuclear energy and 0.9% by diesel and renewable energies. The generation capacity shows an increase of around 3.1% compared to the previous year.

In 2016, Iran’s electrical gross generation was 289 195 TWh, which had a growth of 3% compared to 2015. MOE power plants supplied 44.4% of total generation and the remaining 55.6% was supplied by non-MOE power plants. From the total energy generated, the share of thermal plants was 91.9%, hydro plants reached 5.7% and nuclear and renewable power plants’ share was 2.4%.

Table 3 shows the history of electricity production and installed capacity and Table 4 shows the energy related ratios between 1980 and 2016.


1980 1990 2000 2010 2015
Compound annual growth rate (%) 2000 to 2016
Capacity of electrical plants (GW(e)) G/N
- Thermal G 7.824 13.470 25.189 52.872 61.633 63.628 5.96
- Hydro G 1.804 1.953 2.007 8.488 11.278 11.578 11.58
- Nuclear G 1.020 1.020
- Renewables G - - 0.011 0.100 0.173 0.203 19.99
- Total G 9.628 15.423 27.207 61.460 74.104 76.429 6.67
Electricity production (TWh) G/N
- Thermal G 14.261 53.019 114.791 223.260 263.393 265.775 5.39
- Hydro G 5.620 6.083 3.665 9.526 14.087 16.419 9.83
- Nuclear G 2.950 6.711
- Other renewable G 0.037 0.173 0.259 0.290 13.73
- Total ** G 19.881 59.102 118.493 232.959 280.689 289.195 5.73
Total electricity consumption (TWh) 16.864 45.107 90.366 184.182 235.5 237.436 6.22

* Latest available data.

**Electricity transmission losses are not deducted.

—: Data not available.

Source: MOE, I.R. of Iran.


1980 1990 2000 2010 2016*
Energy consumption per capita (equivalent barrel/capita) 4.62 6.16 9.56 13.94 14.67
Electricity consumption per capita (kWh/capita) 429.21 827.91 1 407.15 2 482.91 3 007.54
Electricity production/Energy production (%) n.d. n.d. n.d. n.d. n.d.
Nuclear/Total electricity (%) 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 2.30
Ratio of external dependency (%) ** –163.93 –257.43 –155.91 –92.06 –52.11

* Latest available data.

**Net import/Total energy consumption.

Source: MOE, I.R. of Iran



2.1.1. Overview

Initial interest regarding nuclear energy development in Iran goes back more than sixty years. In the mid-1950s, the University of Tehran initiated the first order for purchasing the equipment needed for nuclear research and educational activities from abroad. One year later, the Nuclear Centre of the University of Tehran was established and through the operation of the Tehran research reactor (TRR) in 1967, Iran’s nuclear science and technology was founded.

In the mid-1970s, Siemens Kraftwerk Union (KWU) started construction of two 1 294 MW(e) pressurized water reactor (PWR) units started in Bushehr Province on the Persian Gulf. The contract was formally signed in mid-1976. Following the Islamic revolution in 1979, the work was abandoned, with Unit 1 substantially complete and Unit 2 about half complete. The plant was damaged by Iraqi air strikes in 1984–88.

At Darkhovin, on the Karun River close to the Iraq border, there were also two French 910 MW(e) units which had just started construction under a contract with Framatome in January 1979. These plans were cancelled in April 1979. In 1992, the Islamic Republic of Iran signed an agreement with China to build two 300 MW(e) reactors at the Darkhovin site, but China withdrew before construction started.

An agreement between the Iranian and Russian governments on building a two-unit nuclear power plant (NPP) was signed in Moscow in August 1992. This covered both construction and operation of the plant. The Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) insisted that the project should make full use of the structures and equipment already at Bushehr. In 1994, the Ministry of Atomic Energy (MINATOM) of the Russian Federation agreed with AEOI to complete Unit 1 of Bushehr NPP with a WWER-1000 unit, using mostly the infrastructure already in place, and a contract was signed in January 1995.

The decision to resume the Bushehr project with a new design placed a heavy responsibility on the AEOI, which serves as the owner organization, and on the Iran National Regulatory Authority (INRA) for implementing the national nuclear power programme. The Russian contractor faced major challenges and an approach to Germany for help was rejected. All the main reactor components were fabricated in the Russian Federation under a construction contract with Atom Story Export (ASE). The 1 000 MW(e) (915 MW(e) net) plant constructed by ASE had a succession of construction and startup delays, and as late as 2007 the project was almost abandoned. By 2009, civil modifications, supply of equipment and complementary activities were accomplished. Eventually the reactor started up on 8 May 2011, was grid connected early in September 2011, and was expected to enter commercial operation about April 2012, then May 2013, and finally did so in September 2013. The operation of the reactor avoided emission of 20 million tonnes of pollutant gases to the atmosphere from 2013 to 2017.

2.1.2. Current organizational structure

With the establishment of the AEOI in 1974, the mission and functions related to nuclear technology development, particularly regarding nuclear electricity generation in the country, were allocated to the AEOI.

Pursuant to approval from the higher administrative council, the tasks and duties of the Nuclear Power Plant Division of the AEOI were transferred to the Nuclear Power Production and Development Company of Iran (NPPD). The NPPD is responsible for the design, construction, commissioning, maintenance and decommissioning of NPPs in Iran.

INRA is the national nuclear regulatory body, established early in 1975, and since then, has been authorized to regulate the safety of nuclear installations and radiation activities. INRA is authorized to issue regulations and guides and provide authorization or supervision of activities, thereby regulating nuclear and radiation safety for siting, design, construction, commissioning, operation and decommissioning of nuclear facilities or activities. INRA’s mission is to ensure safe utilization of nuclear energy and radiation sources, in such a way that personnel, public, future generations and the environment are protected against the harmful effects of radiation. It is worth noting that the INRA and NPPD are separate entities.


2.2.1. Status and performance of nuclear power plants


Reactor Unit Type Net
Status Operator Reactor
First Grid
BUSHEHR-1 PWR 915 Operational NPPDCO JSC ASE 1975-05-01 2011-05-08 2011-09-03 2013-09-23 80.4
Data source: IAEA - Power Reactor Information System (PRIS).
Note: Table is completely generated from PRIS data to reflect the latest available information and may be more up to date than the text of the report.

2.2.2. Plant upgrading, plant life management and licence renewals

The accident at Fukushima Daiichi NPP was one of the most important events in the field of nuclear energy over the past 25 years. The NPPD decided to perform stress tests at BNPP-1 as a response measure to this event. Stress tests were conducted at BNPP-1 with the presence of all relevant organizations. The safety assessments recommended the preparation of mobile diesel generators (2 and 0.2) and mobile diesel pumps for BNPP-1 under severe accident conditions.

In addition, NPPD/BNPP-1 has participated as a member of the World Association of Nuclear Operators–Moscow Centre (WANO-MC) in the Regional Crisis Centre (RCC) for WWER reactors. The main tasks of RCC for WWER reactors are specified as follows:

  • To provide advice and technical assistance in the event of a site/general emergency at WANO-MC WWER plants;

  • To disseminate information to NPP staff on relevant safety events;

  • To provide a common pool of information and expertise to ensure the timely response of the emergency team in case of incidents.

2.2.3. Permanent shutdown and decommissioning process

Not applicable.


2.3.1. Nuclear power development strategy

The country’s policy is to increase the share of nuclear energy in electricity generation. Accordingly, a contract for construction of BNPP Units 2 and 3 has been signed and the construction has started.

Aside from generating electricity, development of NPPs would also help accelerate the development of human resources and increase national and local industrial involvement. Furthermore, in order to prevent a water crisis in the near future, the AEOI and NPPD have decided to develop a desalination facility with a production capacity of about 200 000 m3/day next to BNPP to meet the demand of Bushehr Province for desalinated drinking water, bearing in mind all safety and environmental aspects.


Reactor unit/Project name Owner Type Capacity in MW(e) Expected construction start year Expected commercial year
BUSHEHR-2 AEOI WWER 1 057 2017 2024
BUSHEHR-3 AEOI WWER 1 057 2017 2026

2.3.2. Project management

The NPPD, which is the responsible body for the development of NPPs in Iran, identifies and approves different projects. For any project, the project manager is assigned by NPPD and has adequate authority to complete the project effectively.

2.3.3. Project funding

Presently, the Government is responsible for funding NPP development in Iran and the budget required for medium and long term plans is estimated and approved in accordance with the 5 year national development plans. Institutions involved in this process include the Parliament, Vice Presidency for Strategic Planning and Supervision, and AEOI.

2.3.4. Electric grid development

Currently, no further development of the electric grid is needed for NPPs.

2.3.5. Sites

In line with government policy and planning for sustainable development, the site surveying project for selecting suitable site(s) for construction of new nuclear power plants was defined and implemented in the 1970s. The study, investigation and evaluation of the proposed sites were carried out based on an INRA regulation which considers the IAEA’s relevant safety standards, last documented international experiences and some other relevant regulations, including NRC. The project was accomplished in three phases, as follows:

  1. Phase zero: Preparing the necessary documents related to the selection process for consulting engineers for studying different regions, and also determining the preparation format of periodical reports.

  2. Phase one: Studying regions by designated consultant engineers, leading and orienting consultant engineers, developing the methodology for different stages, coordinating the studies of regions, supervising measures for studying, reviewing and approval of cases and providing periodical reports until the final phase of the project and presenting the selected sites.

  3. Phase two: Summing up the results and characteristics of the selected sites and ranking them to determine the chosen ideal sites in coastal and inland regions. Finally, 16 proposed sites were considered in coastal and inland regions.

2.3.6. Public awareness

Article 48 of the sixth development plan states the goal of enhancing social awareness and acceptance and increasing participation in achieving the sustainable development of nuclear power. Public awareness is enhanced through seminars, workshops and electronic/print media in the Islamic Republic of Iran.


The NPP construction projects are being developed and completed by the project manager, who provides reports directly to the Vice President of the Islamic Republic of Iran. A supervisory commission is responsible for overseeing regulatory activities, which are performed by the operating organization and its contractors.


The Government provides the required financial and organizational support, as well as technical staff, for this national nuclear power programme. The NPPD was established as the owner/operating organization of NPPs in the Islamic Republic of Iran.


As the first NPP was put into commercial operation, only the overall plan of decommissioning was considered in safety documents of national nuclear safety regulation. This was done by the operator under the directive of the national regulatory bodies. Therefore, for the time being there is no need for any further practical action. However, the operator, the IRWA and any technical supporting company as well as the Supervisory Commission, will be involved in the planning of NPP decommissioning, if necessary.


Iran’s nuclear fuel cycle includes uranium exploration, mining, U3O8 production, uranium conversion, uranium enrichment and fuel fabrication, which began several years ago, and has achieved different physical progress by various degrees.

2.7.1. Uranium mining and milling

The owner of the uranium industry is the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran, and AEOI is the operator responsible for uranium exploration, mining and treatment. Based on exploration activities completed during 2013 and 2014, Iran has a total of 1 390 tU of reasonably assured resources and 3 134 tU of inferred resources, as of 1 January 2015 (‘Red Book 2016’).

Since 2006, uranium ore recovered by open pit mining of the Gachin salt plug has been processed at Bandar Abbas Uranium Production Plant (BUPP). The BUPP is operating with a nominal capacity of 21 tU/y. This is delivered to the conversion plant at Isfahan.

An underground mine was developed at Saghand in the central desert region of Yazd Province from 1999 to 2003, and production commenced there in 2015. In 2014, an open pit mine was being developed as Mine No. 2, expected to provide about 10% of output. The associated Ardakan mill, about 75 km west of Saghand, is expected to produce 50 tU/yr.

2.7.2. Uranium conversion and fuel fabrication

The uranium conversion facility (UCF) in Isfahan consists of process lines to convert yellowcake into natural uranium oxide (UO2) and natural uranium hexafluoride (UF6). The facility started up in 2004 and its annual nominal capacity is 296 tonnes of natural UF6 and 16 tonnes of natural UO2. The natural UF6 is then moved to the Natanz fuel enrichment plant (FEP). The UCF is also able to reconvert low enriched uranium (LEU) into UO2 and UF6 into depleted uranium tetra fluoride (UF4).

The Enriched UO2 Powder Plant (EUPP), commissioned in 2014, is producing enriched UO2 (up to 3.67%) with a nominal capacity of 34 tonnes/y.

Iran has achieved technologies for producing a fuel assembly at the fuel manufacturing plant (FMP) and fuel plate fabrication plant (FPFP), which is used for its research reactors.

The zirconium production plant (ZPP) is able to produce nuclear grade zirconium sponge that finally changed to zirconium–niobium alloys (with anominal capacity of 12 tonne Zr alloys/a).

2.7.3. Uranium enrichment

The first uranium enrichment plant built in Iran is located in Natanz. This plant is comprised of two primary facilities: the pilot fuel enrichment plant (PFEP) and the FEP. It also houses a centrifuge assembly area. 

Fordow, near the city of Qom, is the second enrichment facility. Activities related to the nuclear physics and technology centre are currently being conducted in this facility in compliance with the JCPOA and with international cooperation.

2.7.4. Reprocessing

Spent fuel reprocessing is not considered or planned in any stages of the nuclear fuel cycle.

2.7.5. Waste management

The IRWA is designated by the AEOI as the central waste management organization. It is responsible for consulting on all aspects of radioactive waste management activities in Iran, as well as for the transportation, processing and storage of institutional radioactive wastes derived from minor waste generators.

The Talmesi radioactive waste disposal facility, managed by the IRWA, was established to safely operate a waste repository for low and intermediate level radioactive waste. IRWA received low level waste packages from the BNPP, which are currently stored at the Talmesi radioactive waste disposal facility.

The national near surface repository is currently in the construction stage. Based on the current planning, Iran’s near surface repository (INSuRe) is expected to be operational by 2018 for disposal purposes, but it will also be ready in the near future to receive waste packages for long term storage. Wastes generated by that time at the relevant institutions can be collected to be stored in existing storage facilities of the IRWA.


2.8.1. R&D organizations

The Nuclear Science and Technology Research Institute (NSTRI) operates under the Board of Trustees and is officially affiliated with the AEOI. Based on the regulations of the council for the expansion of higher education of the Ministry of Science, Research and Technology NSTRI was established in accordance with the objectives, rules and duties of this ministry. NSTRI is committed is to promoting and undertaking R&D and the application of nuclear science and technology in the country. In this regard, NSTRI cooperates with international scientific communities, especially the IAEA, as well as universities and other scientific and research institutes. Based on its mission and statute, NSTRI constitutes the following research schools, which conduct nuclear research and development:

Photonics and Quantum Technologies Research School;

  • Physics and Accelerators Research School;

  • Nuclear Agriculture Research School;

  • Materials and Nuclear Fuel Research School;

  • Nuclear Fusion and Plasma Research School;

  • Reactor and Nuclear Safety Research School;

  • Radiation Application Research School.

2.8.2. Development of advanced nuclear power technologies

There is no partnership being considered currently.

2.8.3. International cooperation and initiatives

The Islamic Republic of Iran is a member of the IAEA and WANO) and receives assistance from their programmes for the enhancement of safety, performance and reliability of NPPs and also for promoting the peaceful applications of the nuclear technology in various fields.

The technical cooperation programme of the IAEA has proved to be an important tool for the promotion of national research activities in different fields of interest in nuclear technology. The Islamic Republic of Iran has participated in conferences, technical committee meetings, general meetings, advisory group meetings, and training and fellowship programmes under the sponsorship of the IAEA or within the framework of its technical cooperation projects. The followings are examples of national, regional and interregional activities related to the nuclear power programme under the IAEA technical cooperation programme:

IRA2012: Increasing NPPD’s capability in planning and implementing activities related to the design and construction of two new pressurized light water NPP units in Bushehr, with an emphasis on safety;

IRA2013: Enhancing the level of operational safety and reliability of the Bushehr NPP-1;

IRA9022: Enhancing the safety of the TRR;

IRA9023: Strengthening the owner’s capabilities in safe operation of the Talmesi radioactive waste disposal facility;

IRA9024: Strengthening regulatory competence and enhancing the effectiveness of the national nuclear and radiation safety regime;

RAS0071: Providing legislative assistance for establishing and upgrading the legal framework designed for the safe, secure and peaceful use of nuclear energy;

RAS9072: Supporting human resources development in nuclear security in Asia and the Pacific;

RAS9073: Strengthening the regulatory infrastructure for radiation, transport and waste safety;

RAS9074: Enhancing and strengthening the national regulatory infrastructure for safety through self-assessment;

RAS9076: Strengthening the national capabilities for response to nuclear and radiological emergencies;

INT1057: Enhancing safety management and safety documentation for research reactors in extended shutdowns and during the transition periods between the operation and decommissioning phases;

INT9180: Sustaining the safe transport of radioactive materials by promoting the harmonization of transport regulations, and building regulatory capacity and outreach to the transport community to address global related issues, including denial of shipment;

INT9181: Building capacity and supporting self-evaluation of capacity building activities on safety in Member States with NPPs and those that are thinking of embarking on nuclear power programmes.


The national strategy of human resources development (HRD) is aimed at improving the necessary capabilities of nuclear activities in all life cycles of national nuclear facilities. The prioritized areas of HRD include siting, designing, constructing, commissioning, operating and decommissioning of nuclear fuel cycle facilities and activities. HRD planning and extensive education is accomplished in universities and the complementary professional training courses. Furthermore, on the job training is held by AEOI and relevant enterprises.


Communication with stakeholders is accomplished through a website, public affairs division, reports submitted in seminars, specific conferences, public briefings offered by the AEOI spokesman, and disseminated information sheets and brochures.


According to the national laws, the National Disaster Management Organization (NDMO) of Iran is responsible for the management of a national nuclear or radiological crisis. Any action concerning the management of such a crisis must be done under the supervision of the Passive Defence Organization of Iran, and in collaboration with the NDMO.



3.1.1. Regulatory authority(ies)

The Supervisory Commission, reestablished by the Nuclear Energy Commission in 2012, in accordance with the AEOI founding law (approved in 1974), has been entrusted with the regulatory functions governing nuclear and radiation facilities and activities in Iran. The Supervisory Commission encompasses regulatory activities relating to safety, security and safeguards (3S). In line with this, the operating organization has the sole responsibility for the implementation of safety, security and safeguards measures.

INRA is the only nuclear and radiation regulatory body that was established in order to maintain legal control over compliance with nuclear safety requirements for nuclear and radiation facilities and activities throughout the country. While maintaining its effective independence, this body implements its legal authority through developing regulations and guidelines for nuclear and radiation safety, safety assessment, issuance of licences and related permits for construction and operation and inspection, supervision and enforcement of regulation related to nuclear facilities.

The legal basis for the INRA is primarily provided by the AEOI law and Radiation Protection Act (approved in 1989). The AEOI law covers the activities for which the AEOI was established to perform. These activities include the application of nuclear energy and radiation in areas such as industry, agriculture, medicine and research. The Radiation Protection Act covers all affairs related to radiation protection in the country, including radiation workers, the public and future generations to be safeguarded against radiation hazards. The act also encompasses the construction, commissioning, operation and decommissioning of radiation facilities. Furthermore, it covers the import, export and proper use of radiation sources. These acts and their corresponding legislation constitute the basis for INRA activities. The promulgated legislations authorize the INRA to exert effective national regulatory supervision over nuclear radiation, waste management and safe transport. To accomplish its goals, INRA has established a functional structure comprised of four specific departments: the National Nuclear Safety Department (NNSD), National Radiation Protection Department (NRPD), Nuclear and Radiation Regulation Development Department (NRDD) and National Nuclear Safeguards Department (NNSG).

NNSD is responsible for regulatory supervision and control of all national nuclear installations. Regulatory control of radiation (sources) activities and facilities is done by NRPD. NRDD is responsible for investigation, preparation, updating, verification and development of regulations, codes of practice and guidelines related to nuclear and radiation safety. NNSG is the regulatory authority for nuclear safeguards and security in the Islamic Republic of Iran. The legislative basis for the NNSG regulatory framework consists of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (1970), the Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement with the IAEA (INFCIRC/214, 1974), the Additional Protocol to Iran’s Safeguards Agreement (INFCIRC/214/Add.1), the Agreement on the Privileges and Immunities of the IAEA (INFCIRC/9/Rev.2, 1974) and the AEOI law. In addition, a number of Iran’s parliamentary/ministerial acts, regulations and decrees have provided a regulatory framework for nuclear safeguards as well as physical protection.

3.1.2. Licensing process

Utilization of all nuclear and radiation facilities and activities in the Islamic Republic of Iran is subject to obtaining appropriate authorization (licence/permit) from the Supervisory Commission, which is responsible for overseeing regulatory activities, such as developing regulations, assessment, issuing licences/permits, conducting inspections and taking enforcement actions for nuclear and radiation facilities and activities in Iran.


Main national laws on nuclear power:

AEOI law, 1974;

  • Radiation Protection Act, 1989.

Main regulations on nuclear power:

  • Regulation for granting permits for design, manufacturing and transportation of fresh nuclear fuel and associated core components at nuclear facilities, Rev. 0, doc. No. INRA-NS-RE-000-10/01-0-Oct. 2017;

  • Regulation for granting permits during siting, design, manufacturing, construction, commissioning and operation of Bushehr-2 NPP, Rev. 0, doc. No. INRA-NS-RE-053-10/02-0-Jul. 2017;

  • General safety regulation for nuclear facilities and activities, Rev. 0, doc. No. INRA-MA-RE-000-00/02-0-Apr. 2017;

  • Regulation for licensing of Bushehr-2 NPP, Rev. 0, doc. No. INRA-NS-RE-053-10/01-0-Dec. 2016;

  • Regulations for determination of exclusion area, low population zone and distance from population centre in nuclear facilities, Rev. 0, doc. No. INRA-NS-PR-000-52/01-1-Nov. 2016;

  • Regulations for registration of the BNPP-2 vessels and pipelines operating under pressure, Rev. 1, doc. No. INRA-NS-RE-053-35/01-1-Jan. 2016;

  • Regulation on the BNPP-2 reactor plant passport, Rev. 0, doc. No. INRA-NS-RE-053-35/03-0-Aug. 2015;

  • Regulation for supervision over fire safety assurance at the BNPP-2, Rev. 0, doc. No. INRA-NS-RE-053-35/01-0-Aug. 2015;

  • Regulations for radiation protection during operation of NPPs, Rev. 1, doc. No. INRA-NS-RE-051-55/01-1-Mar. 2015;

  • Regulation for on-site emergency preparedness and response in nuclear facilities/radiation activities, Rev. 0, doc. No. INRA-MA-RE-200-60/01-0-Jun. 2015;

  • Management system regulations for nuclear facilities, Rev. 8, doc. No. INRA-NS-RE-000-00/01-8-Nov. 2014;

  • Regulation for granting permits during operation of BNPP-1, Rev. 1, doc. No. INRA-NS-RE-051-15/01-0-Jan. 2014;

  • Regulations for siting of nuclear installations, Rev. 0, doc. No. INRA-NS-RE-000-02/01-0-Jan. 2012;

  • Regulations on radioactive waste management, Rev. 0, doc. No. INRA-MA-RE-200-50/01-0-Jun. 2010;

  • Regulation for supervision over fire safety assurance at the BNPP-1, Rev. 0, doc. No. INRA-NS-RE-051-35/01-0-Nov. 2008;

  • Regulation for radiation protection during operation of uranium fuel cycle facilities, Rev. 0, doc. No. INRA-NS-RE-080-56/01-0-July. 2008;

  • Regulations for safe transport of radioactive materials, Rev. 0, doc. No. INRA-RP-RE-100-07/03-0-Dec. 2007;

  • Regulations for licensing of uranium mining and milling facilities, Rev. 0, doc. No. INRA-NS-RE-010-50/01-0-Oct. 2007;

  • Safety regulations for nuclear fuel transportation by vehicles, Rev. 1, doc. No. INRA-NS-RE-080-57/01-1-May. 2005;

  • Safety regulations for storage, transportation and handling of fresh nuclear fuel at an NPP, Rev. 1, doc. No. INRA-NS-RE-050-57/01-1-Dec. 2004;


1. Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, accessed at

2. IAEA, Office of Legal Affairs, accessed at

3. Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

4. Energy Balance, Ministry of Energy, I.R. Iran.


6. Uranium 2016: Resources, Production and Demand, OECD–NEA and IAEA, 2016.

7. Global Energy Statistical Yearbook 2017, accessed at

8. British Petroleum Statistical Review of World Energy 2017, accessed at




12. Electric power industry in Iran 2016–2017, Tavanir expert holding company.


Relevant treaties
Entry into force
Agreement on the Privileges and Immunities of the IAEA
21 May 1974
Convention on Early Notification of a Nuclear Accident
9 November 2000
Convention on Assistance in the Case of a Nuclear Accident or Radiological Emergency
9 November 2000
Revised Supplementary Agreement Concerning the Provision of Technical Assistance by the IAEA (RSA)
12 February 1990
International agreements
18 October 2015
Safeguards agreements
Agreement Between Iran and the Agency for the Application of Safeguards in Connection with the Treaty on Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons
15 May 1974


End of North Kargar Street, Tehran, Iran
No. 8 Tandis Street, Afriqa Avenue, Tehran, Iran
Telephone no.
(+98) 21 88221073
(+98) 21 24882800
Email address
Web site address
Main activities
Regulating nuclear installation and radiation application activities:
Preparing and releasing circulars, provisions, directives, regulations, guides, etc., in the field of nuclear and radiation safety
Assessing safety analyses and reports, prepared by operating organization and licences
Overseeing nuclear installations and radiation
Issuing licences and permits
Revoking licences or permits
Monitoring the radiation situation in the country and around nuclear installations
Conducting necessary R&D activities

  • Studying and recommending appropriate strategies and policies, establishing consensus among stakeholders on the effective use of nuclear technology for the production of electricity
    Constructing and operating NPPs, and selling their produced electricity
    Cooperating constructively and effectively with international and regional organizations for the efficient utilization of scientific and technological opportunities and exchange of experiences
    Conducting activities for technical support of NPPs
    Developing technology and human resources and expanding nuclear safety culture
    Planning energy
    Defining necessary R&D activities in the field of different sectors of NPPs.
    Communicating effectively with universities, research centres and local sources, in order to enhance the country’s capacities in various aspects of nuclear electricity technology
    Supplying reliably required fuel, parts, and equipment of NPPs

  • Environmental and public dose assessment
    Qualified expert
    Training capacity for newcomers
    Equipped labs
    Regional office in nuclear facilities

  • More than 3 years’ experience in safe and reliable operation of BNPP-1
    Experience in commissioning, maintenance and repair as well as refueling of NPPs
    Qualified and competence workforce in operation, maintenance and repair, technical support and human resources
    Comprehensive training system, including BNPP training centre, full scope simulator (FSS) BNPP and computer based training competence instructors

Coordinator information

Name of report coordinator: Office of Programme and Strategic Plans Codification

Institution: Atomic Energy Organization of Iran—Department of Nuclear Planning and Strategic Supervision

Contact details: