A senior member of the parliament said on Monday that Iran's first home-grown nuclear power plant is scheduled to be operational in about nine years, local ISNA news agency reported.
The power plant "is scheduled to come online by the (Iranian) year of 1395 (March 2016 - March 2017)," said Alaeddin Boroujerdi, head of the parliament's National Security and Foreign Policy Commission, in a report issued by Iran's Atomic Energy Organization.
The conceptual design of the 360-megawatt power plant, which will be built in Darkhowein in the southwestern Khuzestan province, started two years ago and was completed last year, Boroujerdi said.
The detailed design is expected to be completed by the middle of the Iranian year 1387 (about September 2008), he said, adding that the technical and equipment design will be finalized by 1390(March 2011 - March 2012).
The Russian contractor company Atomstroiexport is building Iran's first atomic power plant in the southern city of Bushehr, but the 360-megawatt plant in Darkhowein would be Iran's first nuclear power plant using domestic technology.
Boroujerdi welcomed the potential participation of international companies on the Darkhowein project, saying that Iran's Atomic Energy Organization has already issued a tender for construction of the power plant.
"Participation of European companies is especially welcomed," he said.
Iran has said it wants to build a network of nuclear power plants with a capacity of 20,000 megawatts by 2020.