Iranian submarines to use nuclear-fuelled propellers

February 15, 2017

TEHRAN - Iran’s defense minister said on Tuesday that there is need for the country to develop technology to use nuclear-propulsion systems for its submarines and heavy ships.

“We need to use nuclear energy in marine propulsion systems designed for submarines or heavy ships,” he was quoted as saying in the first Marine Propulsion Conference in Tehran.

Nuclear-fuelled marine propellers have an environmental and economic edge over alternatives which run on fossil fuels.

“We have plans to utilize nuclear energy in the marine sector,” he added.

In December, President Hassan Rouhani, ordered the development of nuclear-propulsion system for ships, describing the move as a response to the extension of the Iran Sanctions Act by the U.S. Congress in December.

Rouhani also ordered a study of fuel production for the propulsion system, setting a three-month deadline for a progress report on the project. 

To Iran, the extension contravened the 2015 international nuclear deal with six powers, including the U.S., which removed economic sanctions on Iran in exchange for the country rolling back its nuclear program.

Under the deal, Iran has committed to keep its level of uranium enrichment at up to 3.67 percent. 

Talking about the issue, Iran’s nuclear chief Ali Akbar Salehi highlighted in December that in developing the propulsion systems his country will act according to the International Atomic Energy Agency’s safeguards agreement.

AK/PA

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