Iran to operate new part of Arak reactor within next 2 weeks

October 21, 2019

TEHRAN – The special aide for the head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) announced on Sunday that the secondary part of the Arak heavy water reactor will become operational within the next two weeks.

Seyed Ali Asqar Zare’an made the announcement in his visit to the 48th exhibition on nuclear industry achievements in Kerman city in southern Iran.

Touching upon implementation of new projects as Iran is re-planning the Arak heavy water reactor, he said, “We will make the second part of the Arak heavy water reactor facility operational within the next two weeks. The secondary part includes 50 percent of the whole reactor.”

He added, “Iran has nothing to hide and its nuclear activities and achievements are entirely peaceful.”

Zare’an said that enmity by certain countries against Iran will never end and the country’s atomic energy program is only a pretext for them to put Tehran under pressure. 

The special aide added, “Our nuclear industry is indigenized. We have attained self-sufficiency in planning and building various models of centrifuges in the country.”

“We are capable of producing 25 tons of heavy water in the country. We have 1,044 active centrifuges in the Fordo site and 5,000 more in the Natanz site,” Zare’an explained. 

He added, “Yellowcake is more important than centrifuge because it is a preliminary and strategic material which is produced now in Iran. The entire world nations can purchase yellowcake from Iran but they don’t sell it to us. Before the victory of the Islamic Revolution in 1979, we had stored only 500 tons of yellowcake which was produced in South Africa but today we ourselves enjoy the knowledge of producing the cake.” 

He also said the AEOI is supplying radio medicine to hospitals inside the country and also export the material. 

“We are supplying 190 hospitals nationwide with radio medicine each week; in the meantime, we are exporting radio medicine to some countries.” 

Iran’s peaceful nuclear activities are under tight monitoring of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

The accord took effect in January 2016 and was supposed to terminate all sanctions against Iran all at once, but its implementation was hampered by the U.S. and its eventual withdrawal from the deal.

On May 8, 2018, U.S. President Donald Trump pulled his country out of the nuclear accord and re-imposed unilateral sanctions on Iran.

Following the U.S. withdrawal, Iran and the remaining parties (France, Germany, Britain, Russia, and China) launched talks to save the deal.

However, the European side’s failure to ensure Iran’s economic interests forced Tehran to stop honoring certain commitments, including an unlimited rise in the stockpile of enriched uranium. 

MJ/PA

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