Iran says it has right to produce 20 percent nuclear fuel

Photo:  Iran says  it has right to produce 20 percent nuclear fuel / Iran

Baku, Azerbaijan, Feb. 10

By Umid Niayesh - Trend:

Iran's current reserves of 20 percent enriched uranium fully corresponds to its nuclear fuel demands, but the country will not miss its right to produce 20 percent nuclear fuel whenever needed, head of Iran's Atomic Energy Organization (IAEO) Ali Akbar Salehi said, Iranian ISNA news agency reported on Feb. 10.

Salehi went on to say that, if Iran needs any level of enrichment in the future, and its demands are not supplied by the western side, the country itself will produce it.

"If Iran needs 60 percent enriched uranium for its peaceful program, it has the technology to do it," he added.

Commenting on the west's concerns about the Arak heavy water reactor, Salehi said weapons-grade plutonium is not produced by the Arak reactor.

"Iran does not have reprocessing plant to extract the plutonium," he added.

He also underlined that Iran can make some technical design changes to the Arak heavy water reactor in order to produce less plutonium.

Iran and the P5+1 reached a nuclear agreement on November 24, 2013. Iran has agreed to curb some of its nuclear activities including 20 percent uranium enrichment and construction activity at the Arak heavy water reactor for six months in return for sanctions relief. Iran and the P5+1 group have agreed to implement the agreement starting from Jan. 20.

Under the agreement, six major powers agreed to give Iran access to $4.2 billion in revenues blocked overseas if it carries out the deal, which offers sanctions relief in exchange for steps to curb the Iranian nuclear program.

Iran diluted about 100 kg of nearly 20 percent pure U-235 to 450 kg of LEU (3.5 percent low enriched uranium) on Jan. 20. The arranged 164-centrifuge cascades have been disconnected, but are still active and produce LEU.

Iran currently has enough 19.75 percent enriched nuclear fuel to meet the needs of the Tehran Research Reactor (TRR) for four years.

This means Iran needs neither 3.5 percent nor 19.75 percent pure nuclear fuel for four years.

Edited by C.N.

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