Iran plans several new nuclear reactors
Iran plans to build "four to five" nuclear research reactors, following the successful production and testing of second- and third-generation Iranian-brand centrifuges, Head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Fereydoun Abbasi said, Press TV reported with reference to ISNA.
"Iran plans to build four to five new reactors with a capacity of 10-20 megawatts in different provinces within the next few years to produce radio-medicine and perform research," Abbasi told.
"To provide the fuel for these reactors, we need to continue with the 20-percent enrichment of uranium," he added.
Abbasi reiterated that fuel production or uranium enrichment to a purity level of 20 percent will not be halted, noting that the country "will produce fuel for the Tehran Research Reactor in due course."
The AEOI chief also announced Iran's plans to build a new enrichment site and to increase the amount of uranium enriched up to the 20-percent level.
"We will boost the enrichment level of uranium up to 20 percent, based on the country's requirements, and in doing so, we will not seek anyone's permission," Abbasi emphasized.
He noted that Iran is carrying out its enrichment activities under the surveillance of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) while the agency's inspectors conduct "regular and even snap" inspections of the Islamic Republic's enrichment facilities.
The Iranian top nuclear official expressed optimism that the IAEA would cooperate with Tehran and "avoid listening to those who lack adequate and precise information and relay incorrect data to international bodies."
Also on Monday, Iran's top presidential advisor Mojtaba Samareh-Hashemi said that the project to produce nuclear fuel plates with a purity level of 20 percent is in its final stages.
Iranian nuclear program has caused concern since 2003, when the IAEA became aware of its concealed activity. In late 2003, Iran signed the Additional Protocol to the Treaty on the Nonproliferation of Nuclear Weapons and voluntarily announced about the suspension of uranium enrichment. However, it returned to this activity.
Iran has repeatedly stated that its nuclear programme is for peaceful purposes of providing energy, but many other countries contend that it is seeking to develop nuclear weapons and last June the Security Council imposed a fourth round of sanctions against it, citing the proliferation risks of its nuclear programme and its continued failure to cooperate with the IAEA.