Iran commissions second block of Arak Heavy Water Reactor Facility

Iran commissions second block of Arak Heavy Water Reactor Facility

BAKU, Azerbaijan, Dec. 24

By Elnur Baghishov - Trend:

The second block of the Arak Nuclear Reactor was commissioned in the Arak county of Iran's Markazi province on Dec. 24, Chairman of Iran's Atomic Energy Organization Ali Akbar Salehi told reporters, Trend reports referring to ISNA.

“The heat in the reactor will be removed through the second block,” the chairman said.

Salehi also added that a room was also created to monitor operation of the second block.

"Some 52 systems should put into operation in this reaction,” the chairman said. “Some 20 systems have been already prepared while 18 systems are under preparation.”

The chairman said added that other systems are expected to be put into operation till next Iranian year (March 21, 2020).

The chairman hopes that all equipment will be replaced and tested during the next 3-4 months.

In January 2016, JCPOA was launched between Iran and the P5+1 group (US, Russia, China, UK, France and Germany) in connection with Iran's nuclear program. In May 2018, the US announced its withdrawal from the deal and imposed sanctions against Iran in November of the same year. In order to preserve the agreements reached as part of the JCPOA, the European signatories of the deal stated in January 2019 that a financial mechanism for maintaining trade with Iran called INSTEX was formed.

On May 8, 2019, Iran announced that it had ceased fulfilling its commitments regarding the sale of over 300 kilograms of uranium, as stated in the deal, basing its decision on the other signatories having not fulfilled their obligations. On July 7, Iran announced that it will not be fulfilling its commitments regarding the enrichment of uranium at 3.67 percent and the reconstruction of the Arak Heavy Water Reactor Facility as stated in the deal.

On Sept. 5, Iran announced that it will enrich uranium using next-generation centrifuges and will not mix it with the enriched uranium residues as part of the third step of reducing commitments in JCPOA.

On Nov. 5, Iran announced that it took the fourth step in connection with reducing its commitments to the nuclear agreement. So, uranium gas is being pumped to the centrifuges at the Fordow Fuel Enrichment Plant.

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