Iran starts making 20 pct nuclear fuel

Iran began making higher-grade nuclear fuel on Tuesday, state television reported.

Iran starts making 20 pct nuclear fuel


Iran began making higher-grade nuclear fuel on Tuesday, state television reported.

The Islamic Republic announced on Sunday it would produce uranium enriched to a level of 20 percent for a Tehran research reactor making medical isotopes for cancer patients.

"Enrichment to 20 percent started in the Natanz facility under the supervision of the (International Atomic Energy Agency)," state television quoted Iranian nuclear agency chief Ali Akbar Salehi as saying.

It said he made the statement at the site of Iran's enrichment plant in Natanz. Salehi earlier on Tuesday told Reuters that preparatory work had started and that production would officially be launched in the afternoon.

Salehi said Iran had set up a chain of 164 centrifuges, used to refine uranium, to produce the 20 percent fuel. He said production capacity is 3 to 5 kg a month, above the Tehran reactor's needs of 1.5 kg, ISNA news agency reported.

Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman said Tehran was still prepared to carry out the fuel swap, if its conditions were met.

On Monday, the IAEA confirmed Tehran had notified the U.N. nuclear watchdog of its plans to produce higher-grade fuel.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said: "We're still prepared, if our requirements are met, to carry out this swap ... any time they are ready this can be done."


Reuters


Related news reports:

Iran informs UN agency over new uranium plans

Last Mod: 09 Şubat 2010, 17:12
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