Iran to reduce Arak plutonium production: Official
Press TV -(Thu Jun 12, 2014) Iran says it will scale down the annual production of plutonium at its Arak heavy water reactor to a tenth of its current output level as part of the Islamic Republic’s confidence-building measures over its nuclear energy program.
“The amount of plutonium production at Arak heavy water reactor which is about 9-10 kilograms per year will drop to less than one kilogram,” Head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Ali Akbar Salehi said on Wednesday.
The Arak reactor, which uses natural uranium to produce radio medicines, is planned to gradually replace the Tehran Research Reactor, which produces medical radioisotopes for cancer patients.
The West had demanded the closure of the Arak heavy water plant over the alleged concerns that the facility may produce plutonium used in the manufacture of nuclear arms.
However, Salehi said on April 19 that Tehran had put forward a scientific plan to resolve the West’s alleged concerns over the plant, adding that the reactor “will be redesigned to produce lesser amounts of plutonium, but it will remain a heavy water reactor.”
Iran and the P5+1 group – US, Britain, France, Russia, China and Germany clinched a landmark interim deal in the Swiss city of Geneva on November 24, 2013 over Tehran’s nuclear energy program.
Under the deal, dubbed the Geneva Joint Plan of Action, the six countries undertook to provide Iran with some sanctions relief in exchange for Iran agreeing to limit certain aspects of its nuclear activities during a six-month period. It was also agreed that no nuclear-related sanctions will be imposed on Iran within the same timeframe. The agreement took effect on January 20.
Iran and the six world powers have been discussing ways to iron out their differences and start drafting a final deal that would end the West’s dispute with Iran over the country’s nuclear energy program.