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A tour in Iran’s Natanz, Arak nuclear facilities

Tehran, Sep 5, IRNA � Research and Development on new generation of centrifuges, manufacturing new products in Arak Heavy Water Reactor and redesigning Khondab Research Reactor have a promising prospect.

Iran and major world powers signed a nuclear agreement, known as Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), in 2015, under which Iran accepted to curb its nuclear program in return of sanctions relief.

A number of journalists in a two-day tour visited the Ahmadi-Roshan uranium enrichment complex and Heavy Water and research reactors of Khondab and Arak. What was going on in the sites was described by the journalists as 'the pursuit of nuclear industy activities' and 'a promising prospect'.

Redesigning Arak Heavy Water Reactor was important to the journalists because of the unprecedented propaganda of the nuclear deal critics against the Iranian negotiators. While they have published manipulated images of the site that showed the reactor's core filled with cements, the journalists found the core unfilled and the redesigning process being completed.

Ahmadi Roshan uranium enrichment facility is the main enrichment site in Iran. Fordow enrichment facility is of defensive significance due to its topographic features. In fact, the pilot enrichment facility is aimed to support Natanz facility, which has 17 times more centrifuges than Fordo, and is the site of producing the fuel needed by Bushehr nuclear power plant.

World powers over past years have tried to prevent Iran from obtaining enrichment technologies. However, the current advancement in Iran's nuclear industry is the result of local experts' efforts. Even now some cases of intentional sabotage is being identified from time to time in the nuclear facilities. Nevertheless, the main part of enrichment industry either has been Indigenized in the country, is being finalized or the machinery is manufactured in Iran.

Senior officials at Ahmadi Roshan site say that Iranian scientists, going beyond reverse engineering and copying, have reached the basics in designing and manufacturing new generation of the machinery, as the similar centrifuges cannot be found nowhere in the world, and they are not comparable to no foreign centrifuge, except for the first and second generations.

The Iranian nuclear experts during the defined term of JCPOA will focus on improving quality, infrastructure and development so that after lifting the limitations, centrifuges with higher technologies will be ready to operate.

The industrialization process for a centrifuge on average takes about 10 years. Therefore, what is assigned under the nuclear deal matches what is required scientifically for developing centrifuges.

Heavy Water is used in various spheres, including food industries, gas and oil, chemistry, biomedicines, optical fibers and medicine.

Iran decided to construct a heavy water plant after the end of war with Iraq.

Currently, 20 tons of heavy water is annually produced in Iran. After the JCPOA, the US and Russia bought 70 tons of the product from Iran, with the US National Laboratory confirming its unbelievable quality.

The high quality of Iranian heavy water, with a purity between 99.75 and 99.99 percent tempted US to buy it.

Given that most radiopharmaceuticals would lose their effectiveness when they are imported from other countries, Iran saw it necessary to produce them locally. But the embargo by those who owned the technology prompted Iranian experts to design and construct Arak Heavy Water Reactor, which could use natural uranium fuel.

Khondab Research Reactor (KHRR) is the result of the technical promotion of Arak Heavy Water Reactor under the JCPOA. The reator is being designed and constructed by Iranian experts with cooperation of some members of the nuclear deal signatories, and it is expected to be completed within five years starting from 2016.

Cobalt-60, Molybdenum-99 and Iridum-192 were mong the products expected from KHRR. The fuel of the new reactor, unlike the older one, would be uranium oxide.

Source: Islamic Republic News Agency

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The iran News Gazette is mainly concerned with news and information about the Arab region and also covers international issues. Its main objective is to provide reliable and verified information on the Arab region for publishing on the digital landscape.