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Iran’s Nuclear Chief: Working on New Enriched Uranium

TEHRAN – Ali Akbar Salehi, chairman of the Iranian Atomic Energy Organization (AEOI), announced that the country had taken the “first steps” to develop a 20% enriched fuel used for the nuclear reactor, Radio Farda said Monday.
In an interview with the state-owned radio and television news agency IRIB, Salehi said: “The new version of the fuel is different from the old one, which would increase efficiency of the reactor, he went further by saying that the country was about to design the new upgraded fuel that could be used in any reactor.
The design of reactors has become a very possible task for the Iranian experts, he insisted.
The nuclear official then spoke of the success of Iranian nuclear scientists in producing the FDG (fluorodeoxyglucose) tracer feedstock used in PET, adding that “the raw material of FDG is oxygen 18, which we have succeeded to produce in Arak reactor with a purity of 95%,” said the reporter quoted by the Mehr News Agency.
He also said that once the hydrolysis stage is complete, Iran will no longer need to export oxygen, Washington and its close allies have always been concerned that the Islamic Republic is using highly enriched uranium for the production of nuclear weapons under the guise of a peaceful nuclear program, Tehran, for its part has repeatedly stated that such allegations were unfounded and that its nuclear program was “absolutely peaceful”.
Before the Joint Global Action Plan (JCPOA) or the Tehran-Iran agreement on the nuclear deal in 2015, Iran enriched uranium by up to 3.5% and, in a certain period up to 20% and more, but based on the agreement, the country has committed to limit its enrichment of uranium to 3.67% for fifteen years.
Based on the same agreement, Iran will buy from Russia the 20% enriched uranium needed for the Tehran reactor.
The Tehran Research Reactor (RTR) was provided by the United States as part of President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s Atoms for Peace program in 1953.
Two years later, the King of Iran, Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi, established the Tehran Nuclear Research Center, located at the University of Tehran, and began negotiations with the United States to provide Iran’s nuclear technologies and materials.
The five-megawatt “pool” nuclear research reactor, granted by the United States, became operational in 1967 and was used for medical and agricultural purposes.
“In the fields of nuclear science and industry, we have progressed so much that we can design ourselves a modern fuel instead of reverse engineering and use the designs of others, which is a great achievement for the country,” Salehi told Radio-Islamic Republic of Iran (Broadcasting).
At the same time, the spokesman of the AEOI warned that if the negotiations between Tehran and the European Union to keep the JCPOA alive deadlocked, the Islamic Republic would resume the enrichment of uranium at the level of 20%.
(Sahar News Monitoring Desk)

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