Russia Mulling Purchase of Heavy Water

Russia Mulling Purchase of Heavy WaterRussia Mulling Purchase of Heavy Water

Moscow is considering buying 40 tons of heavy water from Iran, Interfax news agency cited the Russian Foreign Ministry as saying on Monday.

The announcement came after spokesman of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, Behrouz Kamalvandi, said earlier that Iran had been weighing plans to sell the excess heavy water from its peaceful nuclear program to various countries.

“We take into account different countries for the sale of the country’s excess heavy water, considering strategic, economic and commercial issues,” Kamalvandi told IRIB on Saturday.

According to the spokesman, negotiations with some of the customers are in final stages.

His comments followed reports that the US will buy heavy water from Iran.

The US Department of Energy, or DOE, has confirmed that it will buy 32 tons of heavy water from Iran worth $8.6 million.

Heavy water is used in some nuclear reactors, but is not radioactive.

Deputy Foreign Minister for Legal and International Affairs Abbas Araqchi also said the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran and a US company reached an agreement on heavy water sale before a Friday meeting in Vienna between Iran and major powers on the implementation of the July 2015 nuclear deal.

Araqchi noted that the agreement was signed following three months of negotiations.

Under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, as the nuclear deal between Tehran and P5+1 (Russia, China, the US, Britain and France, plus Germany) is officially called, Iran is allowed to use heavy water in its modified Arak nuclear reactor, but should sell any excess supply of both heavy water and enriched uranium in the international market.