Nuclear Fuel to Be Produced at Home

Nuclear Fuel to Be  Produced at Home Nuclear Fuel to Be  Produced at Home

The director of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) said Iran will produce the fuel it needs for its nuclear plants in the country.     

In an interview with Iranian television late on Wednesday, Ali Akbar Salehi said, "(The report of) transferring nuclear fuel to other countries such as Russia is nothing but lie and the fuel for nuclear plants will be produced in Iran under the agreement (recently) signed with Russia," IRNA reported on Thursday.

Referring to the agreement between Iran and Russia on further nuclear cooperation which was signed on November 11, he said, "We have entered into serious negotiations with Russia since last year following the president's call for the construction of new nuclear plant units."

Under the deal, Tehran and Moscow agreed to cooperate on the construction of nuclear power plants and production of nuclear fuel in Iran.  The nuclear chief explained, "Intensive talks with Russians ultimately resulted in signing three contracts, memorandums of understanding and protocols."        

He touched on the history of cooperation with Russians in the construction of the Bushehr nuclear power plant and noted, "We inked the contract for the construction of the nuclear plant with Russia in 1995 and the operational work started in 1997 and was completed in 2010."  

Salehi continued, "The Russians had earlier announced they would provide the fuel required for the plant for 10 years, but we finally agreed they provide us with assistance in supplying fuel for nuclear plants (for a longer time frame)."      

"The details will be set out in future contracts," he added.

The senior official called the contracts signed between Iran and Russia a "turning point" in bilateral relations and said a team should be formed to work out the details of the joint nuclear fuel production project. The vice president said the recent agreement with Russia gives Iran an advantage in the talks with the P5+1 (the five permanent UN Security Council members and Germany) on a final deal to resolve the dispute over Tehran's nuclear program.    

Commenting on the terms of a prospective comprehensive nuclear deal with the major powers, Salehi stated, "After building trust (on its nuclear program), Iran is allowed to produce its required amount of nuclear fuel. And within a time frame of eight years we should have enough centrifuge machines to have an enrichment capacity of 190,000 SWUs (Separative Work Units) to fuel our power plants and reactors."