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Plan to Purchase 950 Tons of Kazakh Yellow Cake
National

Plan to Purchase 950 Tons of Kazakh Yellow Cake

Iran's nuclear chief said on Saturday the country has placed an order to purchase 950 tons of uranium concentrate from Kazakhstan over the next three years to help develop its civil reactor program.
"The request has been made to a panel of representatives from Iran and major powers that are parties to the 2015 nuclear deal," Ali Akbar Salehi was quoted as saying in an interview with ISNA.
Known as the Joint Commission, the panel oversees the accord and addresses issues arising from its implementation.
"Five members of P5+1 have declared their agreement in writing … Britain changed its mind at the last minute … Now we are waiting for it to announce its final decision," said Salehi, who heads the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran.
P5+1 stands for the group of six powers, namely the US, Britain, France, Russia and China plus Germany, that negotiated the historic pact with Iran. It took effect in early 2016 to end sanctions on the Islamic Republic in return for time-bound restrictions on its nuclear program.
The AEOI director said the purchase was supposed to happen "within three years".
"650 tons will enter the country in two consignments and 300 tons will enter Iran in the third year," he said. Salehi said the final shipment of concentrate, known as yellow cake, would be turned into uranium hexafluoride gas and sold back to Kazakhstan —its first international sale of the compound used in the uranium enrichment process.
Under the nuclear deal, many of Iran's centrifuges were mothballed but it has the right to enrich uranium to a level of 3.67%. It allows Iran to sell its enriched uranium and buy natural uranium or yellow cake in return. 
Tehran's purchase of natural uranium is monitored by the International Atomic Energy Agency.
Salehi said Iran has already received some 382 tons of yellow cake, primarily from Russia, since the nuclear deal came into force in January last year. The final batch of a shipment of 149 tons of natural uranium was delivered early this month.
The nuclear agreement allows Tehran to run around 5,000 "IR-1" centrifuges and test more advanced models that can produce greater quantities of enriched uranium, all under the strict supervision of the UN atomic agency.

 

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