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Nuclear Cooperation Proposed With Regional States

Ali Akbar Salehi, head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, said it has built a factory that can produce rotors for up to 60 centrifuges a day
Nuclear Cooperation Proposed With Regional States Nuclear Cooperation Proposed With Regional States

Iran is willing to enter into talks with regional countries to give them reassurances on the safety of its nuclear facilities and cooperate with them in this area, says the spokesperson for the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran. 

"We are ready to hold talks with countries in the region about the safety of our nuclear power plant. We are even prepared to work with them and create a network of cooperation. We have an experienced and skilled workforce in this field," Behrouz Kamalvandi told a news briefing in Tehran on Tuesday, IRNA reported.

He was responding to question on fears and concerns that are often voiced by neighbors over potential safety problems related to and the risk of radiation from the Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant in south Iran. Kuwait, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Iraq and the UAE share the coastline with Bushehr. 

  Advanced Technology  

Kamalvandi said, "We take the safety of our power plants seriously for the sake of our own safety. The Bushehr power plant is one of the safest in the world because a combination of eastern and western technology has been used in its safety system."  

Construction of the 1,000 MW plant—which was connected to the national grid in 2011—began in 1975 by German company Siemens, and Russian engineers took over in the 1990s. 

Iran's position that there is no ground for concern is backed by Russian state nuclear corporation Rosatom, whose subsidiary Atomstroyexport built the facility. 

The official dismissed reports of technical problems at the plant, saying that it is operating efficiently. 

  Uranium Enrichment 

Kamalvandi said Iran will ramp up its nuclear program if the remaining signatories of the 2015 nuclear deal—formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action—fail to salvage it after Washington pulled out last month. 

"We prefer to continue with the JCPOA even without the United States, However, we have prepared ourselves for all eventualities.”  

"If there is no JCPOA, our activities will be accelerated. For instance, if we leave the deal, we may increase our enrichment capacity from 3.67 to 20%."  

The AEOI spokesman, however,  stressed that Iran will keep its enrichment level far below the roughly 90% threshold of weapons-grade as its nuclear program is exclusively peaceful. 

Under the nuclear accord, which imposed restrictions on Tehran's nuclear activities in exchange for lifting sanctions, Iran's level of enrichment must remain at 3.67%. 

Before the agreement was reached, Tehran enriched uranium to up to 20% purity to make fuel for a medical research reactor.

   Additional Protocol

Kamalvandi went on to say that Iran could voluntary end the  implementation of the Additional Protocol to the Non-Proliferation Treaty that allows for short-notice inspections of its nuclear sites by the International Atomic Energy Agency if the deal collapses.  

"We have a safeguards agreement with the agency and are implementing the Additional Protocol voluntarily. If we leave  the JCPOA, implementation of the protocol will obviously end and we will work based on the safeguards," he said. 

  Centrifuge Rotor Factory

Meanwhile, Ali Akbar Salehi, head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, said it has built a factory that can produce rotors for up to 60 centrifuges a day.

The rotor-making factory was built in compliance with Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei’s order to make preparations for the enrichment of uranium up to a level of 190,000 SWU, Salehi said, Tasnim News Agency reported.

The factory could have been constructed in seven to eight years, Iran began building the plant during the nuclear talks with world powers, but did not complete the facility until before the Leader’s instructions.

 

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