Arak reactor used for research purposes: AEOI chief

Head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Ali Akbar Salehi says Arak heavy water research reactor has not been designed to produce “weapons-grade plutonium,” Press TV reports.

In an exclusive interview with Press TV on Monday, the Iranian nuclear chief said Arak heavy water reactor is a “research reactor” and “is used to do research in areas of science and technology.”

Arak heavy water reactor “is not for the production of plutonium. This is the wrong way to define this reactor. This reactor is a research reactor. It is for the purpose of producing radio-isotopes and making other tests,” Salehi stated.

The Iranian nuclear chief further emphasized, “Weapons-grade plutonium is not produced by this reactor. This reactor will produce about 9 kilograms of plutonium, but not weapons-grade plutonium,” adding, “Not all plutonium is good plutonium for weapons.”

The Iranian official added that the Islamic Republic had already reported its “peaceful nuclear activities” at the Arak heavy water plant to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

Iran and the UN nuclear body signed a joint statement in November 2013 to outline a roadmap on bilateral cooperation on certain outstanding issues. Under the deal, Iran agreed, on a voluntary basis, to allow IAEA inspectors to visit the Arak heavy water plant and the Gachin uranium mine.

The UN nuclear agency’s inspectors visited the Arak heavy water production plant on December 8, 2013, as the first step to be implemented under the Iran-IAEA agreement.

IAEA inspectors also made a five-hour visit to the Gachin uranium mine in southern Iran in late January.

The Agency’s Safeguards Agreement does not require Tehran to authorize IAEA inspections to visit those sites. The voluntary move is a goodwill gesture on the part of Iran to clear up ambiguities over the peaceful nature of its nuclear energy program.

By Press TV


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