Secondary circuit of Arak heavy water reactor to come on stream: Iranian official

Tasnim – The secondary circuit of Iran’s Arak heavy water reactor will become operational within the next two weeks, a special assistant to head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) announced.

During a visit to an exhibition of Iran’s nuclear achievements in the southeastern city of Kerman on Sunday, Ali Asghar Zarea’n said the second circuit of Arak heavy water reactor, which is being redesigned, will come into service in two weeks.

He also noted that Iran produces 20 tons of heavy water per annum and exports the material to a number of countries, adding that the annual capacity of heavy water production in the country stands at 25 tons.

Zarea’n further said Iran is among the 10 countries in the world with the nuclear fuel cycle technology, adding that the technical know-how has angered the Westerners.

The official also stressed that Iran has become self-sufficient in designing and manufacturing centrifuge machines and is capable of producing any type of centrifuge it wants to.

In comments on October 7, Head of the AEOI Ali Akbar Salehi said, “We will make the secondary part of the Arak heavy water reactor facility operational as early as the next three weeks; the reactor consists of primary and secondary sections whereby an overwhelming part of (nuclear) processes is done in the latter.”

Iran and the Group 5+1 (Russia, China, the US, Britain, France and Germany) reached a conclusion on the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) in July 2015 and started to implement it in January 2016.

In May 2018, the US withdrew from the nuclear deal.

According to the JCPOA, Iran is entitled to “redesign and rebuild a modernized heavy water research reactor in Arak, based on an agreed conceptual design, using fuel enriched up to 3.67 %, in a form of an international partnership which will certify the final design.”

In November 2015, the document on redesigning the heavy water reactor was signed by all parties to the JCPOA.