Iran will cold test its redesigned Arak nuclear reactor as a prelude to fully commissioning it later in the year, Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization said on Friday.
The spokesman for the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Behrouz Kamalvandi told ISNA that the cold testing, which usually includes the initial startup of fluid systems and support systems, will take place early in the Iranian New Year that begins this Sunday.
“In other words, we have advanced work in the field of fuel, storage, etc,” Kamalvandi said.
Iran agreed to shut down the reactor at Arak – about 250 km southwest of Tehran – under the 2015 deal. It was allowed to produce a limited amount of heavy water and Tehran has been working on redesigning the reactor. Iran plans to make isotopes for medical and agricultural use.
Back in May 2018, former US President Donald Trump pulled Washington out of the multilateral nuclear agreement, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), reached between Iran and major world states in 2015 and adopted the so-called maximum pressure campaign against Iran with the declared aim of forcing Tehran to negotiate a new deal.
Iran remained fully compliant with the JCPOA for an entire year but as the remaining European parties failed to fulfill their end of the bargain, Tehran began in May 2019 to scale back its JCPOA commitments under Articles 26 and 36 of the accord covering Tehran’s legal rights.
In one of its latest steps away from the deal, Iran on January 4 announced the beginning of the process to enrich uranium to 20-percent purity at Fordow to reciprocate the American withdrawal and the European failure.