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Envoys of NAM troika, G-77 arrive in Isfahan to inspect nuclear plant

Isfahan, Feb 3, IRNA - Ambassadors to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) from the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) Troika, including Saudi Arabia, Cuba and Malaysia, as well as the Group of 77, arrived at Isfahan airport on Saturday afternoon.

The seven-member diplomatic delegation is scheduled to inspect the Uranium Conversion Facility (UCF) of the city of Isfahan.

The visit of NAM Troika and G-77 representatives takes place within the framework of Iran's policy on peaceful nuclear activities which is based on institutionalization, transparency and peace.

According to the decision made at the United Nations trade and development conference, the Group of 77 was established in 1946 to support and defend the interests of developing countries.

Once it was established, the group was represented by 77 countries, which accounts for its name.

The Uranium Conversion Facility is situated about 20 kilometers to the southeast of Isfahan and has been constructed on an area measuring 150 hectares.

Isfahan's UCF project was initially expected to be implemented by China, which was due to start in 1993 and end in 2004.

However, China refrained from implementing the project in 1994 and it started by Iranian specialized manpower and enterprises in 2000.

The UCF project was ready to become operational in 2003 and it was commissioned in 2004.

Following several months of suspension, according to Iran's official letter to UN nuclear watchdog, Isfahan UCF resumed its operation under the IAEA inspection on August 1, 2005.

At UCF, after getting processed, uranium is converted into UF6 or uranium hexafluoride gas, after which it can be dispatched to Natanz nuclear facilities for enrichment.

Some 1,400 uranium mines exist across the country.

Less than 10 countries in the world have the potential of uranium enrichment, one of which is Iran.

The enrichment rate of the Islamic Republic of Iran was declared as 4.8 percent on May 2, 2006.

Isfahan UCF facilities are permanently inspected by the IAEA inspectors through the cameras installed to control its activities.

According to the head of Iran's Atomic Energy Organization (IAEO) Reza Aqazadeh, at present 250 tons of uranium hexafluoride gas are stored at subterranean storehouses.

... Payvand News - 2/3/07 ... --

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