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Iran masters all stages of uranium enrichment

ISFAHAN, Apr. 11 (Mehr News Agency) - With the inauguration of the nuclear Fuel Manufacturing Plant (FMP), which produces uranium pellets and rods used in reactors, Iran has now mastered all stages of the uranium enrichment process and completed construction of all the facilities necessary for this work.

The inauguration of the plant in Isfahan came on the 20th of Farvardin, Iran's National Nuclear Day, which fell on April 9 this year.

The FMP will produce 10 tons of nuclear fuel annually to feed the 40-megawatt Arak heavy water reactor and 30 tons for light water reactors such as the Bushehr power plant and other plants that Iran intends to build.

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said the nuclear fuel complex was manufactured entirely by Iranian engineers.

Ahmadinejad said Iran had achieved this progress under "the worst political and psychological pressure, even the threat of military invasion."


New advanced centrifuges


Ahmadinejad also announced that Iran has been able to manufacture two new types of centrifuges which have a capacity a "few times greater than the current ones" running at the Natanz nuclear enrichment facility.


Centrifuges are machines that spin rapidly to enrich uranium.


He said these scientific breakthroughs were made through the "innovations" of Iranian scientists.


Gholamreza Aqazadeh, the director of the Iranian Atomic Energy Organization, said Iran has made more progress in producing nuclear fuel with the testing of the new advanced centrifuges.


Aqazadeh added that the new advanced centrifuges will increase the capacity of the Natanz facility in fueling nuclear reactors by 2.5 times.


7000 centrifuges operating at Natanz


The IAEO director also told participants of the ceremony that so far about 7000 centrifuges have been installed at the Natanz facility.


He predicted that 50,000 centrifuges would be installed at the facility during Iran's Fifth Development Plan (2010-2015).


The U.S. and a few of its European allies have been pressing Iran to freeze its uranium enrichment activities. However, Iran as a country that has signed the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), insists that its nuclear activities are solely aimed at producing electricity to meet the nation's growing demand.


The International Atomic Energy Agency is monitoring all the processes of nuclear activities in Iran by installing cameras and making regular inspections.


The use of nuclear energy is gaining more momentum as global warming, blamed on fossil fuel emissions, is emerging as a very serious threat to the environment.

... Payvand News - 04/11/09 ... --

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