TEHRAN, Feb. 22 (Mehr News Agency) - Iran announced on Monday it plans to start building two new uranium enrichment facilities next year. Iran's Persian calendar year begins on March 21.
"Hopefully, we may begin the construction of two new enrichment sites in the next Iranian year as ordered by the president," Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Director Ali-Akbar Salehi told the Iranian Students News Agency on Monday.
Salehi also said the AEOI intends to use more modern centrifuges at the new sites.
He added the facilities will be built inside
mountains in order to protect them from any possible attack. "From now on our
enrichment sites will not be open sites; (they) will be built inside mountains."
Salehi said the new enrichment sites will be equal to that of Natanz in terms of production capacity but smaller in geographical size.
He also said President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will declare good news about the types of new centrifuges in the coming April, then it will be revealed what kind of centrifuges to be used in the new enrichment sites.
More than 8,600 centrifuges have been set up in Natanz. The facility will eventually house 54,000 centrifuges.
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