Source: Tehran Times
BANDAR ABBAS, Hormozgan Province - The subterranean Fordo enrichment facility, located near Qom, will start operating in the near future, the director of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) announced on Saturday.
Fordow facility near Qom, Iran
"The Fordo facility will be launched soon and will be able to produce 20 percent, 3.5 percent, and 4 percent enriched uranium," Fereydoun Abbasi said during the opening ceremony of an exhibition displaying the country's nuclear achievements in the port city of Bandar Abbas, in the southern province of Hormozgan.
In August 2011, the AEOI announced that it plans to transfer the production of uranium enriched to a purity level of 20 percent from the Natanz nuclear site to the Fordo enrichment facility under the supervision of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and to triple the production of 20 percent enriched uranium.
Iran needs 20 percent enriched uranium to produce nuclear fuel plates for the Tehran research reactor, which produces radioisotopes for cancer treatment.
Abbasi also said that the first batch of 20 percent enriched nuclear fuel will be loaded into the core of the Tehran research reactor within a month.
On January 1, 2012, scientists and researchers at the AEOI successfully tested the first domestically produced nuclear fuel rod. Iran should convert fuel rods into fuel plates to power the Tehran research reactor.
Iranian officials had previously said that the technology for producing nuclear fuel plates does not differ greatly from the technology for producing nuclear fuel rods.
Iran ready to receive IAEA officials
Abbasi also told the Mehr News Agency on Saturday that Iran is ready to receive a delegation of IAEA officials, which are reportedly scheduled to take a trip to Iran in the near future at the invitation of Tehran.
He also said, "There has been very good cooperation between Iran and the atomic agency, and no problem has arisen so far, and this trend will continue."
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