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Iran has expertise to produce nuclear reactors to power ships, subs: AEOI Director

Source: Mehr News Agency, Tehran

Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Director Fereydoun Abbasi has said that Iran is able to design the nuclear reactors needed to power the ships and submarines that it plans to equip with nuclear propulsion systems.

Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Director Fereydoun Abbasi (file photo)

"We have no special plan in this regard, but of course, we have the capability to design reactors to (power) vessels," Abbasi told reporters on Sunday when asked about a plan recently approved by the Majlis Industries and Mines Committee which calls for Iranian oceangoing tankers and other commercial ships to be powered by nuclear fuel in order to eliminate their need to be refueled while on long voyages.

The plan is said to be a response to the West's anti-Iranian sanctions. The parliament must endorse the plan before it can be implemented.

Abbasi said, "If need be and the government of the Islamic Republic makes a decision in this regard, and if it is the people's demand, we in the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran have no problem in pursuing this plan."

He also said that if Iran needs uranium enriched to a purity level of higher than 20 percent in order to fuel nuclear-powered ships and submarines, it will inform the International Atomic Energy Agency of its need so that the agency can facilitate the process of supplying the country with the required nuclear fuel.

At present, Iran has no intention of producing nuclear fuel enriched to a purity level higher than 20 percent, he added.

The deputy commander of the Iranian Navy has also announced that Iran plans to build nuclear-powered submarines.

In an interview with the Persian service of the Fars News Agency published on June 12, Rear Admiral Abbas Zamini said that the Iranian Navy is planning to design and manufacture nuclear-powered submarines, adding, "We are now in the early stages of the project to build nuclear submarines."

Elsewhere in his remarks, the AEOI director announced that the fourth set of domestically produced nuclear fuel plates has been delivered to the operator of the Tehran research reactor, which produces radioisotopes for cancer treatment.

The first two sets of nuclear fuel plates were delivered on May 22.

Abbasi said that the newly delivered nuclear fuel plates are currently undergoing final tests.

Commenting on the process of talks between Iran and the 5+1 group (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council and Germany) over the country's nuclear program, he said, "We welcome negotiations under any circumstances, but we resist sanctions."

On the expert meeting held by Iran and the 5+1 group in Istanbul on July 3, Abbasi said that they did not present substantive arguments during the technical talks, "so they were given the necessary time to go and think and stop their mischievous acts."

"We will firmly stick to our stances, and continue the talks to achieve a rational solution," he added.

... Payvand News - 07/22/12 ... --

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