Middle East News
State broadcaster: Iran to unveil three new nuclear projects
Feb 15, 2012, 10:23 GMT
A handout picture shows Ayatollah Khamenei delivering his speech during the Friday prayer ceremony in Tehran, Iran, 03 February 2012. EPA/KHAMENEI OFFICIAL WEBSITE/HANDOUT
Tehran - Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was to oversee the simultaneous inauguration of three new nuclear projects on Wednesday, state television network IRIB reported.
According to IRIB, one project was the 20-per-cent enrichment process in the Natanaz plant in central Iran.
The second project was the insertion of Iran's first home-made nuclear fuel rods into the Tehran medical reactor.
The final project introduces a new type of centrifuges, capable of a far higher enrichment speed than previous models, the IRIB report added.
The main ceremony is to be held in the Tehran reactor and the two other projects are to be opened by Ahmadinejad via a video-conference linkup.
The IRIB report did not mention the opening of the new enrichment site of Fordo in Qom province, expected to be among the projects to be opened by the president.
The facility, about 160 kilometres south of Tehran, is capable of enriching uranium to levels of 3.5, 4 and 20 per cent.
The Tehran reactor was established in 1967 and equipped with a 5-megawatt pool-type. The fuel for this reactor was initially provided by Argentina, but they stopped doing so in recent years.
The fuel for the Tehran reactor was supposed to be provided by Russia and France but a deal from October 2009 failed, and Iran began making the fuel by first enriching uranium to 20 per cent and then turning it into fuel rods.
Enriched uranium is a critical component for both civil nuclear power generation and atomic weapons.
ISNA news agency said the new projects showed that Iran would not be intimidated by international threats over its nuclear programme, and would continue with its technological advances.
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