Iran to open fuel line for nuclear plant, calls on UN for reforms
Iran's nuclear chief Ali Akbar Salehi announced Tuesday that Tehran will open its fuel production line for its nuclear power plant within three months, according to AFP reports.
During a visit to the Bushehr nuclear power plant in the city of Isfahan, Salehi said that the production line of enriched uranium dioxide (UO2), supported under a contract with Russia, would be "fully operational" within the upcoming three month period.
Moscow has agreed to provide fuel to Tehran's plant in exchange for its commitment to return the spent fuel so that it cannot be used for other purposes, such as military issues. Salehi did not provide further information as to whether Iran would be able to use locally produced fuel in the future after its contract with Moscow expires.
The power plant, in operation since 2011 can produce 1,000 megawatts of electricity from its nuclear reactor. Tehran announced that it wants to produce an additionl 19,000 megawatts for a total of 20,000, which would require building 19 additional reactors like Bushehr. The government assumed control of the facility last month.
Iran informed the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) about the production of the new fuel at Bushehr.
According to the nuclear chief, Iran is producing 20 percent enriched uranium fuel for a medical reactor and related research in Tehran.
In related news, members of Iran's foreign ministry called on the UN to "undertake reforms to reflect the growing role of developing countries," according to another AFP report.
As part of a ceremony commemorating the 68th anniversary of the UN charter, Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi, who led last week's Geneva negotiations, particularly directed his comments to the case of Iran and Western powers' sanction policies against the Persian country. "These illegal, inhumane and oppressive sanctions target Iranian citizens ... as well as the country's developing programmes in health, education and its fight against poverty...imposing such unfair sanctions against developing countries is not only contrary to the UN charter, but also exposes a serious threat to world peace and security," he said.
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