Iran is building a new nuclear research reactor at a nuclear facility in Isfahan, Iranian Atomic Energy Organization head Mohammad Eslami announced on Wednesday, according to Iranian media.
The research reactor, which will be able to test fuel for other reactors, will be built at the Isfahan Nuclear Technology Center, one of the country’s largest nuclear facilities. Eslami stated that the project is “completely indigenous and Iranian.”
Eslami stressed that the main issue regarding the advancement of Iran’s nuclear program is to increase the capacity of domestic power plants. The IAEO head added that the country is examining sites, especially in southern Iran, that could serve as favorable locations for new nuclear power plants.
“In this direction, we will use international partnerships and we will not wait for anyone, because Iran has sufficient scientific, industrial and technological capacities,” said Eslami. “Fortunately, there are large companies in the country that can support the 10,000 megawatt nuclear power production program, and we also support any company and institution that participates in the program of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran.”
Eslami added that Iran intends to move forward to produce fuel for reactors and part of the fuel needed for power plants at the Isfahan complex.
The IAEO head dismissed claims that Iran’s nuclear program has “non-peaceful goals.”
“In all this time and in none of the inspections carried out by the agency, not even in one case has it been announced that Iran has not announced its intention and plan in advance or has concealed it. These cases are documented, and therefore, the expression of these news and contents does not serve any purpose other than to waste time and tire the other party,” said Eslami.
Last month, some of the surveillance cameras used by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) were removed from the Isfahan site. Additionally, the IAEA reported last month that 90% of Iran’s uranium enriched to 60% fissile purity had been moved to Isfahan. In January, the IAEA reported that Iran had informed it that it would move the production of centrifuge parts to Isfahan.
Last year, Iran announced that it had begun producing enriched uranium metal, a material that could be used to create the core of a nuclear weapon, at the Isfahan site.