Iran to build second enrichment plant by March 2009April 9th, 2008 - 10:27 pm ICT by admin
Tehran, April 9 (RIA Novosti) Iran will build another uranium processing plant by next March, a deputy head of the country’s nuclear energy organization said Wednesday. “A second plant will be launched in the city of Ardakan in Yazd province,” Hossein Fagihian from the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran said.
He said the plant would fully meet “Iran’s need for yellowcake”, a uranium concentrate, which is an intermediate step in the processing of uranium ores.
Tuesday, Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said his country had started to install another 6,000 uranium enrichment centrifuges at its underground facility in Natanz.
According to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Iran has around 3,000 functional enrichment centrifuges at Natanz, which experts believe is enough to launch full-scale production of nuclear fuel.
Iran currently uses “P-1″ centrifuges that are prone to breakdown when working at high speed for long periods. The new centrifuges are believed to be of the advanced “P-2″ model, which is more reliable and can enrich uranium to weapons-grade levels.
The country’s leaders previously said that they intended to install 50,000 centrifuges at Natanz to make the country independent of nuclear fuel imports.
The Islamic country’s nuclear programme has fuelled tensions with the Western countries with the US accusing it of seeking nuclear weapons secretly. But Tehran has denied the accusation saying its nuclear programme is geared solely towards generating electricity, not making bombs.
The five permanent members of the UN Security Council and Germany are due to meet later in April to discuss future steps in resolving the Iranian nuclear problem.
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