Iran is taking preliminary steps to design uranium fuel with a purity of 20% for reactors instead of having to copy foreign designs, Iran’s nuclear chief said on Sunday 13th January.
Iran’s 2015 nuclear accord with world powers caps the level to which it is able to enrich uranium to 3.67% purity, well below the 20% it was reaching before the deal, and the roughly 90% that is weapons-grade, according to Reuters.
Iran is, however, allowed to produce nuclear fuel under strict conditions that need to be approved by a working group set up by the signatories to the deal. Those conditions include ensuring that the fuel cannot be converted to uranium hexafluoride, the feedstock for centrifuges that enrich uranium.
“We have made such progress in nuclear science and industry that, instead of reverse-engineering and the use of designs by others, we can design new fuel ourselves,” state broadcaster IRIB quoted Ali Akbar Salehi, head of the Atomic Energy Organisation of Iran, as saying.