UK has decelerated redesigning process of Arak reactor

TEHRAN, Jul. 22 (MNA) – Spokesman for the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Behrouz Kamalvandi has detailed the process of redesigning the Arak heavy water reactor.

Kamalvandi said about the process of redesigning Arak heavy water reactor that the goal was to increase the neutron charging as the research reactor was designed to produce neutron.

He added that although Arak heavy water reactor would be used to produce neutrons, the IAEA argued that the volume of produced plutonium was high. Therefore, the reactor’s fuel was transformed from normal fuel to an enriched one, something that Iran wanted, the AEOI spokesman said, according to the news service of Iranian Parliament 'ICANA' on Monday.

He stated that the Arak heavy water reactor was set to be redesigned to increase its efficiency, which is the neutron charging.

He added the new reactor could be designed in a way that it produces 1 kilogram of plutonium instead of 4 kilos, while at same time, the rate of its neutron production would increase several times more than before.

Kamelvandi further noted that the redesigned reactor has a heavy water feature, while it also produces more neutrons, thus more justifiable in terms of enrichment because the fuel it uses is enriched.

The spokesman added that before the US withdrawal from Iran nuclear deal (JCPOA), the Americans used to abide by their commitments well within the framework of a working group tasked with redesigning the Arak heavy water reactor, but after their departure there were talks of a need to reconsider nuclear activities.

He added that at the time, Iran insisted that if redesigning the new reactor was going to be a slow process, Iran would go back to the old reactor.

The spokesman said that the Western countries are afraid of the old reactor because it can produce plutonium.

Senior nuclear official also pointed out that the US was replaced with the UK in the working group tasked with redesigning the Arak heavy water reactor, adding that although the UK took effective steps in redesigning the heavy reactor, the US pressures have slowed the pace of their actions.

He warned that if the British experts’ actions get slower in redesigning the reactor, Iran will go back to the old reactor.

He also noted that despite the fact that the new reactor construction could be more useful, there might be a decision to return to the older reactor.

Kamalvandi further said despite European countries’ concerns, Iran's aim is to redesign the reactor.

KI/4673447

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