Iran launches uranium mine and mill

09 April 2013

A uranium mine and mill have been inaugurated by Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmedinejad as the country celebrates National Nuclear Technology Day.

Ahmadinejad - 9 April 2013
President Ahmadinejad addresses the ceremony to mark Iran's National Nuclear Technology Day (Image: president.ir)

Ahmedinejad announced the start of operations at the Saghand uranium mine and the nearby Shahid Rezaeinejad mill near Ardakan in Yazd province. His order was given today via video conference during a ceremony - held at the Atomic Energy Organisation of Iran (AEOI) in Tehran - to mark National Nuclear Technology Day. The ceremony was attended by "a group of senior military and administrative officials as well as a number of foreign diplomats and ambassadors," the IRNA news agency reported.

In April 2006, Iran officially declared success in producing the first batch of low-enriched uranium at the Natanz nuclear facility, required for the production of fuel for nuclear research reactors. Following the event, 9 April was named as National Nuclear Technology Day. It has now become a tradition for Iran to unveil significant advancements in its nuclear program on this day.

Ore extracted from the Saghand mine will be processed at the Shahid Rezaeinejad facility, which has the capacity to produce some 60 tonnes of uranium oxide per year.

During the ceremony, Ahmedinejad stressed the need for accelerating the pace of Iran's peaceful nuclear activities and said there will be no suspension of its nuclear program.

The inauguration of the two facilities came just days after talks between Iran and western governments on its suspected nuclear weaponsprogram ended in Almaty, Kazakhstan, without agreement. EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said that despite detailed talks, the two sides "remain far apart in substance." No date or venue has been set for further negotiations.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News

Filed under: Mining, Nuclear fuel, Iran