Iran producing research reactor fuel

10 January 2011

Iran has so far produced 40 kilograms of 20%-enriched uranium for fuel for the Tehran Research Reactor (TRR), the head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) has told the country's Fars News Agency. "We have produced about 40kg of 20% (enriched) uranium and we hope to witness the injection of the first batch of Iran-made 20% fuel to the Tehran Research Reactor soon," said Ali Akbar Salehi. He announced that Iran was prepared to resume talks with the 'Vienna Group' (the USA, Russia, France and the International Atomic Energy Agency) on the swap of nuclear fuel for the Tehran Research Reactor. However, he stated that the more they delay a new round of negotiations with Iran, "the more progress we make in fuel production and after a while the issue of fuel swap will become meaningless." The TRR, which produces medical isotopes, requires fuel enriched to 19.75% uranium-235 which has in the past been supplied from foreign sources. The reactor is reported to be low on fuel supplies. Iran continues to persist with a domestic uranium enrichment program despite continued calls from the IAEA to cease and the imposition of sanctions by the United Nations Security Council.