Control chamber of Khondab main reactor to be completed in next six months

Head of Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) said the second section of the Khondab reactor was completed, noting that in the next six months, the control chamber of the main reactor would be completed.

Ali Akbar Salehi went on to say on Monday at a news conference at the Arak Heavy Water Research Reactor Complex that "today we are witnessing a great event. The Khondab reactor started operating 20 years ago. It was an old plan made by Russia that our experts redesigned with their Russian counterparts and started work. In fact, the plan was originally for the Russians, but the next steps were taken by the Iranian youth."

That plan would not give us the necessary products because it was outdated since the former neutron population was small and "we could not get many of the former radioisotopes and many expectations were not met", said the head of the Atomic Energy Agency.

Salehi said that the Khondab reactor was supposed to be revised during the JCPOA talks; from the other party's perspective, it produced 8kg of plutonium per year, which could be used to build bombs. They wanted to make sure that that plutonium was not used for military purposes. The solution was a preliminary redesign to reduce plutonium production, leading to an increase in fuel richness that would have reduced plutonium production. "We assured them by redesigning, although it is forbidden to build, stockpile, and use nuclear weapons on the basis of a fatwa".

The vice president added that with their help, "we have begun redesigning the reactor to multiply the reactor neutron population, which provided both more space for the neutron experiments and more opportunity for the construction of radioisotopes".

According to Salehi, with the new redesign, "we have both a new reactor and remove the concern of the other side has". What the other side said was not scientifically accurate, however, because plutonium was produced by a previous reactor that was plutonium 239 is not used for military purposes, while plutonium 240 and 241 were impregnated, which separating them is new enrichment. On the other hand, plutonium, which is more than a year old, is not suitable for making bombs.

News Code 191157

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