Iran to unveil new centrifuge machines with higher SWU capacity soon: Official

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Shafaqna Pakistan:A high-ranking official at the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran says the AEOI plans to unveil new centrifuge machines that have a higher Separative Work Units (SWU) capacity in the near future.

“We have put the issue of providing the necessary infrastructure for operating centrifuge machines with a high SWU [capacity] on the agenda,” Ali Asghar Zare’an, special assistant to the AEOI head, told IRNA on Wednesday.

“We will soon witness the unveiling of three other generations of new centrifuges,” he added.

Zare’an said last week that the country’s nuclear activities have been entirely indigenized and the Islamic Republic has become self-sufficient in designing and manufacturing different types of centrifuge machines.

One-hundred percent of Iran’s nuclear industry activities have been indigenized and today, we are self-sufficient in designing and manufacturing various kinds of centrifuges,” Zare’an said in an address to the opening ceremony of an exhibition of Iran’s nuclear industry achievements in the city of Kerman on Sunday.

He noted that an issue that is even more important than centrifuges is Iran’s ability to produce yellowcake.

“We are now producing the raw material of yellowcake domestically and this move has greatly increased our bargaining power at the international level,” the AEOI official said.

Zare’an said in his Wednesday interview with IRNA that Iran produced 30 tons of yellowcake this year, compared to 20 tons the previous year and 10 tons two years ago, adding that the country is increasing the production of the strategic raw material.

Zare’an said in his Wednesday interview that the produced yellowcake is then shipped to the Uranium Conversion Facility (UCF) in the central Iranian city of Isfahan.

Yellowcake, or uranium ore, can be further processed into enriched uranium to make fuel for nuclear power plants.

Commenting on upgrades at the Arak heavy water reactor, the official said the secondary part of the reactor will officially be inaugurated in two weeks and will then undergo cold testing, noting that the project will be completed in the early Iranian calendar year of 1400 (which starts in March 2021).

Ali Akbar Salehi, the AEOI, said on October 7 that the secondary part of the Arak heavy water reactor will become operational within the next three weeks.

“We will make the secondary part of the Arak Heavy Water Reactor Facility operational as early as the next three weeks; the reactor consists of primary and secondary sections whereby an overwhelming part of [nuclear] processes is done in the latter,” Salehi told reporters after attending a parliamentary committee session in Tehran.