Iran can produce up to 9 kg of 20% enriched uranium per month
Iran’s nuclear chief says the country has the capability to produce up to 9 kilograms of enriched uranium with the purity of 20 percent per month.
“At present, we produce 17 to 20 grams of 20 percent [enriched] uranium every hour. We have a production capacity of 8 to 9 kilograms per month to reach the 120-kilogram limit stipulated in law,” Head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Ali Akbar Salehi told reporters on Tuesday.
He added that the 20%-enriched uranium has been used in Tehran Research Reactor and noted that Iran has currently enough fuel to run its reactors for five years.
The newly-enriched uranium would be stored for future use, Salehi said, stressing that the AEOI activities have never stopped or slowed down.
Iran on Monday announced the beginning of the process to enrich uranium to 20 percent purity at its Fordow nuclear facility.
The measure was taken under a law, dubbed the Strategic Action Plan to Counter Sanctions, which the Parliament (Majlis) approved late last year.
The legislation requires the AEOI to produce at least 120 kilograms of 20-percent enriched uranium annually and store it inside the country within two months of production.
It also urges the AEOI to start the installation, gas injection, enrichment and storage of nuclear materials up to an appropriate enrichment degree within a period of three months using at least 1,000 IR-2m centrifuges.
Later on Monday, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) issued a statement, confirming that Iran had started the process of enriching uranium to 20 percent.
Iran building two nuclear plants
Elsewhere in his remarks, Salehi pointed to the AEOI’s current extensive activities and said the organization is constructing two nuclear power plants in Bushehr in southern Iran.
“These are the two largest industrial projects in the country with a cost of about 10 billion dollars,” the Iranian nuclear chief said, adding there is no other project in the country with such a value.