Iran to increase uranium enrichment capacity
Tehran, Feb 11 (IANS) Iran is ready to boost the capacity of its uranium enrichment, Behrouz Kamalvandi, spokesman for the Atomic Energy Organisation of Iran (AEOI) said.
"Based on a decree by Iran’s Supreme Leader and the emphasis put on this issue by AEOI head, the country is ready to increase its uranium enrichment capacity to 190,000 separative work units (SWUs)," Xinhua quoted Kamalvandi as saying to Press TV.
In July 2018, Ali Akbar Salehi, head of the AEOI, said that Iran had set up a factory to manufacture rotors used in advanced centrifuge machines, which was part of plans to elevate the country’s uranium enrichment capacity to 190,000 SWUs.
The factory had the capacity to manufacture around 60 IR-6 centrifuge machines each day, Salehi said.
SWU is the standard measure of the effort required to separate isotopes of uranium during an enrichment process. 1 SWU is equivalent to one kg of separative work.
Earlier, Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei had ordered the AEOI to prepare for the enrichment of uranium up to a level of 190,000 SWUs.
On Sunday, Kamalvandi said that Iran is also ready to increase the level of its uranium enrichment to 20 per cent of purity.
Under an international nuclear deal in 2015, which put an end to the Iranian controversial nuclear issue, Iran agreed to reduce the purity of its enriched uranium to three per cent.
Iran has drawn up plans to start re-designing the Arak heavy water reactor given the fact that the signatories to the nuclear deal have failed to fulfill their commitments, Kamalvandi also said.
Following the withdrawal of Washington from the Iranian nuclear deal in May last year and subsequent re-imposition of sanctions against Tehran, Iran has urged the remaining parties to step up measures to secure the country’s economic interests enshrined by the deal.
Meanwhile, Tehran has also threatened that it may reconsider its approach to the deal, if the signatories fail to guarantee Iran’s benefits from the accord.