Iranian Nuclear Program Progresses with Activation of Plutonium Facility

Iranian Nuclear Program Progresses with Activation of Plutonium Facility

On June 8, Iran inaugurated the main nuclear fission container at the country’s heavy water reactor in Arak, part of Iran’s plutonium production facility. Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) director Fereydoon Abbasi called the inauguration of this container, “an important step in the advancement of the project.”

According to The Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), this development has “several ramifications” for Tehran and the international community:

  1. It will force the international community to recognize Iran as a nuclear power. 
  2. It shows that Tehran has decided to break through the deadlock in the nuclear talks by shifting the focus to plutonium enrichment while moving uranium enrichment to the back burner. 
  3. The plutonium plant theoretically provides Iran with some protection against being attacked “because attacking a plutonium reactor that has been activated and is operating will have, inter alia, very grave environmental consequences.”

Tehran claims the purposed of the heavy water reactor is “to produce Isotopes for medical purposes.” 

However, MEMRI cites an article on the Iranian website Irannuc.ir, which claims “a heavy water reactor could be the easiest path to weapons grade plutonium.” 

Follow AWR Hawkins on Twitter @AWRHawkins.

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