Iran to launch Fordo enrichment facilities soon

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, January 8, 2012
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Head of Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Fereidoon Abbasi said Saturday that the subterranean Fordo enrichment facilities will start operating in the near future, the semi-official Mehr news agency reported.

"The Fordo facilities will be launched soon and will be able to produce 20 percent, percent and 4 percent enriched uranium," Abbasi said during the opening ceremony of an exhibition displaying the country's nuclear achievements in the port city of Bandar Abbas in the southern province of Hormozgan.

In August, Abbasi said that the Islamic republic had started transferring the nuclear enrichment centrifuges of its Natanz nuclear facility to the Fordo atomic site.

In June, Abbasi said that Iran is going to install new generation of centrifuges in its uranium enrichment sites and will increase its 20-percent uranium enrichment output by three times.

Abbasi said that Iran will install first chain of 164 new- generation centrifuges in both Natanz and Fordo uranium enrichment sites "soon."

Iran will triple the 20-percent uranium enrichment output after the enrichment process is moved to Fordo, the Iranian nuclear chief said.

Abbasi said Iran will stop the enrichment process in Natanz after it makes sure that the Fordo site can produce the uranium enriched by three times as its current status.

On Saturday, Abbasi said that the country would announce some new progress in nuclear fields in the next few weeks, the semi- official Fars news agency reported.

"We will have some good news in the nuclear sectors in coming weeks," Abbasi was quoted as saying.

According to the official IRNA news agency, Abbasi said Iran's Bushehr nuclear power plant will reach its full capacity of 1,000 megawatts in early February.

Construction of the Bushehr plant, beginning in 1975 by several German companies, was halted when the United States imposed an embargo of hi-tech supplies on Iran after the 1979 revolution. Russia signed a contract with Iran to complete the construction in 1998.

Completion of the plant's construction has been postponed several times due to technical and financial challenges and pressure from the United States.

The West suspects that Iran's uranium enrichment may be meant for producing nuclear weapons, which has been denied by Iran, saying its nuclear program is only for peaceful use.

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