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Secondary Circuit of Iran's Arak Reactor to be Operational Within 2 Weeks

Secondary Circuit of Iran's Arak Reactor to be Operational Within 2 Weeks

Monday, 21 October, 2019 - 05:00
Photo published by IRNA news agency shows the inside of a nuclear site
Asharq Al-Awsat

The secondary circuit of the Arak heavy water nuclear reactor will be operational within two weeks, Ali Asghar Zarean, a special assistant to the chief of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization, said Sunday.


Last week, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said Tehran will continue to reduce its commitments to the deal, removing curbs on its nuclear program, until European parties to the pact protect Iran’s economy from US sanctions.


The starting of the secondary circuit will not violate restrictions placed on Iran's nuclear program under a landmark 2015 deal with world powers, Reuters reported.


Iran has the capacity to produce up to 25 tons of heavy water per year, Zarean said, noting that the country currently produces 20 tons of heavy water annually, which is exported to other countries.


Heavy water can be employed in reactors to produce plutonium, a fuel used in nuclear warheads.


Iran has responded to US "maximum pressure" by scaling back commitments to the nuclear deal since May. Britain, France and Germany, all signatories to the pact, have urged Iran to refrain from any concrete act breaching the agreement.


The reduction of commitments can be reversed, Iranian officials have said, if the remaining parties to the deal uphold their promises.


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