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Iran to modernize Arak reactor with or without China, US

Iran to modernize Arak reactor with or without China, US

Date: 16 December 2015 15:47

Baku, Azerbaijan, Dec. 16

By Umid Niayesh- Trend:

Iran will modernize the heavy water reactor at Arak under any circumstances, Ali Akbar Salehi, the head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) said.

Tehran will continue modernizing the Arak heavy water reactor with or without the cooperation of China and the United States, Salehi said, Iran’s Fars news agency reported Dec. 16.

He further said that Iran, China and the US have formed a special working group to modernize the reactor. Iran will serve as the manager of the project, while other countries can join the working group as well.

"Suppose that China and the US decide to not cooperate with us, nothing will happen, and we will continue to work by ourself to design and build a new tank," he added, saying it will take 2,5 years of work.

Salehi further said that he held constructive phone talks on Dec. 15 with US Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz and the Chairman of the Atomic Energy Authority of China (CAEA), Xu Dazhe regarding the redesign of the Arak reactor.

Under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) clinched last July, Iran should redesign and rebuild a modernized heavy water research reactor in Arak in order inter alia, to avoid the production of weapons-grade plutonium.

Last month the P5+1(the US, the UK, France, Russia, China, and Germany) signed a document on the issue.

Earlier Iran’s deputy foreign minister Abbas Araqchi said that the reactor will be redesigned and rebuilt within five years.

One year has been considered for redesigning and three-four years have been allocated for rebuilding, according to Araqchi.

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