IAEA experts visit Iranian Arak reactor

Tehran, Dec 9: A team of inspectors of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) visited Iran’s Arak heavy water reactor Sunday.

Two of the IAEA inspectors, who arrived Saturday, started their inspection of the reactor Sunday, Xinhua reported citing Behrouz Kamalvandi, a spokesperson of the Atomic Energy Organisation of Iran (AEOI).

“Their inspection is underway and will be completed this evening,” said Kamalvandi, adding that the inspectors would return Vienna Sunday night.

The Arak facility produces heavy water for a nearby research reactor still under construction where Iran says it plans to make medical isotopes, though other nations, such as Israel, suspect that it may be able to produce weapons-grade plutonium.

In an agreement between Iran and the IAEA Nov 11, Iran allowed the UN nuclear watchdog’s inspectors to visit central Arak heavy water plant and Gachin yellow cake mine in southern Iran.

On Saturday, Kamalvandi said that the AEOI has provided the UN nuclear agency with information about the country’s new generation of centrifuges.

“The AEOI has provided the agency with necessary information about the research being carried out on the country’s peaceful ( nuclear) activities on time and within the framework of the Safeguards Agreement.”

The new generation of centrifuges has more capacity compared to the first and second generations, and have undergone initial tests, he said.