Report: Iran builds, tests first nuclear fuel rod
January 2, 2012 -- Updated 1034 GMT (1834 HKT)
- Iran built its first nuclear fuel rod containing natural uranium, news agency says
- The rod is placed in the core of the Tehran research reactor, according to Fars
- There are growing fears from the West that Iran is getting closer to building a nuclear weapon
- Iran has insisted its nuclear program is for civilian energy purposes only
Tehran, Iran (CNN) -- Iran has succeeded in building and testing the country's first domestically produced nuclear fuel rod, the semi-official Fars news agency reported Sunday.
The uranium fuel rod was tested successfully and installed in the core of a research reactor in Tehran, the news agency said, citing Iran's atomic energy agency website.
Fuel rods are stacks of low-enriched uranium pellets that are bundled together at the core of a nuclear reactor. Sunday's announcement appeared aimed at demonstrating Iran's growing sophistication in developing a home-grown nuclear program, amid fears from the West that it will use its knowledge to build nuclear weapons.
In January 2008, Fars reported that Iran was able to produce everything it needs for the nuclear fuel cycle, making its nuclear program self-sufficient. But it was not clear that Tehran actually had the technology to turn enriched uranium into fuel rods.
Iran has repeatedly insisted its nuclear program is for peaceful, civilian energy purposes only. But it has rebuffed repeated demands to halt its production of enriched uranium, and a November 8 report by the U.N. nuclear watchdog found "credible" information that Tehran has carried out work toward nuclear weapons -- including tests of possible bomb components.
Iran expects another round of talks with world powers
After the report, the governing council of the International Atomic Energy Agency adopted a resolution expressing "deep and increasing concern about the unresolved issues regarding the Iranian nuclear program."
The Islamic republic responded to the IAEA report by calling it a fabrication aimed at bolstering U.S. accusations that Iran is working toward a bomb.
"We will never ever suspend our enrichment," Ali Asghar Soltanieh, Iran's permanent envoy to the IAEA, said in November.
In December, the United States as well as several other Western and Asian nations announced increased sanctions against Iran in an international effort to tighten the screws around the suspected nuclear weapons program.
Today's five most popular stories
Part of complete coverage on
February 6, 2013 -- Updated 1526 GMT (2326 HKT)
Advocates say the exam includes unnecessarily invasive and irrelevant procedures -- like a so-called "two finger" test.
February 6, 2013 -- Updated 0009 GMT (0809 HKT)
Supplies of food, clothing and fuel are running short in Damascus and people are going hungry as the civil war drags on.
February 6, 2013 -- Updated 1801 GMT (0201 HKT)
Supporters of Richard III want a reconstruction of his head to bring a human aspect to a leader portrayed as a murderous villain.
February 5, 2013 -- Updated 1548 GMT (2348 HKT)
Robert Fowler spent 130 days held hostage by the same al Qaeda group that was behind the Algeria massacre. He shares his experience.
February 6, 2013 -- Updated 0507 GMT (1307 HKT)
As "We are the World" plays, a video shows what looks like a nuclear attack on the U.S. Jim Clancy reports on a bizarre video from North Korea.
The relationship is, once again, cold enough to make Obama's much-trumpeted "reset" in Russian-U.S. relations seem thoroughly off the rails.
Ten years on, what do you think the Iraq war has changed in you, and in your country? Send us your thoughts and experiences.
February 5, 2013 -- Updated 1215 GMT (2015 HKT)
Musician Daniela Mercury has sold more than 12 million albums worldwide over a career span of nearly 30 years.
Photojournalist Alison Wright travelled the world to capture its many faces in her latest book, "Face to Face: Portraits of the Human Spirit."
February 6, 2013 -- Updated 0006 GMT (0806 HKT)
Europol claims 380 soccer matches, including top level ones, were fixed - as the scandal widens, CNN's Dan Rivers looks at how it's done.
February 6, 2013 -- Updated 1237 GMT (2037 HKT)
That galaxy far, far away is apparently bigger than first thought. The "Star Wars" franchise will get two spinoff movies, Disney announced.
July 25, 2014 -- Updated 2327 GMT (0727 HKT)
It's an essential part of any trip, an activity we all take part in. Yet almost none of us are any good at it. Souvenir buying is too often an obligatory slog.