Skip to main content

Report: Iran takes key step in nuclear reactor construction

By CNN Staff
June 10, 2013 -- Updated 0100 GMT (0900 HKT)
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Iran says facility will produce medicine
  • Heavy water facilities can produce plutonium, which can be used in nuclear bombs
  • U.S. says Iran needs to divulge plans for the facility

(CNN) -- Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was on hand Sunday as officials at a nuclear plant took a critical step toward completing a reactor, the semiofficial Fars News Agency reported.

Workers installed two containers on the reactor at the Arak heavy water facility in central Iran, Fars said. It quoted the head of Iran's nuclear agency as saying he thought the reactor will be able to help produce medicine in 2014.

"We hope that we can go through the relevant phases and carry out the necessary tests to make sure of the proper operation of this reactor and start its full launch next year," Fereidoun Abbasi said.

Some believe Iran's nuclear program is designed to produce weapons, while Iran says it only has peaceful intentions.

U.N. nuclear chief frustrated by stalemated talks with Iran

"We are deeply troubled that Iran claims that the IR-40 heavy water reactor at Arak could be commissioned as soon as early 2014, but still refuses to provide the requisite design information for the reactor," Joseph Macmanus, the U.S. representative to the International Atomic Energy Agency, said last week at a board of governors meeting for the U.N.'s nuclear watchdog agency.

He also urged Iran to come clean soon about its nuclear plans and ambitions to the U.N.'s International Atomic Energy Agency.

"The window of opportunity will not remain open indefinitely," he said.

At the same meeting Yukiya Amano, the IAEA's director general, said talks between Iran and the agency are "going around in circles."

"As my report on safeguards implementation in Iran shows, the (IAEA) continues to verify the non-diversion of nuclear material declared by Iran under its Safeguards Agreement," Amano said. "However, Iran is not providing the necessary cooperation to enable us to provide credible assurance about the absence of undeclared nuclear material and activities."

The spent fuel from heavy water reactors can be reprocessed to produce weapons-grade plutonium.

Heavy water, or deuterium oxide, has the chemical formula or D20, according to Brittanica.com.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
October 16, 2014 -- Updated 1225 GMT (2025 HKT)
Action needs to be taken immediately before affected states potentially collapse, says campaigner Bob Geldof.
October 16, 2014 -- Updated 0429 GMT (1229 HKT)
Thomas Malthus famously predicted that rising populations would create a food crunch: Could this be true?
October 18, 2014 -- Updated 1033 GMT (1833 HKT)
From "Sick Man of Europe" to the world's fourth largest economy.
October 20, 2014 -- Updated 1218 GMT (2018 HKT)
Each day, CNN brings you an image capturing a moment to remember, defining the present in our changing world.
October 15, 2014 -- Updated 2318 GMT (0718 HKT)
Australian PM Tony Abbott vows to "shirt-front" Russia's Putin over the MH17 disaster.
October 15, 2014 -- Updated 2327 GMT (0727 HKT)
Serbia and Albania try to play but the major game is called off after a drone flying a political flag enters the stadium.
October 14, 2014 -- Updated 1136 GMT (1936 HKT)
George Clooney's new wife, is now Amal Clooney, raising the issue of married names.
October 14, 2014 -- Updated 1757 GMT (0157 HKT)
The mysterious unmanned X-37B space plane returns to Earth after more than two years in space. But the U.S. Air force isn't saying much.
October 14, 2014 -- Updated 1655 GMT (0055 HKT)
Public health experts are asking whether the CDC is getting the wrong message out.
October 13, 2014 -- Updated 1541 GMT (2341 HKT)
It's no longer necessary to launch your startup in Silicon Valley -- thanks to the internet, you can do it anywhere.
October 8, 2014 -- Updated 0900 GMT (1700 HKT)
From a "democracy wall" to a towering "Umbrella man" statue, see the best art from the massive protests in Hong Kong.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT