Head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Ali Akbar Salehi says the Islamic Republic will continue research and development (R&D) activities in the field of nuclear energy.
“We would be working on different advanced machines. We would be working on the IR8, on the IR6. The IR8 and IR6 are the two candidates that could really meet our needs in terms of producing enough enrichment capacity to meet the annual needs of [the Bushehr power reactor],” Salehi said in an exclusive interview with the English-language magazine Science published on Wednesday.
He added, “And 10 years from now, we will have two other nuclear power reactors added to Bushehr. But using centrifuges, in 15 years, we will be in a position to meet the fuel requirements of these reactors.”
“We are one of the leading countries in West Asia working on fusion. This is my second time heading the Atomic Energy Organization. In my previous appointment, I made fusion our essential goal. It was given our highest priority because fusion is the future source of energy,” Salehi said.
He said Iran is currently participating in the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) project, which is an international nuclear fusion research and engineering megaproject currently building the world’s largest experimental tokamak nuclear fusion reactor near Cadarache facility in southern France.
“We are ready to pay our contribution. We are working with ITER already at a scientific level. But we want to participate more on the execution level,” Salehi pointed out.
Representatives and nuclear experts from Iran and the P5+1 group of world powers – the United States, Britain, France, Russia, China plus Germany – succeeded in finalizing the text of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) in the Austrian capital, Vienna, on July 14 after 18 days of intense negotiations and all-nighters that capped around 23 months of talks between Iran and the six other countries.
Under the JCPOA, limits will be put on Iran’s nuclear activities in exchange for, among other things, the removal of all economic and financial bans, against the Islamic Republic.