Progress on Iran's Arak reactor as work nears completion

14 January 2016


Iran's Young Journalists Club (YJC) reported on 11 January that, contrary to reports by the Fars news agency, no actions had been completed at the Fordo or Arak nuclear sites except.

The Deputy Head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Asghar Zarean has confirmed that except the fuel swap (yellow cake and enriched uranium) no other action has been completed at Iran's Arak heavy water reactor of the Fordo nuclear site, YJC said. It quoted Zarean as saying: "We are busy with reducing the number of centrifuges in Fordo and Natanz according to the JCPOA [Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action] but we have not reached the quantity outlined in the JCPOA, and the task is continuing."

He added that supervisors from the International Atomic Energy Organization (IAEA) were present at Iran's nuclear facilities and were supervising the actions taken by Iran to prepare a report for the day that the implementation of the nuclear deal officially begins.

Commenting on the Arak heavy water reactor, he said: "With regards to the Arak calandria [core], firstly, the reconstruction agreement between Iran and China should be finalized and signed, and then the calandria will either be removed or filled with concrete. Of course, some measures have been taken but unlike what has been said in certain reports, the core of the Arak reactor has not been removed yet it would not be wise to do so without a guarantee and before the agreement is finalised." Under the 14 July nuclear deal with world powers, Iran had agreed to reconstruct the nuclear facility at Arak and to dismantle the reactor core.

Zarean added that the final countdown for implementation of the nuclear deal has started and once the required measures are taken and with the confirmation of the IAEA the deal will be implemented "in the next few days".

AEOI spokesman Behrouz Kamalvandi told Etemad newspaper that "Iran has met its commitments under the July nuclear agreement earlier than expected", and that "implementation of JCPOA will finish in the next seven days." Iranian President Hassan Rouhani told state television: "We are hopeful that the sanctions against Iran would be lifted in the next few days."



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