First concrete has been poured for a new multi-purpose 10 MW research reactor at the Isfahan Nuclear Technology Centre (INTC). The head of Atomic Energy Organisation of Iran (AEOI), Mohammed Eslami, attending the launch ceremony, said that the process of designing and constructing reactors requires detailed studies, preparation, and equipment designs, adding that plans for the new reactor had started last year. He added that the reactor is being constructed to provide a powerful neutron source with high neutron flux. It will be used for fuel and materials testing as well as for the production of industrial radioisotopes and radiopharmaceuticals.

The INTC already has three operating small reactors which are used for research and training: a light water sub critical assembly, which began operation in 1992; a 30 MWt light water miniaturised neutron source reactor, which began operation in 1994; and a heavy water zero power reactor that began operation in 1995. Another graphite sub-critical reactor has been decommissioned. INTC also has a conversion facility, a fuel production plant, a zirconium cladding plant, and other facilities and laboratories.

This comes a few days after Iran announced the start of construction of a new 5,000 MWe NPP at Sirik in the southern coastal province of Hormozgan.