The head of Atomic Energy Organization Ali Akbar Salehi has said the task of redesigning Iran’s Arak heavy water reactor is progressing well. Referring to a live link-up on a meeting with the US and China to discuss the redesign, Salehi noted that under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, Iran’s agreement with the the EU3 +3 (US, Russia, China, France, UK and Germany) redesign of the reactor is to be done in co-operation. "Although we are capable of doing this ourselves, we would like to seize this opportunity to benefit from the experience of countries which are ahead of us in nuclear technology," he was quoted as saying by state TV’s Channel One.

“To this end, a working group comprising Iran, China and the US has been formed to redesign and modernise the Arak reactor. Each one of these countries has assumed a responsibility. The Islamic Republic of Iran is responsible for the project, i.e. we do the redesigning ourselves and then show them the designs for review. And if they have any comments or think some amendments should be made, then the designs are corrected in consultation with us."

He said that, to date, "conceptual designs have been done and right now foundation designs have started and finally we will produce detailed designs". As to the foundation designs now underway, "the Arak reactor has three steel tanks, one of which, the internal tank, has now been removed… because the positions of the gaps in the tank for installing fuel are different in the new [redesigned] tank". It is now necessary to make a new tank based on the new design with different positions for the gaps. "This is not a complicated task. We have done it once before. We are in regular consultations with both the Chinese and the Americans."