Wednesday, September 23, 2009

I.R. Iran Said Testing New Centrifuge Design

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NTI - Global Security Newswire

A top Iranian nuclear official announced that his nation has begun tests of a re-engineered, higher-speed uranium enrichment centrifuge, Reuters reported today. The United States and other Western powers suspect that Iran's uranium enrichment program is geared toward generating nuclear-weapon material, but Tehran has maintained that the effort would only produce nuclear power plant fuel. Washington and other Western governments plan on pressing Tehran to halt the effort during multilateral talks scheduled for Oct. 1. "Iranian scientists have made a new generation of centrifuges that are currently undergoing necessary tests," state media quoted Ali Akbar Salehi, head of the Iranian Atomic Energy Organization, as saying. "Chains of 10 centrifuges are now under test," and the quantity of machines in each cascade "will be gradually increased," he said (Reza Derakhsi, Reuters, Sept. 22).

The next-generation centrifuge is capable of operating with "more than five times the output capacity" of its predecessor and Iran "plans to raise this capacity to 10 times," Salehi said, according to Agence France-Presse (Aresu Eqbali, Agence France-Presse I/Google News, Sept. 22). The official did not specify when Iran would place the new centrifuges in the main production section of its Natanz enrichment complex, according to Reuters. Iran has been testing various advanced centrifuge models for more than two years, but the country does not appear to have incorporated the machines into its production process, one diplomat noted. (Read more...)


Winston said...

Israeli PM's encouraging words for Iranian people on fox news: here