AEOI Chief: Iran Masters Science of Enriching Stable Isotopes

September 15, 2020

Weapon Program: 

  • Nuclear

Tehran, Sept 15, IRNA - Head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Ali Akbar Salehi announced that said that Iran has joined the club of the few countries which has the ability to produce stable isotopes.

"Enrichment is not just uranium enrichment, and with the uranium enrichment project, we can enrich other elements," Salehi said whlle attending a ceremony on Monday. 

Certain elements in the table of elements have about 256 stable isotopes, and these isotopes have wide applications, including in industry, health, agriculture, cultural heritage, and archeology,

Salehi attended a ceremony during the infrastructure construction of the second phase of the stable isotope gas centrifuge project kicked off at the presence of a group of AEOI deputies and managers at Shahid Ali Mohammadi site in Fordow.

The first phase of this project, entitled Feasibility Study of Stable Isotopes with Tellurium and Xenon with IR-1 Centrifuge Machine, was successfully implemented in collaboration with Russia in the past.

Referring to the cooperation of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran with the Russians in the field of production of stable isotopes at the laboratory level, he said: "We have entered a new field, and fortunately we have taken great steps. In this regard, the basic infrastructure for the production of required software has also been provided."

He noted that Iran is using IR-1 centrifuges to enrich stable isotopes such as tellurium and xenon on a pilot basis, and said, "We intend to take this issue to the industrial level.

"Today, we will start the construction of a building complex with an area of ​​about seven thousand meters, which is equipped with a laboratory. This laboratory will have very advanced equipment, some of which we have provided and some of which we will provide in the future, God willing," Salehi added.

He went on to say that Iran has acquired the science of stable isotope enrichment and related technology, adding, "Our engineers and specialists have written great software, one of which has, for example, 300,000 programming lines. The design of the arrangement of stable isotope enrichment chains is done by the Iranian experts."

Salehi expressed the hope that the project would be operational within the next two years.

"The price of some stable isotopes is about $140,000. If we compare this with the price of oil, which is $30 to $40 a barrel, we see a very high added value of this product," he added.