Acting Foreign Minister and Director of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran Ali Akbar Salehi announced today that Iran has successfully produced uranium fuel rods and plates at its Uranium Conversion Facility (UCF) in Isfahan.
Until now, the main activity at Isfahan UCF was the conversion of yellowcake into uranium hexafluoride, UF6. (The UF6 is used as the feed for centrifuges in Natanz to produce enriched uranium). The production of fuel rod, fuel assembly and fuel plate in the country are major advancements toward acquiring the complete nuclear fuel cycle. The 20%-enriched uranium rods will be used in Tehran’s research reactor. Highly enriched uranium rods are used in nuclear weapons.
Salehi also announced that Iran’s stockpile of 20% enriched uranium has increased to 40kg, a 30% increase in the past three months. (In early October, Salehi had reported that Iran’s inventory of 20% enriched uranium was at 30kg).