More self-sufficiency over the raw materials in nuclear fuel production cycle
Iran announced two key nuclear-related projects on Tuesday that expand the country's ability to extract and process uranium. The new uranium mine and processing facilities in the central city of Ardakan will give Iran more self-sufficiency over the raw materials in its nuclear fuel production cycle.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad ordered the start of symbolic start of operations through a videoconference. Today was also the anniversary of Iran's National Day of Nuclear Technology, which marks the anniversary of the first time Iran enriched uranium in 2006.
Iran already has smaller uranium mines and processing facilities.
Saghand uranium mine consists of an open pit with a deep mine reached by two shafts. The Ardakan Yellowcake Production Plant is Iran's industrial-scale facility that turns ore into concentrate, also known as yellowcake, the feedstock for enrichment.
“You could not block our access to nuclear technology when we didn't have it. How can you take it from our hands now that we have it?” Ahmadinejad said during the inauguration ceremonies, addressing the West. “Iran has gone nuclear. Nobody will be able to stop it ... Cooperation with Iranian nation is the best solution for you.” (AP, 9 April)
Photo credit: In this photo released by the official website of the office of the Iranian Presidency, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, speaks at a ceremony marking Iran's National Day of Nuclear Technology, in Tehran, Iran, Tuesday, April 9, 2013. (AP Photo/Rouzbeh Jadidoleslam, Presidency Office)