TEHRAN (Dispatches) -- Iran has mastered the technology needed to enrich stable isotopes of elements other than uranium, the head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) said on Monday.
Ali Akbar Salehi made the remarks while inaugurating a project for the construction of a facility to produce stable isotopes using gas centrifuges.
"We have acquired the science of stable isotope enrichment and its related technology,” Salehi said. "Our engineers and specialists have developed sophisticated software applications, one of which has for instance 300,000 program lines. The arrangement of stable isotope enrichment chains is done by Iranian experts,” he said.
"We are now using IR1 centrifuges to enrich stable isotopes such as tellurium and xenon on a pilot basis, and we intend to take this to the industrial level.”
Underlining that the enrichment does not only include uranium and Iran can enrich other elements in continuation of its uranium enrichment projects, Salehi said some elements in the Mendeleev’s periodic table have about 256 stable isotopes and these isotopes have a wide range of application in the fields of industry, health, agriculture, cultural heritage, and archaeology.
The AEOI chief announced the construction of a building complex with an area of about 7,000 square meters, which is equipped with a laboratory.
Salehi said the laboratory would have very advanced equipment, some of which have been provided and some would be procured in the future.
On Sunday, Salehi said 1,044 centrifuges are currently operating at Fordow uranium enrichment site.
The operation shows Iran has taken in full the fourth step it had promised to reduce its commitments under a landmark nuclear deal officially known as the JCPOA, he added.
"The fourth step to reduce JCPOA commitments by Iran has been taken in full as a result of which, 1,044 centrifuges are now doing the enrichment work at Fordow site,” Salehi said.
Under the nuclear deal, Iran had undertaken that these 1,044 centrifuge machines would not enrich uranium, but in line with the policies to reduce JCPOA commitments, the country is now enriching uranium to the amount it requires and we will stockpile the enriched materials, Salehi noted.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said in January that the country was at the time enriching more uranium than it did before inking the 2015 deal with world powers, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), as the remaining signatories of the landmark accord had failed to live up to their commitments.