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Thursday, April 08, 2021, 09:47
Iran 'boosts uranium enrichment capacity to 16,500 SWUs'
By Xinhua
Thursday, April 08, 2021, 09:47 By Xinhua

This handout picture provided by Iran's Atomic Energy Organization on Jan 30, 2021 shows Iranian Parliament speaker Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf (left) and the head of the Iranian Atomic Organization Ali Akbar Salehi (center) visiting the Fordo Uranium Conversion Facility in central Iran on Jan 28. (PHOTO / ATOMIC ENERGY ORGANIZATION OF IRAN / AFP)

TEHRAN - Iran has increased its uranium enrichment capacity to 16,500 separative work units (SWUs), Ali Akbar Salehi, head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI), announced on Wednesday, the official Islamic Republic News agency reported.

The AEOI announced it had plans to boost the capacity of its uranium enrichment to 190,000 SWUs.

Ali Akbar Salehi, head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI), said that Iran has a stockpile of some 5 tons of enriched uranium, 57 kg of which is 20-percent, the official Islamic Republic News agency reported

SWU is the standard measure of the effort required to separate isotopes of uranium during an enrichment process. One SWU is equivalent to 1 kg of separative work.

Salehi also said that Iran has a stockpile of some 5 tons of enriched uranium, 57 kg of which is 20-percent, according to the report.

He noted that 20-percent enriched uranium capacity would reach 120 kg in a year.

ALSO READ: Iran 'won't stop 20% enrichment unless US lifts sanctions'

The 20-percent uranium enrichment process has been launched as part of Iran's Strategic Action Plan to Counter Sanctions, which was approved by the Iranian parliament in December 2020. The implementation of the action plan by the AEOI began on Jan 4.

Salehi also said that Iran's yellow cake production capacity is currently 35 tons annually, according to the report.

Iranian authorities have said a boost in uranium enrichment, along with other measures to reduce some commitments under the 2015 nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, is a reaction to the US withdrawal from the deal and the failure of European signatories to protect Iran's interests amid US energy and banking sanctions.

READ MORE: Iranian ship attacked in Red Sea as nuclear talks begin


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