Speaking today on the nation’s Arabic language TV station, Iranian nuclear chief Ali Akbar Salehi announced that the Iranian nuclear program has so far managed to produce only 25 kg of 20% enriched uranium, but pledged that within the next year they will manage to produce enough fuel to actual power the Tehran Research Reactor (TRR).
“We will produce all the fuel needed for the Tehran plant in one year from today,” Salehi insisted. It is unclear how much fuel this would actually be, but the plant is said to have been running low on fuel since last year.
But while no one doubted Iran’s ability to enrich uranium to 20 percent, Western officials remain skeptical that they can actually produce the fuel rods needed to operate the antiquated reactor, which produces medical isotopes.
Iran has been attempting to acquire the fuel for the medical reactor from abroad by way of a third party enrichment deal. Though the deal was angrily rejected by the US just months ago administration officials are now expressing renewed willingness to discuss it.