US ‘Deeply Troubled’ by Iran’s Latest Civilian Nuclear Reactor

US Anger at Uranium Enrichment Extends to Plant Using Unenriched Uranium

Iran simply can’t win as far as the Obama Administration is concerned. After years of railing at Iran for having a civilian uranium enrichment program, US officials are now saying Iran’s plan to build a nuclear reactor that uses unenriched uranium is “deeply troubling.

The Arak Plant is aimed at eventually replacing the US-built Tehran Research Reactor (TRR). The TRR is an aging plant that runs on 20 percent enriched uranium fuel rods, and provides medical isotopes for the entire nation.

Arak would replace that and solve Iran’s difficulties with acquiring fuel rods by allowing the plant to run off of unenriched uranium, provided at domestic uranium mines.

The US says this is unacceptable as well because the by-products of the reactor, if put through a whole additional set of extra reprocessing that Iran isn’t even attempting, could conceivably produce small amounts of plutonium. The entire argument is so disingenuous, however, that it lends credence to Iranian claims that the US is never going to be happy no matter what they do.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of