UPDATE 1-Iran says makes new model of nuclear centrifuges

Tue Sep 22, 2009 4:25pm IST

Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, daughter of Congress party chief Sonia Gandhi, adjusts her flower garlands as she campaigns for her mother during an election meeting at Rae Bareli in Uttar Pradesh April 22, 2014. REUTERS/Pawan Kumar

Election 2014

More than 814 million people — a number larger than the population of Europe — are eligible to vote in the world’s biggest democratic exercise.  Full Coverage 

(Adds detail, quotes)

TEHRAN, Sept 22 (Reuters) - Iran has built a new generation of centrifuges for enriching uranium and is testing them, the official news agency IRNA quoted its nuclear energy agency chief as saying on Tuesday.

"Iranian scientists have made a new generation of centrifuges that are currently undergoing necessary tests," Ali Akbar Salehi told a Tehran news conference as reported by IRNA.

"Chains of 10 centrifuges are now under test," he said, and the number in each chain "will be gradually increased."

Salehi did not say when the new model of centrifuge would be introduced to the production line in its Natanz enrichment plant but said it was stronger and faster than those now in operation.

Iran says it is enriching uranium only to low levels suitable for electricity generation and is committed to non-proliferation safeguards maintained by inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency.

United States and some Western countries suspect Iran has a secret project to fuel atomic bombs with highly enriched uranium, something the Islamic Republic has repeatedly denied.

A senior diplomat close to the IAEA said there appeared to little new in Salehi's announcement. The IAEA has reported Iran testing advanced models of centrifuges for more than two years but found no sign of them being phased into production lines.

An Aug. 28 IAEA report said Iran had actually somewhat reduced the number of older-model P-1 centrifuges enriching uranium in a step diplomats said appeared to be related to needed repair and maintenance work.

But the report said Iran had raised the number of installed, although not yet all running, centrifuges to more than 8,300, boosting its potential nuclear fuel production capacity.

World powers base their assessment of possible proliferation risk posed by Iran on the number of centrifuges installed.

The U.N. Security Council has demanded that Iran suspend its enrichment activities because of unresolved concerns about its nuclear ambitions, but Tehran has refused.

Iran is due to hold talks on Oct. 1 with six world powers. (Reporting by Hossein Jaseb, additional reporting by Sylvia Westall in Vienna; Writing by Reza Derakhshi; Editing by Mark Heinrich and Jon Hemming)

Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Election 2014

Election 2014

Kashmiris wary as Modi challenges for power.  Full Article 

Facebook's Performance

Facebook's Performance

Facebook Q1 revenue grows 72 percent on rising mobile ads.  Full Article 

Earnings Season

Earnings Season

Bharti Infratel Q4 net profit jumps 64 percent.  Full Article 

Monsoon Forecast

Monsoon Forecast

South Asia monsoon seen below-average to average in 2014 - WMO.  Full Article 

Solar Dispute

Solar Dispute

Green groups urge U.S. to drop solar trade case against India.  Full Article 

Oil Imports

Oil Imports

India to make May-July oil payments to Iran - sources.  Full Article 

Rice Exports

Rice Exports

India may cede top rice exporter spot under Southeast Asian price onslaught.  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage