Iran launches advanced nuclear centrifuges

Iran recently launched Advanced Nuclear Centrifuges at the Natanz Nuclear Plant to mark its National Nuclear Technology Day.

Key Highlights

On April 10, 2021, Iran celebrated its National Day on Nuclear Technology. The celebrations were held in several Nuclear sites of Iran. As a part of the celebrations, Iran began operating IR-6 Centrifuges. Also, Iran unveiled more than hundred nuclear industry innovations on the same day. Iran also unveiled the assembly of the first protype of IR-9S and IR-9-1 B Centrifuges. The capacity IR-9 Centrifuges are more than fifty to sixty times higher than the old centrifuges of Iran.

Nuclear Centrifuge

A Centrifuge is used to separate particles suspended in a medium. In a Nuclear Centrifuge, Uranium-235 is separated from Uranium-238. It is basically enrichment of Uranium or making it an ideal fuel for the nuclear reactor.

Significance

The Nuclear Fuel used in nuclear reactor must have higher concentration of Uranium-235 isotope than that of its natural form, that is, Uranium-238. The Uranium-235 is more radioactive than Uranium-238. There are currently 2,000 tonnes of enriched Uranium in the world. They are predominantly used for preparing nuclear weapons. The International Atomic Energy Agency aims to control and monitor supplies of enriched Uranium to ensure safe nuclear power generation.

JCPOA

Under the Joint comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), also known as the 2015 Nuclear Agreement, Iran is restricted to use only certain number of Uranium enrichment centrifuges of IR-1 till 2025. However, in May 2018, the US Government under Donald Trump abandoned the agreement and reimposed sanctions on Iran.

Way Forward

The current US Government under Joe Biden has pledged to return to JCPOA. However, it demands Iran to fully comply with its commitments.

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