Iran ready to exchange nuclear fuel on southern Kish island: FM

10:29, December 13, 2009      

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Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said Saturday that Iran is ready to exchange low-grade enriched uranium for 20 percent enriched uranium on its southern island of Kish, local Press TV reported.

"We are prepared to take 400 kg of 3.5 percent enriched uranium to the island of Kish and exchange it with an amount equivalent to 20 percent of the original batch," Mottaki was quoted as saying in an address to a security conference in Bahrain.

The process would begin "right away" if the six major powers, the United States, Britain, France, China and Russia and Germany agree to the offer, he added.

Mottaki also said Iran needs up to 15 nuclear plants to generate electricity.

"From what we have found, we need at least 15 power plants to generate the required amount of 20,000 megawatts of electricity for the next two decades," he said, adding that Iran is prepared to negotiate with the Western countries in this regard.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has drafted an agreement which calls for shipping most of Iran's existing low-grade enriched uranium to Russia and France by the end of the year, where it would be processed into fuel rods with a purity of 20 percent.

The higher-level enriched uranium would be transported back to Iran to be used in a research reactor in Tehran for the manufacture of medical radioisotopes.

Iran rejected the deal, demanding a simultaneous exchange between low and higher level enriched uranium inside the country.

Source: Xinhua
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