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Iran seeks partnership with China on Arak redesign

In addition to overhaul of heavy water plant as part of nuclear deal, Tehran also wants to build new small plants with Beijing’s help

Head of Iran's Atomic Energy Organization Ali Akbar Salehi, who is also a member of Iran's nuclear negotiating team, speaks with journalists upon his arrival to Mehrabad Airport in Tehran, Iran, July 15, 2015. (AP/ Ebrahim Noroozi)
Head of Iran's Atomic Energy Organization Ali Akbar Salehi, who is also a member of Iran's nuclear negotiating team, speaks with journalists upon his arrival to Mehrabad Airport in Tehran, Iran, July 15, 2015. (AP/ Ebrahim Noroozi)

The head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization (AEOI), Ali Akbar Salehi, traveled to Beijing on Wednesday to discuss a partnership for the redesign of his country’s Arak heavy water reactor, as well the construction of a number of new reactors, Iran’s Fars news agency reported.

Following the signing of the nuclear accord with world powers, Salehi was spearheading the country’s efforts to restore nuclear cooperation with China, the report said.

As part of the deal, Tehran agreed to redesign the Arak facility to significantly limit its plutonium output.

During the three-day visit, Salehi was set to meet with his Chinese counterpart, as well as the country’s foreign minister, to discuss future cooperation.

AEOI Spokesman Behrouz Kamalvandi said Iran was interested in overhauling the Arak site, as well as building several small reactors.

“Talks are underway between Iran and China on building ACP100 small reactors and whenever we achieve results we will publicize it,” he said.

The AEOI has stated in the past that intends to construct small plants along the coast of the Persian Gulf for the purpose of water desalination.

Salehi said in July that the nation sought to build at least four new nuclear plants within a decade.

 

 

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