Iran produces new isotope, set to expand nuclear program
Nuclear chief says Iran is determined to continue to develop its nuclear program, despite the West’s efforts to cap the country’s heavy water production.
The West heightened pressure to eventually dismantle Iran’s heavy water production plants, as it did in some eastern European countries; Mohammad Eslami said.
Owing to effective measures adopted by Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, Iran’s nuclear program is expanding every day, “making profound impact” on people’s livelihood, and health system, he added.
He made the remarks during an inauguration ceremony marking the manufacture of homegrown kits for newborn screening tests designed to detect metabolic conditions on Tuesday.
“We managed to procure oxygen-18 isotope in the process of heavy water production,” Tasnim News Agency quoted Eslami as saying.
Oxygen-18 isotope is widely used in various sciences such as the environment, biochemistry, diagnosis, and medical treatment.
Eslami said that the kits used for detecting newborns’ metabolic condition used to be imported to the country in limited numbers, adding that “Iran is now among the top five countries manufacturing the kits.”
“The kit was produced within a year and we have plans to export it as well,” he added.
Last January, Iran’s nuclear spokesman, Behrouz Kamalvandi, said the country is currently producing enough heavy water inside the country, and is even exporting surplus to eight countries.
He said the country must have its own nuclear power plants, and produce the fuel required for those plants, as well as the nuclear medicine it needs.