Sep 26, 2020 10:40 UTC
  • Iraq reveals plans to build nuclear reactors for research purposes

The Iraqi Radioactive Sources Regulatory Authority (IRSRA) says Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi has ordered the formation of a committee tasked with construction of nuclear reactors for research purposes.

The head of the IRSRA, Hussein Latif, told the official Iraqi News Agency (INA) that Kadhimi is “aware of the importance of the issue of atomic energy,” having discussed the matter in a recent meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron earlier this month.

Latif added that Iraq is “looking forward to restoring its position in nuclear science, which it assumed during the 1970s and 1980s,” emphasizing that the UN Security Council lately passed a resolution in support of Iraq’s renewed work on peaceful nuclear energy.

The reactors will be able to help produce medical isotopes and pharmaceuticals, in addition to having agricultural and industrial applications such as seed irradiation, nuclear insect sterilization for pest control, and the production of radioactive isotopes with various industrial benefits, the senior Iraqi nuclear official pointed out.

He estimated that the construction process for the reactors would take approximately five years. Latif added that the project would provide training and work opportunities for Iraqis, help the oil-rich country move away from its dependency on fossil fuels for energy and solve Iraq’s electrical shortages.