Monday, January 2, 2012

Iran builds, tests first nuclear fuel rod



Iran has succeeded in building and testing the country's first domestically produced nuclear fuel rod, the semi-official Fars news agency reported Sunday.

The uranium fuel rod was tested successfully and installed in the core of a research reactor in Tehran, the news agency said, citing Iran's atomic energy agency website.

Fuel rods are stacks of low-enriched uranium pellets that are bundled together at the core of a nuclear reactor. Sunday's announcement appeared aimed at demonstrating Iran's growing sophistication in developing a home-grown nuclear program, amid fears from the West that it will use its knowledge to build nuclear weapons.

In January 2008, Fars reported that Iran was able to produce everything it needs for the nuclear fuel cycle, making its nuclear program self-sufficient. But it was not clear that Tehran actually had the technology to turn enriched uranium into fuel rods. Read More