Iran has begun to inject uranium gas into advanced centrifuges at the underground nuclear facility at Fordow, according to Tehran’s Atomic Energy Organization spokesperson Behrouz Kamalvandi.
According to a statement Kamalvandi issued to Iranian state television, the AEO delivered 2,000 kilos of UF6 (uranium) to the Fordow plant on Wednesday under the supervision of United Nations International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspectors. Iranian nuclear chief Ali Akbar Salehi said Tuesday the enrichment would reach five percent at Fordow.
“The restarting of the centrifuges will take a few hours and from midnight the process of injecting uranium gas into them will begin,” Kamalvandi said.
“We have put the 2,800 kg cylinder including 2000 kg uranium hexafluoride (UF6) that has been put in Fordow … The centrifuges there will enrich uranium up to 4.5% level,” he added.
The JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action) nuclear deal signed by Iran with world powers in 2015 bans nuclear material from Fordow.
With the uranium gas entering the centrifuges at midnight the facility will transform in its status from a “permitted research plant” to become instead an active nuclear site.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani was quoted by Reuters as saying that Fordow will soon “fully resume” uranium enrichment.