Iran says France agrees to cooperate on nuclear fusion project

Sectional view of ITER's tokamak © wikipedia.org
Iran and France have agreed to work on an international nuclear fusion project, an Iranian official has announced. The deal, which is yet to be confirmed by Paris, comes a year after Iran and six world powers came to terms over Tehran’s atomic program.

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“Based on the general understanding between Iran and France the two countries are going to cooperate in setting up Iran's first thermonuclear experimental reactor that is expected to produce 500 megawatts of electricity,” said Behrouz Kamalvandi, the spokesman of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI), according to the Fars news agency.

The projects were initiated 10 years ago and stipulated that by 2030 there will a first thermonuclear experimental reactor in Iran and by 2040 it will go into operation. Apart from that, the project involves building a prototype fusion reactor in southern France.

However, the French Foreign Ministry has not confirmed or denied the news, declining to comment, Reuters reported.

“France supports the full and rigorous implementation of the July 14, 2015 nuclear deal... This agreement allows the development of nuclear cooperation with Iran,” French Foreign Ministry spokesman Romain Nada said, regarding Iranian participation in the project, Reuters reported.

“Regarding ITER [nuclear fusion project], I revert you to that organization,” he also said.

ITER was not available to comment.

In September, AEOI Chief Ali Akbar Salehi met the French delegation to the IAEA to discuss the possibility of cooperation after the nuclear agreement between Iran and six world powers was struck in Vienna in July.

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The nuclear fusion project was also among the topics on the agenda. The meeting ended with their decision to develop their contacts in the future.

ITER was launched in 2006 by Europe, the United States, China, India, Japan, Russia and South Korea.