Iran loads its own fuel rods into nuclear reactor

(JTA) — Iran has begun loading domestically made nuclear fuel rods into a research reactor in Tehran.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad placed the first Iranian-produced rod into the reactor, according to the official government IRNA news agency.

The rods were produced after Iran failed to come to an agreement with Western nations on purchasing nuclear fuel for the reactor, which is used for nuclear medical treatment.

Iran also announced Wednesday that its Natanz uranium enrichment plant was using domestically manufactured centrifuges with higher speed and higher production capacity.

Iran says its nuclear program is for peaceful, domestic uses, while the West is concerned that it is working to create a nuclear weapon. The West has placed tough sanctions on Iran as it tries to get access to the facilities in order to monitor Iran’s nuclear program, while Israel reportedly has not ruled out a strike on the country’s nuclear production sites.

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