Iran’s new domestically-manufactured IR-8 centrifuge machines will increase the country’s capacity to enrich uranium 20 times more than the existing IR-1 machines, the spokesman for the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) says.
"The enrichment capacity of IR-8 centrifuge is 20 SWU per year and the [country's] enrichment capacity will increase 20 times after the mass production of this machine,” Behrouz Kamalvandi said at a Tuesday conference in the northeastern city of Mashhad.
This is while the enrichment capacity of the existing IR-1 centrifuges is one SWU per year, he noted.
The official pointed out that the IR-8 centrifuges are currently being tested with enriched uranium gas and it will be mass produced eight years after the implementation date of Iran's nuclear deal with the P5+1 group of countries, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
Iran and the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council - the United States, France, Britain, Russia and China plus Germany - started implementing the JCPOA on January 16, 2016.
Under the nuclear agreement, Iran undertook to put limitations on its nuclear program in exchange for the removal of nuclear-related sanctions imposed against Tehran.
"The production of this machine, which is a significant development in the nuclear and enrichment industry, is one of the issues envisaged in the JCPOA and it does not run counter to the JCPOA,” Kamalvandi said.
The AEOI spokesman also pointed to Iran’s plans to unveil 20 new achievements with regard to the production of nuclear medicine in the March-April period and noted that the country is constantly producing different types of nuclear medicine