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Iran to open heavy water plant for research reactor

Iran to open heavy water plant for research reactorAgence France Presse, Tehran – Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is to open a heavy water plant Saturday that will feed a nuclear research reactor currently under construction, an aide said.
The ceremony is to take place at 10 am (0630 GMT) at the plant in Arak, about 230 kilometers (140 miles) southwest of Tehran, the aide said.

The adjacent research reactor is due to be completed in 2009. It could produce plutonium which the West fears might be diverted for use in developing an atom bomb.

In February, the International Atomic Energy Agency asked Iran to reconsider its plans to work on a heavy water research reactor at Arak.
The UN Security Council adopted a resolution last month giving Iran until next Thursday to freeze its uranium enrichment programme or face possible sanctions.

Iran is suspected by the West of trying to build nuclear weapons under cover of a civil nuclear power programme. Tehran has consistently rejected the suspicion.