A senior nuclear official says a new uranium ore concentrate production plant will become operational in central Iran in less than a year.
Deputy Head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran in charge of nuclear fuel, Hossein Faghihian, said Wednesday that the yellowcake production facility to be inaugurated in Ardakan will have a production capacity of 70 tons per year.
The plant will take uranium ore and turn it into a concentrate known as yellowcake as an initial step in the process to produce nuclear fuel for Iran's under-construction power plant.
"With the inauguration of the facility, the country's needs for uranium ore concentrate will be met," Faghihian said.
The uranium ore concentrate can be turned into uranium hexafluoride, which later can be processed into UF-6, a gas used as feedstock for enriching uranium.
According to the official, Iran has so far pumped out nearly 360 tons of the gas for uranium enrichment.