July 31, 2007

IAEA Inspectors Visit Arak Reactor

International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors visited Iran's incomplete Arak nuclear reactor yesterday for the first time since Tehran barred the U.N. nuclear from the site in April, the Associated Press reported.

"The team visited the 40-megawatt research reactor in Arak," said an unnamed Iranian official, according to AP. "The inspection took some five hours." (Nasser Karimi, Associated Press/Washington Post, July 30)

An IAEA official in Vienna confirmed the visit, adding that inspectors had full access to the site, Reuters reported.

The official declined to elaborate, saying that details of the visit would be reported to a September meeting of the agency’s 35-nation governing board.

Arak, if completed, could be used to produce weapon-grade plutonium, one possible ingredient in nuclear weapons (Reuters/New York Times, July 30).

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July 22, 2007

Iran-IAEA Agreement Postive Sign

The head of the UN's atomic energy agency, Mohamed ElBaradei, has welcomed Iran's decision to allow inspections of its heavy water reactor at Arak. He said that after recent talks with IAEA experts, Iran had for the first time agreed to discuss concerns which remain over its nuclear program.

More talks are expected at the agency's headquarters in Vienna this month. [via ]

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