Iran Producing Top-Quality Heavy Water: Nuclear Chief

Iran Producing Top-Quality Heavy Water: Nuclear Chief

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – The heavy water produced in Iran is among the highest-quality compounds in the world, Head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Mohammad Eslami said.

The quality of the heavy water produced in Iran is so high that it is ranked first in the world, Eslami said during a visit to the city of Qom on Friday.

Only a few countries are capable of producing heavy water, he added.

The official noted that Iran uses heavy water and its derivatives for research and development in the pharmaceutical industry and other sectors.

The heavy water and its derivatives are widely used in developing new medications and in manufacturing newborn screening kits in demand in the medical sector, Eslami added.

Heavy water is chemically the same as normal water, but where the hydrogen atoms are of the heavy isotope deuterium, in which the nucleus contains a neutron in addition to the proton found normally. It can be used to turn natural uranium into plutonium.

The AEOI chief also highlighted Iran’s progress in producing radiopharmaceuticals, which benefit more than one million people each year.

He noted that the nuclear sector has also assisted various domestic industries such as the petrochemical, steel, wood, paper and oil industries by commercializing nuclear instrumentation.

Nuclear instrumentation is used for many sophisticated applications, such as precision imaging systems for medical diagnostics, remote sensors for environmental safety or the probing and manufacturing of the most modern materials.

In December 2022, Iran unveiled plans to develop new homegrown radiopharmaceuticals on the basis of heavy water.

The AEOI launched a second phase of its deuterium production unit in Arak Heavy Water Reactor Facility in central Iran in April 2021.

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