Iran Breaks Ground on 2nd Nuclear Reactor at Bushehr
Iran has reportedly started work on a second nuclear reactor at a station in Bushehr, as Tehran continues to increase its atomic activities in the face of growing international pressure. Since announcing it would be reducing its commitments to the 2015 multilateral nuclear deal, the Islamic Republic claims to have increased tenfold its daily production of low-enriched uranium – including jump-starting operations at its controversial Fordow facility – and unveiled advanced centrifuges into which it has begun to inject uranium gas. While the nuclear accord limited Tehran’s production of enriched uranium to 3.67%, officials claimed over the weekend that the country had crossed that threshold. “Based on our needs and what we have been ordered, we are currently producing 5% [enriched uranium],” a spokesman for Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization told reporters at the Bushehr groundbreaking ceremony. He added that Tehran maintained the capacity to enrich the substance to “any percentage,” presumably including the 90% fissile material necessary for the development of nuclear weapons. Iran’s first reactor at Bushehr was built in conjunction with Russia – which is likewise assisting in the construction of the second one – and went online in 2011.