Iran: 'We will build 10 more nuclear plants by 2011'

By Jessica Elgot, February 8, 2010

Iran is planning to build 10 more uranium enrichment plants by March 2011, the country’s Head of Atomic Energy has said.

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad revealed that the Atomic Energy Organisation has been instructed to produce higher-grade fuel for the Tehran nuclear reactor.

But he also insisted that talks were still ongoing with the West over a possible uranium enrichment outsourcing to France and Russia.

The organisation’s head, Ali Akbar Salehi, said it plans to build 10 new plants over the next Iranian year, which begins on March 21.

He said that the Iranians would soon begin to produce uranium enriched to 20 per cent, if they did not receive higher-grade fuel from abroad soon.

He said: "Iran would halt its enrichment process for the Tehran research reactor any time it receives the necessary fuel for it."

Iran currently enriches uranium to about 3.5 per cent.

A nuclear bomb requires uranium enriched to 80 per cent or more.

Last updated: 1:03pm, February 8 2010