It might be a paradox when Iran’s announcement of having inserted the first self-fabricated fuel rod for the US-built 40-plus-year-old Tehran Research Reactor (which is supposed to produce nothing but isotopes for medical purposes) must be considered a confidence building measure. But it certainly is. It is the final step in the (peaceful) nuclear fuel cycle. It is completely monitored by the IAEA. Its Director General, Yukiya Amano, will explain this achievement in more detail in his awaited new report which is due next month.
If functional the fuel rod is a true breakthrough for the Iranian people. Relief for thousands of cancer patients. Despite all sanctions, threats, and assassinations of nuclear scientists.
Last modified February 15, 2012.