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Iran Opens Two New Uranium Mines, Production Facility

Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad watches from a control room as nuclear fuel rods are loaded into a Tehran research reactor. (file photo)
Iran’s state news agency says the country has opened two new uranium mines and a new uranium production facility.

IRNA reported that the new Saghand 1 and 2 uranium mines began operations on April 9 near Yazd, the capital of central Yazd Province.

The new Shahid Rezaeinejad uranium production factory in Ardakan, also in Yazd Province, is reportedly capable of annually producing 60 tons of uranium oxide, known as yellow cake.

The conversion of uranium ore into yellow cake is in an intermediate step before it can be enriched into nuclear fuel.

The announcements on Iran's national Atomic Energy Technology day come after talks between Iran and six world powers in Kazakhstan last week failed to achieve a breakthrough on the issue.

Western powers accuse Iran of using its nuclear program to develop nuclear weapons, a charge Tehran denies.

Based on reporting by Reuters and AFP