Iran announced on Sunday that scientists there have produced the country's first nuclear fuel rod. That came a day after US President Barack Obama signed into law a defense bill that imposed sanctions on financial institutions dealing with Iran's central bank. It also came after Iran had said it has been compelled to manufacture fuel rods on its own since international sanctions have banned Teheran from buying them on foreign markets.The European Union expects to reach a decision by the end of January on expanding sanctions against Iran, a EU spokesman said on Sunday.
According to the public relations office of Iran's Atomic Energy Organization (IAEO), the rod has undergone various physical and dimensional tests and has been inserted into the core of Tehran's Research Reactor. The fuel rod has been exposed to radiation of about 1,500 megawatt hours and passed neutron-related tests in terms of radioactivity level and non-leakage of the radioactive materials during initial phases at diverse power levels, the report added. Currently, the rod is also undergoing rays at Tehran's Research Reactor to examine its long-term performance. Over the past years, Iranian nuclear experts have succeeded in utilizing the reactor to meet the nation's requirements for radiopharmaceuticals.