Iran announced over the weekend the discovery of new deposits of raw uranium sufficient to provide the requirements of the Middle Eastern country's nuclear programme. The Iran Atomic Energy Organisation said it has identified 16 more sites for nuclear power stations.
Iran made the announcement just days before Western powers are discussing Iran's atomic programme.
The uranium fields are said to be located in southern coastal area estimated at 33,000 tonnes of high-grade uranium, which tripled the amount of Iran's previous estimates. The plants would be located in coastal areas of the Caspian Sea, the Persian Gulf, the Sea of Oman, the southwestern province of Khuzestan and the northwestern part of Iran.
The agency said the projects are part of Iran's long-term plans to develop electricity generation using nuclear power facilities that would follow international benchmarks and regulations.
AUIU head Fereidoon Abbasi Davani said a few weeks ago that Iran will construct a second nuclear power plant between March 2013 and March 2014.
Iran has been converting part of its 20 per cent enriched uranium hexafluoride gaseous stockpile into metallic for use by the Tehran Research Reactor as fuel. The conversion involves freezing the enrichment level and subtracting from the enrichable gaseous stockpile used in centrifuges.
The race for more power generated through nuclear facilities aims to provide the estimated 20,000 megawatts electricity requirement of Iran by 2020.